July 29, 2008

Book report

Three weeks into a mostly work-free period I've managed to read two of the four books on my summer reading list. By chance both were written by Business Week journalists.

I started out with Spencer E. Ante's Creative Capital, which chronicles the early history of venture capital by following the life of Georges F. Doriot. It's a good, but in the beginning of the book a bit slow, read about one of the persons who influenced the modern venture capital industry. The primary takeaway from the book for me was the portrait of Doroit's life and secondary a history of the origins of today's technology-oriented venture capital industry. If you've read about the early days of Silicon Valley, this book gives additional flavor as it describes the development in the Boston area where Doroit and his VC-firm ARD were active.

The second book was Sarah Lacey's Once You're Lucky, Twice You're Good. I was pleasantly surprised by the book. In an easy-to-read style that almost feels like a novel, Sarah writes about some of today's most high-profile Silicon Valley Web 2.0 entrepreneurs such as Max Levchin (Slide, ex-Paypal), Marc Andreesen (Ning, ex-Netscape & ex-Opsware), Kevin Rose (Digg) and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook). The feeling is that Sarah really manages to capture the essence of the four persons professional and to some extent personal lives. Having the book now as opposed to a in a few years when everything will have settled down makes the book even better. Definitely worth reading.

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