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Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  423 ratings  ·  52 reviews
"Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital" presents a novel interpretation of the good and bad times in the economy, taking a long-term perspective and linking technology and finance in an original and convincing way. Carlota Perez draws upon Schumpeter's theories of the clustering of innovations to explain why each technological revolution gives rise to a paradigm ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published February 26th 2003 by Edward Elgar Pub (first published October 1st 2002)
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Justin Mares
May 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was an exhausting read. I found the book really, really hard to get through, as it was almost like reading a textbook.

That said, the information in this book is critically important for anyone interested in innovation and investment cycles. It's already changed a lot of the way I think about innovation and investment. Overall, very worth reading - just set aside 4-5 hours on afternoon and approach it like you would a study project in college.
Ashraf Alhashim
Feb 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
read this after hearing marc andreessen recommend it in a talk. found it to be boring and full of hindsight bias + connecting the dots of history in the aftermath.
Jose Papo
Jul 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books I read this year. The author goes to explain the cycles of innovation inside capitalism and how the technological revolutions are helped by Financial Capital and how the cycle always have some kind of shakeup. Te author relates also those trends with their social aspects and the disruption they brought to the social fabric. To do that she bases her work on Schumpeter, Neo-Schumpeterian authors and also on Thomas Kuhn "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" about c ...more
Jun 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I generally love to highlight the paragraphs that I find insightful. When I read this book, however, I wanted to highlight the entire book!

After designating the major changes in technology systems as changes of techno-economic paradigm in the early 1980s, Carlota Perez offered new insights into these complex process of social, economic and technological change in this book.

Each technological revolution has led to the massive replacement of one set of technologies by another, either by outright
Zhou Fang
Jan 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: investing
I put this on my list because Marc Andreessen highly recommended it in a talk he gave at Stanford (available on YouTube). This book is an absolute slog to get through due to its dense writing, excessive repetitiveness, and poor organization, but it contains some profound analysis. Carlota Perez focuses on the 50-60 year cycle of technological revolutions and the shifting role of financial capital along the way, and describes the paradigm shifts (this book is credited with popularizing the term) ...more
Deniss Ojastu
Aug 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Very interesting perspective on how economic growth and decline periods are related to great technological inventions and their role in shaping societies. Everything is repeating, phase after phase. The role of financial capitals - loans, stock markets etc - is analysed in depth in the book, depicting in a very coherent manner how at times financial agents are treated as the main force behind the growth, yet at other time - as "evil genius". Great analysis on how the mix of technological innovat ...more
Claude Rochet
Dec 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Excellent and exceptionnal
May 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
quite possibly the best innovation economics book I've ever read. ...more
Aug 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
I first heard about her when I read a feature somewhere on influential women economists who deserve more notoriety. This book is a compilation of prior work by the author into a theory of technological revolutions. Since the focus in on a relatively small number of important historical events (five over two centuries), this is more of an interpretative framework than a conventional economic theory, but that is ok and I do not mean to parse words.

The core idea here is that significant technologic
Rajesh Kandaswamy
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book that explains how technological revolutions occur, the phases that make it and the role of finance in it. The thesis is based on five technological resolutions since the onset of industrial age, each roughly running half a century. The author’ explanations are articulate and comprehensive. The first half on the phases are the most useful.
Walter Cavinaw
## Summary

Perez describes a model for technological revolutions and how the behavior of financial capital relates to the phases of revolutions.

Technological revolutions are a feature of capitalism that occur as successive techno-economic paradigm shifts. A techno-economic paradigm describes the organization of businesses and the economy using best practices that have been established as a result of a cluster of new technologies. The paradigm diffuses across the economy in phases and eventually c
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Perez articulates a simple but powerful template for technological innovation and the adoption cycle. The stylized model that she presents is both general enough to describe commonalities between all such cycles, and specific enough in that it recognizes the variance in how economic phenomena actually transpire. The model consists of four phases – irruption, frenzy, synergy, and maturity – and deftly describes the tension between agents of technological change, the real economy, the financial or ...more
Alex Daifotis
Apr 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Very mixed feelings about this one. Definitely a powerful set of ideas and intuitions, but it felt painfully, and I mean excruciatingly painfully self-congratulatory. I'm happy I got the ideas but this could have been a long article rather than a book, and the quality of the historical case studies felt low to me. Underwhelmed overall. ...more
Monik Sheth
Mar 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Especially useful for those interested in tech startups & venture capital.
Jon C.
Aug 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Changed the way I look at the world. Automatic five stars. Plus graphs and tables so you can pretend you read if you didn't! ...more
Stephen Muench
Feb 28, 2019 marked it as someday-maybe
Shelves: finance, startup, business
Recommended by Fred Wilson at ...more
Stuart Berman
Confused by the social turmoil we see around us today? You think you know why? Do you know we have been seeing this cycle for around 250 years? Do you think 'business cycles' are bad or need to be prevented?

The thesis of Carlota Pérez research is that since the beginning of the first industrial revolution 250 years ago, there have been regular technology revolutions lasting 50-60 years each, or about the length of our adulthoods (how long people remember history and our individual experiences).

Feb 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I found this book both informative and highly relevant to the political unrest the United States (and other countries) have seen 2016 - 2021. Dr. Perez generally outlines the boom bust cycles of new technological revolutions and the relationship financial capital has with each new "techno-economic" paradigm. For me, this helped contextualize our current technological age - which she calls the "Age of Information and Telecommunications". The book outlines how this age started around the 1970s wit ...more
Jan 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
A technological revolution is a cluster of new technologies, products and industries causing an upheaval in the economy and propelling a long term surge in development.

The 5 technological revolutions of the past 2 centuries happened every 50 years and they were:
1. Industrial revolution 1771
2. Steam engine railway 1829
3. Heavy engineering, steel , electricity 1875
4. Oil, automobile etc 1908
5. It, telecom, Intel, microprocessor 1971
6.FinTech cryptocurrency 2020 ??

4 phases of financial growth model
Christopher J Finlayson
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The author paints a compelling picture of the nature and spread of technology in long waves. Her views on the interplay of financial capital, production capital and the socio-political system were particularly interesting.

The Casino Capital frenzy phase typically results in a crash, flowing an installation period of 40 years when the technology has its real impact on society. This spread reshapes the real economy and the disruption creates pressure for political reform.

The trouble with long wa
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
CP : 'When I talk about a possible European way of life, I imagine multiple innovations that define different variants of the aspirational “good life” with lots of technology and human-based services, plus health and creativity. That is even easier for Europeans than adopting a standardized American way of life (which they happily did). But to say “smart green growth” should be the general direction, as I would suggest, opens all the space in the world for variety while fostering convergence in ...more
Jan 21, 2021 rated it liked it
Writing style made it feel more of an academic publication than best seller, but book outlines the history of economic cycles for technology revolutions and the implications for the current cycle.

Irruption --> Frenzy -- > Turning Point (Crash eg 2001) --> Synergy --> Maturity

Each phase has unique dynamics for legacy companies, stage of technological adoption, capital allocation/valuation and social/political issues such as widening wealth gaps and government regulation.
Giorgio Giuliani
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is probably the best book I've ever read on technology and its impacts on society.

Carlota Perez provides an overarching framework that maps out different phases and helps to understand a lot of the complex period we are living.

Really suggested for people who want to go beyond appearance and buzzwords.
Nynke Doesburg
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Perez has very carefully and deliberately mapped out the similarities between the five technological revolutions. I found her way of thinking fascinating, and her model valuable. Anyone who is interested in the cyclical movement of capitalist economies should read this. It not only offers insight in historical paradigms, it also gives tools for the future.
Marcus Gitau
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating study at the long waves of capitalism. Perez examines markets from the perspective of innovations and explains how new technologies have the potential to define socio-techno-economic paradigms.

Personally I believe she has overlooked the importance of energy efficiency, aside from that her model is a great tool to understand where we have come from.
Dominic Heng
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A book that was written as a project done by Carlota that did a lookback into the past 5 major technlogical revolutions.

Technlogical revolutions does not mean just the technology itself, it means the value chain, marketing, fulfillments etc...

Great book.e
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cards, profound
This is a great book. Very enlightening though a little repetitive.

1. Type: Theoretical book.
2. Main idea: Technological revolution and its relationship with financial capital.
3. Major parts:
a. Process of technological revolution.
b. Relations between technological revolution and financial capital.
c. Internal forces the produces the recurring cycles.
4. Problems?
What is the relationship between technological revolution and financial capital? What's the process of change? What are the interval fo
Apr 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
dense. This is a deep exploration of the relationships between markets and tech surges. Working in technology and watching COVID-19 change the world made this very applicable. I was surprised by how much was relevant. I won't lie, this read was a slog, but useful for sure. ...more
Rohit Gattani
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Intense Academic read but very insightful.
Rob Schmults
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Super interesting and relevant - just a bit dry. It’s a reasonably quick read so the dryness is tolerable even if prevents a 5 star review.
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Carlota Pérez is a British-Venezuelan scholar specialising in technology and socio-economic development. She researches the concept of Techno-Economic Paradigm Shifts and the theory of great surges, a further development of Schumpeter's work on Kondratieff waves. In 2012 she was awarded the Silver Kondratieff Medal by the International N. D. Kondratieff Foundation.

Perez is currently Centennial Pro

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82 likes · 22 comments
“The entrepreneurs of new firms as much as the management of the old
(whether modernizing or not) are forced to do whatever is necessary to attract
the players in the casino and then worry as much – or more – about the perfor-
mance of their stock valuations as about their actual profits. Financial capital
reigns arrogant and production capital has no alternative but to adapt to the
new rules; some agents with glee, others with horror.”
“The entrepreneurs of new firms as much as the management of the old (whether modernizing or not) are forced to do whatever is necessary to attract the players in the casino and then worry as much – or more – about the perfor-mance of their stock valuations as about their actual profits. Financial capital reigns arrogant and production capital has no alternative but to adapt to the
new rules; some agents with glee, others with horror.”
More quotes…