The Venturesome Economy

How Innovation Sustains Prosperity in a More Connected World

by Amar Bhidé

Number of pages: 520

Publisher: Princeton University Press

BBB Library: Economics and Investment

ISBN: 978-0691135175

About the Author

Dr. Amar Bhidé served on the faculties of Harvard Business School from 1988 to 2000, and the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business. He was a senior Engagement Manager at McKinsey. He also served on the Brady Commission which investigated the stock market crash.


Editorial Review

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 Bhide shows how wrong the doomsayers are.Using extensive field studies on venture-capital-backed businesses to examine how technology really advances in modern economies, Bhide 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.

Book Reviews

" Bhidé contends that the definition of innovation has become too narrow among many policymakers, admitting "The difficulty of defining technological innovation reveals the great diversity of its forms." For him, innovation goes far beyond piling up high-level products, patents or advanced degrees - but also covers ground-level techniques by ordinary workers, small discoveries often taken for granted by customers and business owners alike"- Yale Global Online.

"Bhide conceives innovation as a process of "non-destructive creation". Value is created not from high-level innovation but from venturesomeness: the "willingness and ability ... to take a chance on and effectively use new knowhow and products": innovators are like "Hayekian chefs" experimenting with customers. Diverting resources away from ground and mid-level innovation in sales and marketing towards high-level R&D may reduce the consumer surplus generated by attracting venturesome consumers." - Times Higher Education

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