Taking Technical Risks: How Innovators, Managers, and Investors Manage Risk in High-Tech Innovations

Taking Technical Risks: How Innovators, Managers, and Investors Manage Risk in High-Tech Innovations

by Lewis M. Branscomb, Philip E. Auerswald

Hardcover

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Overview

How do technology innovators, business executives, and venture capitalists manage the technical elements of business risk when developing and launching new products? Overcoming technical risks requires crossing the so-called valley of death--the gap between demonstrating the soundness of a technical concept in a controlled setting and readying the product technology for the market. Crossing the valley of death may mean bringing university-based research to the point where it appears viable to venture capitalists, or bridging the cultural gap between technical innovators and the managers who are being asked to risk their institutional resources. In every context, purely technical risks are coupled with the market risks inherent in innovation.

In this book Lewis Branscomb and Philip Auerswald address early-stage, high-tech innovation in the context of business decision making and innovation policy. The topics addressed include the extent to which purely technical risk is separable from market risk; how industrial managers make decisions on funding early-stage, high-risk technology projects; and under what circumstances government can and should act to reduce the technical risks of innovative projects so that firms will invest in them. The book includes contributions by Mary Good, George Hartmann, James McGroddy, Mike Myers, Michael Roberts, and F. M. Scherer.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262024907
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 02/19/2001
Pages: 220
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

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.

What People are Saying About This

Charles M. Vest

There is plenty of insight, empirical evidence, and food for thought to make this highly worthwhile reading for policy makers, corporate leaders, and academicsians. They will learn that serious needs remain for further innovation in the nature of their own organizations.

Charles W. Wessner

This is a timely study on a key topic that is poorly understood, but central to understanding the U.S. innovation system. The book's analysis hihglights the need for concerted efforts to improve policy makers' appreciation of the innovation process and the government's contribution to it. It should be particularly useful to members of the new administration.

John Seely Brown

Taking Technical Risks breaks new ground in helping us understand the systematic issues in capitalizing on radical innovation. By focusing on the elusive boundary between invention and innovation the book reveals not only the technical but also the cultural and institutional barriers that must be surmounted. I highly recommend this insightful, authoritative, and encompassing book.

Endorsement

There is plenty of insight, empirical evidence, and food for thought to make this highly worthwhile reading for policy makers, corporate leaders, and academicsians. They will learn that serious needs remain for further innovation in the nature of their own organizations.

Charles M. Vest, President, MIT

From the Publisher

This is a timely study on a key topic that is poorly understood, but central to understanding the U. S. innovation system. The book's analysis hihglights the need for concerted efforts to improve policy makers' appreciation of the innovation process and the government's contribution to it. It should be particularly useful to members of the new administration.

Charles W. Wessner , Director of Project on Technology and Competitiveness, National Research Council; former Director, International Technology Policy, U. S. Department of Comerce

There is plenty of insight, empirical evidence, and food for thought to make this highly worthwhile reading for policy makers, corporate leaders, and academicsians. They will learn that serious needs remain for further innovation in the nature of their own organizations.

Charles M. Vest , President, MIT

Robert S. Langer

Taking Technical Risks provides a unique description of the many scientific and technical risks new companies face, the challenges that exist, and how they can be managed. The book is excellent reading for anyone interested in the process of bringing technology from the lab to the marketplace.

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