Startups & The Tech Revolution, ISBN: 9781946633774, Forbes Books, written by James E. McCann.
Sub-titled “The Essential Guide” this little book presents a pretty comprehensive look at the Technological Revolution starting with an introduction that presents, a perhaps frightening, overview from the bits and pieces that most people have read about robots and artificial intelligence and the purported effect they will have upon employment and life in general. It also sites evidence that the movement from the industrial to the tech. age already has begun. The author follows with the fact that much of the apparent disruption is being driven by young start-up companies and the technology they are developing. His purpose is to provide some basic understanding for the uninformed on how this new system works. He then offers 8 chapters of explanation. First presented is the rather sobering prediction that “we won’t experience 10 years of progress in the 21st century – it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today’s rate). The ‘returns”, such as chip speed and cost-effectiveness, also increase exponentially. There’s even exponential growth in the rate of exponential growth” because “within a few decades, machine intelligence will surpass human intelligence, leading to the Singularity – technological change so rapid and profound it represents a rupture in the fabric of human history.” He then provides the reader with an Overview of How Start-ups Get Going; Explains The Entrepreneur: Founders and Co-Founders; How Start-ups Get Started; then an explanation and importance of Incubators, Accelerators, and Growing a New Business; Some Considerations for Working at a Start-Up; A Lucrative Exit that explains that many fail but mergers and acquisitions popularly produce lasting results, as do initial public offerings (IPO), Stock Buy-Backs and that recently staying private for longer periods of time has become effective. Also mentioned is the tremendous growth in prosthetic technologies because of the help provided to veterans and others. The last chapter presents The Implications of All This. A list of Suggested Reading, along with About the Author, and 67 references to conclude.
Discussion: Although part of the material covered with respect to the new company’s culture, i.e. “How do you fit in?” discusses ‘will old employees accept new additions?’, Equity packages’ and similar, all are presented at somewhat greater length by other books, the material provided here is well placed. Furthermore and quite frankly, the author has provided the un- and slightly informed individual with a most enlightening presentation that any and everyone should read if for no other reason than to have at least this basic material to face an advancing revolution that is going to be equally chaotic to the present and future generations as was the Industrial Revolution to those earlier dwellers.
5* Strongly recommended for all readers.