Princeton University Press

The Kauffman Foundation Series on Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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The Kauffman Foundation Series on Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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Boulevard of Broken Dreams

Why Public Efforts to Boost Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Have Failed--and What to Do About It

Josh Lerner

Silicon Valley, Singapore, Tel Aviv--the global hubs of entrepreneurial activity--all bear the marks of government investment. Yet, for every public intervention that spurs entrepreneurial activity, there are many failed efforts that waste untold billions in taxpayer dollars. When has governmental sponsorship succeeded in boosting growth, and when has it fallen terribly short? Should the government be involved in such undertakings at all? Boulevard of Broken Dreams is the first extensive look at the ways governments have supported entrepreneurs and venture capitalists across decades and continents. Josh Lerner, one of the foremost experts in the field, provides valuable insights into why some public initiatives work while others are hobbled by pitfalls, and he offers suggestions for how public ventures should be implemented in the future.

Discussing the complex history of Silicon Valley and other pioneering centers of venture capital, Lerner uncovers the extent of government influence in prompting growth. He examines the public strategies used to advance new ventures, points to the challenges of these endeavors, and reveals the common flaws undermining far too many programs--poor design, a lack of understanding for the entrepreneurial process, and implementation problems. Lerner explains why governments cannot dictate how venture markets evolve, and why they must balance their positions as catalysts with an awareness of their limited ability to stimulate the entrepreneurial sector.

As governments worldwide seek to spur economic growth in ever more aggressive ways, Boulevard of Broken Dreams offers an important caution. The book argues for a careful approach to government support of entrepreneurial activities, so that the mistakes of earlier efforts are not repeated.

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The Entrepreneurial Group

Social Identities, Relations, and Collective Action

Martin Ruef

Recent surveys show that more than half of American entrepreneurs share ownership in their business startups rather than going it alone. Yet the media and many scholars continue to perpetuate the myth of the lone visionary who single-handedly revolutionizes the marketplace. In The Entrepreneurial Group, Martin Ruef shatters this myth, demonstrating that teams, not individuals, are the leading force behind entrepreneurial startups. This is the first book to provide an in-depth sociological analysis of entrepreneurial groups, and to put forward a theoretical framework for understanding activities and outcomes within them.

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The Invention of Enterprise

Entrepreneurship from Ancient Mesopotamia to Modern Times

David S. Landes

Whether hailed as heroes or cast as threats to social order, entrepreneurs--and their innovations--have had an enormous influence on the growth and prosperity of nations. The Invention of Enterprise gathers together, for the first time, leading economic historians to explore the entrepreneur's role in society from antiquity to the present. Addressing social and institutional influences from a historical context, each chapter examines entrepreneurship during a particular period and in an important geographic location.

The book chronicles the sweeping history of enterprise in Mesopotamia and Neo-Babylon; carries the reader through the Islamic Middle East; offers insights into the entrepreneurial history of China, Japan, and Colonial India; and describes the crucial role of the entrepreneur in innovative activity in Europe and the United States, from the medieval period to today. In considering the critical contributions of entrepreneurship, the authors discuss why entrepreneurial activities are not always productive and may even sabotage prosperity. They examine the institutions and restrictions that have enabled or impeded innovation, and the incentives for the adoption and dissemination of inventions. They also describe the wide variations in global entrepreneurial activity during different historical periods and the similarities in development, as well as entrepreneurship's role in economic growth. The book is filled with past examples and events that provide lessons for promoting and successfully pursuing contemporary entrepreneurship as a means of contributing to the welfare of society.

The Invention of Enterprise lays out a definitive picture for all who seek an understanding of innovation's central place in our world.

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The Venturesome Economy

How Innovation Sustains Prosperity in a More Connected World

Amar Bhidé

Many warn that the next stage of globalization--the offshoring of research and development to China and India--threatens the foundations of Western prosperity. But in The Venturesome Economy, acclaimed business and economics scholar Amar Bhidé shows how wrong the doomsayers are.

Using extensive field studies on venture-capital-backed businesses to examine how technology really advances in modern economies, Bhidé explains why know-how developed abroad enhances--not diminishes--prosperity at home, and why trying to maintain the U.S. lead by subsidizing more research or training more scientists will do more harm than good.

When breakthrough ideas have no borders, a nation's capacity to exploit cutting-edge research regardless of where it originates is crucial: "venturesome consumption"--the willingness and ability of businesses and consumers to effectively use products and technologies derived from scientific research--is far more important than having a share of such research. In fact, a venturesome economy benefits from an increase in research produced abroad: the success of Apple's iPod, for instance, owes much to technologies developed in Asia and Europe.

Many players--entrepreneurs, managers, financiers, salespersons, consumers, and not just a few brilliant scientists and engineers--have kept the United States at the forefront of the innovation game. As long as their venturesome spirit remains alive and well, advances abroad need not be feared. Read The Venturesome Economy and learn why--and see how we can keep it that way.

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