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Taking Technical Risks: How Innovators, Managers, and Investors Manage Risk in High-Tech Innovations Hardcover – February 19, 2001

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Editorial Reviews


"An intelligently conceived, informative book. Examples are carefully chosen, and the precepts are thoroughly outlined." Financial Executive

"The Charles River truly was invented. Befitting its Boston setting, and the great universities that line its banks, it is a confluence of nature, ideas, design and engineering - not to mention ideals, politics, vision and intrigue. Karl Haglund, through words and images, lovingly and intelligently tells the story of the ever-evolving, and ever-inspiring Charles."--Charles M. Vest, President Emeritus, MIT

"This remarkable volume traces the intellectual, educational, organizational, cultural, and human streams that flowed both naturally and by design to create the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as the industrial age came to flower. Its establishment derived not only from the driving visions of men like William Barton Rogers and John D. Runkle, but also from antecedents in European technical education, externalities like the Land Grant Act of 1862, and the conceptual and institutional interplay with Harvard, Rensselaer, and Yale. This book is a treasure for those interested in the history of higher education, those interested in the development of engineering during the industrial age, and those who may wish to contemplate its lessons as our universities navigate the revolutions in biological science and information technology at the start of the 21st century."--Charles M. Vest, President Emeritus, MIT

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Lewis M. Branscomb is Aetna Professor in Public Policy and Corporate Management, Emeritus, at Harvard University.

Philip Auerswald is Director of the Center for Science and Technology Policy and an Assistant Professor at the School of Public Policy at George Mason University. He is co-editor of Innovations: Technology | Governance | Globalization and author or co-author of numerous books, reports, and research papers, including Taking Technical Risk: How Innovators, Executives, and Investors Manage High-Tech Risks (MIT Press, 2001) and Seeds of Disaster, Roots of Response: How Private Action Can Reduce Public Vulnerability.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 220 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (February 19, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 026202490X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262024907
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,731,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
At the outset, I must say that this is one of the most intellectually challenging books I have read in recent years. The subtitle suggests that it examines "How Innovators, Executives, and Investors Manage High-Tech Risks" and indeed the authors of the assembled essays do indeed (collectively) provide that examination. The material is organized within six sections: Between Invention and Innovation, Defining Risks and Rewards, Institutional Differences: Large, Medium-Sized and New Firms, Overcoming Barriers, and finally The Changing Landscape. Lewis M. Branscomb and Philip E. Auerswald co-author the Introduction and then a discussion of each of the section subjects. As co-editors, they also include essays contributed by George C. Hartmann and Mark B. Myers in Part I), Henry Chesbrough and Richard S. Rosenbloom ("The Dual-Edged Role of the Business Model in Leveraging Corporate Technology Investments in Part II), James C, McGroddy ("Raising Mice in the Elephants' Cage" in Part III), F.M. Scherer and Dietmar Harhoff ("Technology Policy for a World of Skew-Distributed Outcomes" in Part IV), and finally, Mary L. Good ("Will Industry Fund the Science and Technology Base for the Twenty-First Century?" in Part V. Branscomb and Auerswald also provide an excellent "References" section as well as a brief but informative section "About the Contributors" in which the reader is guided to additional reference sources.
As Branscomb and Auerswald explain in their Preface, this book is the result of a joint Harvard-MIT Project on Managing Technical Risk sponsored by the Advanced Technology Program (ATP) of the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). There were two workshops (on June 22, 1999 and then on September 17, 1999).
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