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The Entrepreneurial Venture (Practice of Management Series) [Paperback]

by Howard H. Stevenson, Michael J. Roberts, Amar Bhide, William A. Sahlman
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 1, 1999 0875848923 978-0875848921 Second Edition
As entrepreneurs fuel the economy with start-ups, job creation, innovation, and new technologies, the need to understand the evolving field of entrepreneurship continues to grow. Covering every phase of the entrepreneurial venture, from the basic concepts to emerging issues, this collection of readings by leading academics and practitioners is designed to serve as a handbook for entrepreneurs, as well as for teachers and students of the entrepreneurial process. Newly updated with timely material, professors will find this second edition invaluable for the richness of the cases and the accompanying questions designed to facilitate discussion.

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

William A. Sahlman, Howard H. Stevenson, Michael J. Roberts and Amar Bhid are professors at Harvard Business School.

Product Details

  • Series: Practice of Management Series
  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; Second Edition edition (May 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875848923
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875848921
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 6.9 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #726,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Howard Stevenson has been a donor and a fundraiser for most of his life. He believes in "giving back" through financial and nonfinancial (expertise and experience) contributions to nonprofit organizations. He has served as vice provost of Harvard University, senior associate dean of Harvard Business School (HBS), chair of the Harvard Business School Press, chair of National Public Radio, chair of Sudbury Valley Trustees, a trustee of the Massachusetts Nature Conservancy, and a member of the board of both the Boston Ballet and Mount Auburn Hospital. In all of these organizations, fundraising was an important part of the strategy. He has personally touched gifts totaling many hundreds of million dollars, and has led the teams that secured some of the largest gifts in these organizations' histories. These significant gifts ranged from tens of thousands to more than $100 million.
In his other lives, Stevenson has been an entrepreneur, professor and author. He was the founder and first president of the Baupost Group, Inc., which manages partnerships investing in liquid securities for wealthy families. He now serves as co-chair of the Advisory Board of Baupost LLC, a $21 billion registered investment company. His HBS legacy, in addition to having touched the lives of thousands of students, is the establishment of its entrepreneurship program. Upon his recent retirement, a chair was named in his honor. Stevenson also is a prolific author, having published eleven books, and hundreds of articles and case studies.

Customer Reviews

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD OVERVIEW, MISSING SOME PRACTICE March 27, 2003
Sahlman provides a very comprehensive volume on the current stage of knowledge of entrepreneurship as a field. In the articles, which are mainly written by a limited number of professors, all important topics related to entrepreneurship are addressed, such as finance, personality, marketing, strategy, culture, and many more. From an academic perspective, it is a 10.
However, I often felt that it was missing more on the practical side. For example, there are a few case studies, but only on certain topics. It was missing more of the "been there, done that" perspective. Definitely there were stories, but in those there was more of a strategic analysis rather than visionary or inspirational.
Overall, this is a very good book to use as reference to certain topics, especially in an academic environment.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A rigorous analysis but could use more practical input December 13, 2002
By Anthony
The 1999 edition that I read is a collection of 34 Harvard Business Review articles, class discussion papers and case studies written by the four authors (all business school professors) and a few others over the 1980s and 90s.
The chapters written by the four professors have a strong academic/pedagogic orientation. Dealing with basic issues in extreme analytic detail, they frequently belabor the obvious and often come across as though they have all the answers (chapters written by Sahlman were especially bad for this). The book does, however, provide some thought-provoking discussion and a reasonable introduction to the issues of assessing viability, planning and managing a new business, and of attracting resources. Some of the chapters not written by the professors provide a good "textbook" reference for subjects such as patent law, raising venture capital, and management technique in checklist style.
I give the book three stars for its rigorous analysis but not five because of its presumptuous tone and the fact that too many of the chapters lean toward the hypothetical. It lacks the genuine, practitioner-based input this subject deserves.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Previous student and current early stage investor April 25, 2001
As an MBA student at Harvard six years ago, I had the opportunity to learn under Professor Sahlman. His class and his books are worth their weight in gold if you intend to either start companies or invest in them. This book brings together some of the best ideas from his colleagues.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish I had this book sooner July 8, 2011
This book offers plenty of practical advice. I'm not sure why some of the reviewers think it does not. I suppose Harvard Business School professors who use the word "practitioner" in their title seems a bit boustrophedon.

When I read this book, I learned how to focus my business planning on flexibility not on a spreadsheet that starts from zero and goes to my financial goal line. Other mentors in my life warned me about the time wasting misuse of a business plan, but this book points out both the common errors and how to fix them.

On another point - sales. I have seen other companies sell their ideas into the marketplace while bootstrapping their own financing. This book gives several examples of how to do just that. This is very practical stuff. I am glad I purchased this book and took the time to skim all of it and read some of the articles in depth.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong Reference, More Cases Desired February 1, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
'The Entrepreneurial Venture' is a strong reference that covers both strategic & tactical perspectives of the topic: from planning, launching to managing new venture. Each perspective is rigorously analysed & coherently presented; it would be a '5-star' book if the material is further illustrated by more case studies.
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