Just received an email from the NDE (National Dialogue on Entrepreneurship) and they have a great 2008 reading list on entrepreneurship. They did include Richard Florida’s Who’s Your City; a book whose entire life-cycle I witnessed up close while I worked with Richard. It was an amazing process. Here are some (4) reviews from NDE’s list — which is well worth checking out:
Timothy Brook (Bloomsbury Press, 2007)
You may be wondering how a book about Vermeer makes it on a listing of books about innovation and entrepreneurship. In this fascinating book, Brook uses the subjects and objects of Vermeers paintings to provide history of the development of global capitalism. Vermeers rise paralleled the Netherlands rise as a major economic force, and Brook tells these stories by tracing the emergence of trade in new products like tobacco, porcelain, and furs.
Spencer E. Ante (Harvard Business School Press, 2008)
It often seems like the venture capital industry has been around forever, but, in reality, someone had to invent it. That someone was French business professor and investor Georges Doriot, and his achievement occurred not too long ago. Beginning in 1946, Doriot and his firm, American Research and Development Corporation, virtually created the modern model of the venture capital firm. This well-written biography examines Doriots life and his impact on the world of business finance.
Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff (Harvard Business School Press, 2008)
We are regularly told that Web 2.0 technologies, embodied in companies like Facebook, blogs, and social networks, are going to change the world of business. But, what does that really mean in practice? Groundswell, written by two Forrester analysts, seeks to provide some guidance. The book targets business leaders who hope to tap into the groundswell to better understand their customers and markets. It includes numerous case studies of how firms have used social technographics to build better links to key customers.
Clay Shirky (The Penguin Press HC, 2008)
Consultant and NYU professor Shirky offers another take on what the world of Web. 2.0 means for individuals and businesses. He contends that the real strength of Web 2.0 is that it allows people to organize seamlessly. This means that social networks will become a more important part of our lives. Shirky helps explain why some networks stick, and why others collapse. He provides lots of anecdotes of cases where collaboration has prospered (e.g. Wikipedia) and others where Shirky contends it hasnt achieved its full potential (e.g. MoveOn.org).