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The Forgotten Origins of Silicon Valley

Sebastian Mallaby's new book offers a detailed exploration of how US venture capital became the go-to model for commercializing innovations at the technological frontier. But no industry exists in a vacuum, so it is important to consider precisely why this model evolved where and when it did.

CAMBRIDGE – In his new book The Power Law, Sebastian Mallaby has produced a rich and rewarding account of how Silicon Valley co-evolved with the professional venture capital (VC) industry since the late 1950s. His book complements two other recent works: VC: An American History, by Tom Nicholas of Harvard Business School, and The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America, by Margaret O’Mara of the University of Washington – both of which I reviewed previously.