Apple. Intel. Genentech. Atari. Google. Cisco. Stratospheric successes with high stakes all around. Behind some of the world's most revolutionary companies are a handful of men who through skill, timing, foresight, a keen ability to size up other people, and sometimes a little bit of luck saw opportunity where others didn't.

These are the original venture capitalists. Long before anyone else dared to, they had the brains, guts and inclination to back and guide risky start-up companies run by unproven entrepreneurs in trailblazing industries.

Up until the late-1950s, without a rich friend or relative, there was little hope for a budding entrepreneurjobs and markkula to secure working capital to launch a new business. Take Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore, Nolan Bushnell and later Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Jerry Yang all brilliant visionaries with little or no experience running companies.

Enter the pioneers of venture capital: Arthur Rock, Don Valentine, Tom Perkins, Bill Draper, Pitch Johnson, Reid Dennis, Dick Kramlich. All were building companies before the term venture capital had been coined companies that led to the birth of biotechnology, and the spectacular growth in microprocessors, personal computers and the web.

Something Ventured uncovers the ins and outs of how great companies came to be, the close calls that led some almost not to happen, and the hidden dramas behind some of the most famous names in business. It portrays the people who invented an industry synonymous with huge risk and massive rewards. Successful men who often couldn't disagree more on the keys to their success.

don_valentineWas it the people they backed?

Was it the innovative ideas they championed?

Was it their uncanny ability to identify untapped markets?

Or were they just lucky gamblers blowing over and over again on a pair of proverbial dice?

Something Ventured is the story of the dynamic creation of a fascinating industry that became the single most significant engine of innovation and economic growth in the 20th century, as told by the visionary risk-takers who dared to make it happen.

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