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The Venturesome Economy:
How Innovation Sustains Prosperity in a More Connected World
Amar Bhidé

Winner of the 2009 Silver Medal Book Award in International Business/Globalization, Jenkins Group, Inc., Axiom Business
Winner of the 2008 PROSE Award in Business, Finance, and Management, Association of American Publishers
One of Economist's Best Books for 2008
One of BusinessWeek's Best Innovation and Design Books for 2008

Paperback | 2010 | $24.95 | £19.95 | ISBN: 9780691145938
520 pp. | 6 x 9 1/4 | 6 line illus. 22 tables.
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Amar Bhidé
(photo by Charan Devereaux)
VOX audio interview with
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.


"Bhidé makes a detailed argument that contradicts the prevailing view of expert panels and authors who contend that the nation's prosperity is threatened by the technological rise of China and India, and that America's capacity for innovation is eroding. . . . Mr. Bhidé derides the conventional view in science and technology circles as 'techno-nationalism,' needlessly alarmist and based on a widely held misunderstanding of how technological innovation yields economic growth. In his view, many analysts put too much emphasis on the production of new technological ideas. Instead, he observes, the real economic payoff lies in innovations in how technologies are used."--Steve Lohr, New York Times

"Offers a perspective on American innovation and prosperity that is remarkably optimistic, given the temper of the times. Among his data-driven findings: American consumers have long shown an 'exceptional willingness' to buy, for instance, technology products before their utility is clear. Such 'venturesome consumers' help spur companies and entrepreneurs to take the risks that lead to innovation."--Rob Walker, New York Times

"The Venturesome Economy is a refreshing riposte to the doomsayers of recession and the bleak prognostications of the technonationalists. It is a compelling book and will have a wide audience; many will be interested in the numerous case studies, particularly of IT and biotech firms. The emphasis on relationships, connections and networks resonates well with modern literature on social capital and economic psychology."--Michelle Baddeley, Times Higher Education

"Bhidé points out that without our free-spending, possibly foolhardy yet certainly optimistic habits of consumption, Americans would not have moved the market to devise such culture-altering goods as personal computers, the iPod and, in an earlier and much tougher economic period, even mass-produced shoes."--Guy Trebay, New York Times

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Table of Contents:

Preface ix
Introduction 1

Book 1: Cautious Voyagers Why VC-Backed Businesses Still Favor Home 31
1. VCs in New Ventureland 41
2. Advancing the Frontier: The Nature of Mid-level Innovation 59
3. Marketing: Edging into International Arenas 101
4. Offshoring: The Ins and Outs 152
5. Founders and Staff: Global at Home 206
6. On Methods and Models 239

Book 2: Embrace or Resist? 251
7. Alarmist Arguments 257
8. The Reassuring Realities of Modern Cross-Border Flows 272
9. Valuable Differences 287
10. Serving the Service Economy 296
11. Venturesome Consumption 308
12. Winning by Using 324
13. Nondestructive Creation 341
14. Immigrants: Uppers or Downers? 356
15. The Elusive Underpinnings 380
16. First Do No Harm 411

Acknowledgments 439
Appendix:Tables 443
Notes 461
References 483
Index 499


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