Boulevard of Broken Dreams: Why Public Efforts to Boost Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Have Failed--and What to Do About by Josh LernerBoulevard of Broken Dreams: Why Public Efforts to Boost Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Have Failed--and What to Do About by Josh Lerner

Boulevard of Broken Dreams: Why Public Efforts to Boost Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Have…

byJosh Lerner

Paperback | February 26, 2012

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Silicon Valley, Singapore, Tel Aviv--the global hubs of entrepreneurial activity--all bear the marks of government investment. Yet, for every public intervention that spurs entrepreneurial activity, there are many failed efforts that waste untold billions in taxpayer dollars. When has governmental sponsorship succeeded in boosting growth, and when has it fallen terribly short? Should the government be involved in such undertakings at all? Boulevard of Broken Dreams is the first extensive look at the ways governments have supported entrepreneurs and venture capitalists across decades and continents. Josh Lerner, one of the foremost experts in the field, provides valuable insights into why some public initiatives work while others are hobbled by pitfalls, and he offers suggestions for how public ventures should be implemented in the future.


Discussing the complex history of Silicon Valley and other pioneering centers of venture capital, Lerner uncovers the extent of government influence in prompting growth. He examines the public strategies used to advance new ventures, points to the challenges of these endeavors, and reveals the common flaws undermining far too many programs--poor design, a lack of understanding for the entrepreneurial process, and implementation problems. Lerner explains why governments cannot dictate how venture markets evolve, and why they must balance their positions as catalysts with an awareness of their limited ability to stimulate the entrepreneurial sector.


As governments worldwide seek to spur economic growth in ever more aggressive ways, Boulevard of Broken Dreams offers an important caution. The book argues for a careful approach to government support of entrepreneurial activities, so that the mistakes of earlier efforts are not repeated.

Josh Lerner is the Jacob H. Schiff Professor of Investment Banking at Harvard Business School, with a joint appointment in finance and entrepreneurial management. He is the coauthor of Innovation and Its Discontents (Princeton), The Venture Capital Cycle, and other books.
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Title:Boulevard of Broken Dreams: Why Public Efforts to Boost Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Have…Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pagesPublished:February 26, 2012Publisher:Princeton University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0691154538

ISBN - 13:9780691154534

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments vii

CHAPTER ONE: Introduction 1

PART ONE: CAN BUREAUCRATS HELP ENTREPRENEURS? 23

CHAPTER TWO: A Look Backwards 25

CHAPTER THREE: Why Should Policymakers Care? 43

CHAPTER FOUR: Things Get More Complicated 65

PART TWO: THREADING THE NEEDLE 87

CHAPTER FIVE: The Neglected Art of Setting the Table 89

CHAPTER SIX: How Governments Go Wrong: Bad Designs 111

CHAPTER SEVEN: How Governments Go Wrong: Bad Implementation 137

CHAPTER EIGHT: The Special Challenges of Sovereign Funds 162

CHAPTER NINE: Lessons and Pitfalls 181

Notes 193

Index 219

Editorial Reviews

"This important and timely book will impact the ways policymakers think about venture capital and how to support it more effectively. The book is deeply rooted in economic research, leaves ideology behind, and focuses on facts. It explains complex economic analysis in simple terms and provides many useful examples to illustrate fundamental issues."-Thomas F. Hellmann, University of British Columbia