"Until a few years ago," notes journalist-consultant Udayan Gupta, "venture capitalists were hardly on anyone's radar screen." That's not the case these days, as financiers who used to work behind the scenes now regularly set markets afire with their public support of high-profile technology and Internet stocks. In Done Deals
, Gupta allows 35 of the brightest stars in what has become a $30-billion-a-year business to tell their own stories in their own words. We get to see exactly what they were thinking when they backed such endeavors as Intel, eBay, Excite, Genentech, and 3Com. Gupta's intention is to demonstrate how the industry has changed over the past half-century and how it differs today among its various forms. He achieves this beautifully by dividing the first-person accounts into thematically attuned sections that focus on dealmakers of the future (such as Mitch Kapor of Accel Partners), early pioneers (including the late Benno Schmidt of J.H. Whitney & Co.), West Coast veterans (such as Don Valentine of Sequoia Capital), past and present East Coast practitioners (like Charles Waite of Greylock Management), and visionaries (including John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers). Some of the stories are more detailed than others, but taken together, they provide a well-rounded view that will interest anyone who must deal with this often intertwined yet still individual world. --Howard Rothman
From Publishers Weekly
With the growth of the Internet and the exploding number of startups, venture capital has become far more significant not only to the companies that benefit from the money but to investors curious about venture capitalists' analyses of the market. Gupta, a former Wall Street Journal staffer, has interviewed 35 of the most prominent figures in the venture capital world from across the country, including such key players as Mitch Kapor of Accel, Michelangelo Volpi of Cisco, Lionel Pincus of Warburg Pincus, and Steve Lazarus of ARCH Venture Partners. In their own words, these financial wizards discuss how they pick companies and what tools they use to evaluate new investments. For example, Arthur Rock, a patriarch of today's venture capitalists who invested in Apple and Intel, says, "I think you have to be a technologist today, because there are so many different technologies converging that you have to understand where everything is coming from. When I started doing these deals, there was no competition. You could make some mistakes, and still not get very far behind. Today, if you make any mistakes, you're dead." Readers looking for insights into the success of technology companies will certainly find some here. Although it would have enhanced the book for general readers if the editor had supplied more connective material between the interviewsAsupplementing the strong introductionAthis title will undoubtedly attract attention in Silicon Valley or any tech industry hot spot where the names of the contributors are well known. (Oct.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.