Read this book

One of the best books about start-ups and venture capitalists is Charles Ferguson’s High Stakes, No Prisoners. As a business ethnography it is up there with Tracy Kidder’s The Soul of a New Machine, and it is much better on analysis. Most business books should never have been written. This one is good.

Charles Ferguson on

Apple vs. Microsoft
“Watching Sculley go up against Gates was rather like watching a rich playboy who was ordering his yacht to attack a carrier battle group.”

Venture Capitalists
“Andy Marcuvitz is a heavyset guy who wears badly fitting suits. He has no discernible personality, sense of humor, or compassion–ideal traits for a venture capitalist.”

On the website one of the customer reviews is by someone named Jane Smith, who says she has “actually dated” Charles Ferguson. She states that “with a talent and intelligence like that, he could have gotten a lot more for Vermeer, a lot more for himself and he’d be a happier human being”. No comment.

She also says that he is “50-ish, balding”. Hey, what is wrong with being 50-ish and balding?


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