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The Fours Steps to Epiphany, by Steven Blank
The essential "how to" book for anyone bringing a product to market, writing a business plan, marketing plan or sales plan. Step-by-step strategy of how to successfully organize sales, marketing and business development for a new product or company. The book offers insight into what makes some startups successful and leaves others selling off their furniture. Packed with concrete examples, the book will leave you with new skills to organize sales, marketing and your business for success.
Deals: Venture Capitalists Tell Their Stories
by Udayan Gupta (Editor)
"Until a few years ago," notes journalist-consultant Udayan Gupta, "venture capitalists were hardly on anyone's radar screen." That's not the case these days, as financiers who used to work behind the scenes now regularly set markets afire with their public support of high-profile technology and Internet stocks. In Done Deals, Gupta allows 35 of the brightest stars in what has become a $30-billion-a-year business to tell their own stories in their own words. We get to see exactly what they were thinking when they backed such endeavors as Intel, eBay, Excite, Genentech, and 3Com. Gupta's intention is to demonstrate how the industry has changed over the past half-century and how it differs today among its various forms. He achieves this beautifully by dividing the first-person accounts into thematically attuned sections that focus on dealmakers of the future (such as Mitch Kapor of Accel Partners), early pioneers (including the late Benno Schmidt of J.H. Whitney & Co.), West Coast veterans (such as Don Valentine of Sequoia Capital), past and present East Coast practitioners (like Charles Waite of Greylock Management), and visionaries (including John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers). Some of the stories are more detailed than others, but taken together, they provide a well-rounded view that will interest anyone who must deal with this often intertwined yet still individual world. --Howard Rothman
the Company of Owners: The Truth about Stock Options (and Why Every Employee
Should Have Them)
by Joseph R. Blasi, Aaron Bernstein and Douglas Kruse
Perseus Publishing, 2003
Remedies for corporate greed seem often to involve limiting stock options for executives. That may be well and good, but the authors here make a different case: Equity should be given to more employees, not fewer. If all companies followed the lead of their tech brethren and handed out stock options to employees, those companies would perform much better. Using what they call the partnership capitalism approach, companies should use options to prod employees to think like owners. And even though shareholders initially lose out on stock option schemes-employee options water down the value of stock holders-in the end the increased productivity provided by a motivated workforce makes the company more profitable and increases the share value.
Longitudes and Attitudes: Exploring the World After September 11. The preface to the new book from former New York Times Foreign Affairs Correspondent Thomas Friedman. If you have the time and the interest, also consider taking a look at The Lexus and the Olive Tree. "The Lexus and the Olive Tree" is widely read by business leaders who want to understand globalization, and why political and religious leaders in some parts of the world oppose the spread of the American version of free market capitalism. Check out the web site to learn more. In particular, listen to his audio on the meaning of the Lexus and the Olive Tree, and skim the Globalization Background from Chapter 1.
Money of Invention: How Venture Capital Creates New Wealth
by Paul A. Gompers, Josh Lerner
Provides a definitive analysis of this powerful and unique industry and offers a meaningful framework for understanding the relationship between venture capital and entrepreneurial success.
"Gompers and Lerner have written the ultimate A to Z book of venture investing. If you want the definitive book that explains how venture capital works and why it is so important to our economy, this is it."
-Arthur Rock, Venture Capitalist
"Gompers and Lerner give valuable historical accounts coupled with insightful observations about the future of an industry that is still in its infancy-but growing up fast."
-Peter O. Crisp, Founder and former Managing Partner, Venrock Associates
"Gompers and Lerner provide a broad overview of the venture capital industry, offering valuable insights for anyone from seasoned practitioners to interested market observers. Richly illustrated with real-life examples, The Money of Invention fulfills a critical need with its treatment of the past, present, and future of an important factor in the world economy."
-David F. Swensen, Chief Investment Officer, Yale University, and Author of Pioneering Portfolio Management
Palm, The Inside Story of Palm, Handspring and the Birth of the Billion-Dollar
Handheld Industry, by Andrea Butter and David Pogue
The swift Internet-like alterations in Palm's corporate structure make the company an excellent case study of the late 1990s technology-driven boom and bust. True, Palm was not precisely a dot-com stock, but who can argue that the consumer impulse to drop $500 on a spruced-up date book was anything but high-tech froth? Palm was founded in 1992 with hard-won seed money, just a few years before venture capital rolled across Silicon Valley like a tsunami. It began as the junior partner in an unsuccessful consortium effort to compete with Apple Computer's Newton, the breakthrough handheld device. This failed strategy inspired the software executives to build their own hardware without relying on strategic partnerships, until financing troubles forced them to sell out to a larger firm, modem-maker U.S. Robotics. When USR was acquired by 3Com, Palm became the junior partner in a megamerger. Eventually, Palm was spun out in an IPO during the heady days of early 2000, and employees drooled as the stock price spiked to $165 on the first day of trading. (Today Palm shares trade between $2 and $4.) The authors give detailed portraits of both high-tech product launches and investment banking negotiations without once getting bogged down in the jargon of either world. No doubt readers can thank coauthor Pogue, a New York Times columnist, for the smooth, lucid prose. Former Palm marketing v-p Butter is an unabashed fan of the company's founders technologist Jeff Hawkins, CEO Donna Dubinsky and marketing director Ed Colligan and she makes a compelling case that these three launched the handheld computer industry. (Mar.)Forecast: This title will easily fit into the B-school curriculum on corporate finance or marketing, since it offers insights into both. Hardcore techies should enjoy it, too, because it's filled with colorful portrayals of leading industry figures.