As someone who tries to keep learning about technology in general and venture capital in particular, I consider Bill Janeway’s book a must-read. Unlike most works by venture capitalists, it covers the history and economics of innovation in great depth. And unlike most works by economists, the narrative is rooted in Janeway’s personal and professional experiences, especially as a senior VP at the investment firm Warburg Pincus.
The book’s second edition adds to what was already a rich volume. It includes in-depth discussions on current events that couldn’t have been foreseen back in 2012: the widening rift between the tech industry and government; the current “tech backlash” that is seeing people turn against tech companies; the accelerating decline of a US government that has been seized by a regressive, backward-looking ideology; the rise of China as the center of a great surge of development and the potential leader of the global economy in the digital age.
Overall, this new edition is worthy reading for both newcomers and fans of the first edition. For those who want to have a better understanding of the digital economy, it’s a comprehensive multi-dimensional work. For those who are veterans in the field, Janeway’s book will let them situate their experience in the proper historic and economic perspective, one that can help us better anticipate the future as it unfolds before our eyes.