Book Bits | 15 July 2017

Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future
Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson
Review via The Economist
In 2014 Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology published “The Second Machine Age”. The book was a balanced portrait of how new digital technologies were poised to improve society, even as they increased unemployment and depressed wages. In their latest work, “Machine, Platform, Crowd”, the authors seek to explain the business implications behind these developments.

2020: World of War
By Paul Cornish and Kingsley Donaldson
Summary via publisher (Hodder & Stoughton)
From cybersecurity to geopolitics – what will the world look like in the year 2020? Paul Cornish and Kingsley Donaldson guide us through a maze of global uncertainty in this fascinating look at the future, offering analysis and creative solutions for those who want to understand how our decisions today will affect the world we live in tomorrow.

Strategy and Geopolitics: Understanding Global Complexity in a Turbulent World
By Mike Rosenberg
Summary via publisher (Emerald Publishing)
Large western companies are accelerating their expansion into emerging economies, while relying on oversimplified frameworks to make decisions and complex matrix organizations to make things happen. When critical events do happen (such as terrorist attacks or civil wars), senior executives and the companies they lead are often taken by surprise. As the world shifts to a less stable geopolitical structure, only firms that can acquire a better capability to foresee and prepare for change will prevail over the long term.Strategy and Geopolitics provides a strategic framework that can help senior business executives address the challenges of globalization in this evolving geopolitical landscape. This book underlines the need to go beyond a simplistic understanding of different countries and territories: it discusses the geopolitical issues that can be the cause of success or failure in different markets; and it explores strategies for dealing with global and local complexity, as well as introducing innovative ideas on recruitment and organization.

The Deindustrialized World: Confronting Ruination in Postindustrial Places
By Steven High, et al.
Summary via publisher (UBC Press)
Since the 1970s, the closure of mines, mills, and factories has marked a rupture in working-class lives. The Deindustrialized World interrogates the process of industrial ruination, from the first impact of layoffs in metropolitan cities, suburban areas, and single-industry towns to the shock waves that rippled outward, affecting entire regions, countries, and beyond.

Sharing: Crime Against Capitalism
By Matthew David
Summary via publisher (Polity)
Today’s economic system, premised on the sale of physical goods, does not fit the information age we live in. The capitalist order requires the maintenance of an artificial scarcity in goods that have the potential for near infinite and almost free replication. The sharing of informational goods through distributed global networks – digital libraries, file-sharing, live-streaming, free software, free-access publishing, the free-sharing of scientific knowledge, and open-source pharmaceuticals – not only challenges the dominance of a scarcity-based economic system, but also enables a more efficient, innovative, just and free culture.

Mastering Private Equity: Transformation via Venture Capital, Minority Investments and Buyouts
By Claudia Zeisberger, et al.
Summary via publisher (Wiley)
Mastering Private Equity was written with a professional audience in mind and provides a valuable and unique reference for investors, finance professionals, students and business owners looking to engage with private equity firms or invest in private equity funds. From deal sourcing to exit, LBOs to responsible investing, operational value creation to risk management, the book systematically distils the essence of private equity into core concepts and explains in detail the dynamics of venture capital, growth equity and buyout transactions.

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