Bill Janeway, like Mariana (author of The Value of Everything below), speaks energetically about the state’s contribution to technological progress. This is another important work for a new political left that needs to get its narrative around innovation, markets and finance straight if it is to have a chair at the grown up’s table.
The book traces the history of venture capital, provides an economic framework for the role of speculative investors in emerging sectors (“the usefulness of bubbles”) and warns of a world without technological leadership.
As an entrepreneur and sceptic of the free market narrative I loved this book. Bill Janway is a fan of Schumpeter and Minsky economic thought. He inherits their appreciation of the dynamics of market volatility. His experience in the world of technology and entrepreneurship makes the book what it is; an enjoyable mix of history, economics and a rally to re-introduce the state’s innovative capabilities.