• The Power Law

  • Venture Capital and the Art of Disruption
  • By: Sebastian Mallaby
  • Narrated by: Will Damron
  • Length: 16 hrs and 53 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (29 ratings)

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The Power Law

By: Sebastian Mallaby
Narrated by: Will Damron
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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

It is no exaggeration to say that venture capital has been central to the greatest legal creation of wealth anywhere and has enabled much of the world we live in, yet we know surprisingly little about this strange tribe of financiers.

In The Power Law, Sebastian Mallaby turns his unprecedented access to the industry's central players into a riveting, character-driven account of venture capital and the world it has made. Most of the tech start-ups funded by Silicon Valley venture capitalists fail, but a very few hits succeed at such a scale that they will more than make up for everything else. That extreme ratio of success and failure is the power law that drives venture capital, and the wider tech sector.

Mallaby make sense of the seeming randomness of success in venture capital, an industry that supposedly relies on gut instinct and personality rather than spreadsheets and data. We learn the unvarnished truth about some of the most iconic hits and infamous disasters in Silicon Valley history - from the comedy of errors that was the birth of Apple to the avalanche of venture money that fostered hubris at WeWork and Uber. And he shows how the power law now echoes around the world.

©2022 Sebastian Mallaby (P)2022 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about The Power Law

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  • Chris
  • 07-18-22

Its just betting, but with $Millions

I really loved this book. Yes its full of the greed of capitalists, then these people lost some and won some, If you listened to this via the App it was no doubt born out of tech investments. Something more governments should do, it would be of course with the taxpayers money - controversial..!!

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  • M. Cameron
  • 04-25-22

Excellent engaging book

I found this interesting from start to finish. It gives a great overview of venture capital and the how's and whys we have ended up with the current setup of venture funding. I'd highly recommend this book.

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  • Fred
  • 04-01-22

Great insight to VC

So glad they picked Damron to narrate. Really suited the book. Only criticism I have of this fascinating book is its over focus on Sequoia. Otherwise this is a great investment of your time.

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  • Jiri
  • 02-05-22

Must read for everyone in tech!

Incredible book. If you ever pitched or tried to woo VCs this a book you must read. It will explain why when you have a wrong background, wrong age, didn’t know right people and most importantly you are not in US, China or India will have very slim chance VCs will ever speak to you. Plus you can read / listen hear how VCs decide their bets and how they operate. It’s a an intriguing book that gave lot answers about things you didn’t know how to ask.

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  • tomtom123
  • 11-14-22

Informative but repetitive

Felt like I was being told the same message over and over - with new observations and suggestions few and far between

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  • RStreet
  • 10-12-22

One of my favourite books of the year so far.

I finished The Power Law today and think it’s one of my favourite books of the year so far. Really interesting and enlightening. The insights into how integral to the growth and development of some of the world’s biggest tech companies is linked to the backing of a few VC firms is pretty mind blowing. The author clearly explains the developments in VC and how investments are chosen and tracking through the interactions between VCs and founders. A good book and it inspired me to dig into VC history and VC companies a lot more.

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  • James
  • 10-08-22

Brilliant

The stories excellently told given the number of characters and companies everything is working together exceptionally well just superb. As for the duration faultless. As you can guess I really enjoyed this got a lot from it recommended

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  • ahmed Jamaleldeen Salih
  • 08-28-22

Interesting Analysis

I love it, I couldn't stop listening
the authors provided astonishing insights on the invisible hands motivating invention based on a historical analysis of several breakthrough technologies that would have never changed the world without the intervention of capitalism

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  • J. Harris
  • 08-15-22

A tour de force of the rise of VC

Sebastian Mallaby delivers a high class history of the rise of VC with expert narrative underpinned by many case studies of company’s and industry’s that have benefited from VC.

From Apple to Uber the VC model has evolved over time. Whilst it is far from perfect, in its essence it remains the most powerful way to disrupt a market and drive change through innovation, creating significant value and positive externalities.