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

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  342 ratings  ·  38 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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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 ...more
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.
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 ...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.
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.
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.
Stephen Muench
Feb 28, 2019 marked it as someday-maybe
Shelves: finance, startup, business
Recommended by Fred Wilson at
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!
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).

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
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
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.
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.
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
Samuel Mwangi
Nov 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Mostly over my head.
Rohit Gattani
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Intense Academic read but very insightful.
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very tough read but extremely informative and satisfying.
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ipe, globalisation
A life-changing and profound read.
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.
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Financial and productive capital (to be read along with Clayton Christensen’s “Innovator’s Dilemma”)
Oct 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
A quite brilliant synthesis of Kondratiev's theory of long capitalist "waves" with Schumpeter's theory of creative destruction, connected through the role of the finance industry in moving capital from stodgy fading industries into dynamic but risk ones. The book has, however, several notable failings.

First, it not only is basically technodeterministic, but also treats the renewal of technological waves as an apparent inevitability, spurred by some endogenous quality of the technologies
Sep 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most important books on economics and history I've ever read. For a long time I've been looking for an organizing framework to think about human history since the invention of capitalism, and this book provides one. That is not to say that Perez's observations are necessarily applicable to the future we're moving into - things might be changing and moving in a new direction and we won't know for sure until we have the benefit of hindsight. But this book provides an excellent ...more
Michael Coté
Jun 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
What you get from this book is an explanation of how new technologies and the resulting changes in society (esp. finance) create a cyclical boom, bust, and the thriving cycle.

The valuable part isn't pointing out that there's a cycle, but rather collecting together the lengthy cause and effect chain of various cycles of time. The account of how financing (that is, how money "seeks" to fund innovation and then "make money from money," or "rent-seeking" as the kids like to say) is especially
Apr 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A must read for anyone interested in the intersection of markets and technology. Perez provided a descriptive model of previous technological revolutions and in particular how they interacted with financial and production capital. Although the title explicitly mentioned financial capital, Perez also dealt with how technology and institutions (Including governments and companies) interacted and how market dynamics were affected by infrastructure development.

The book provided an incredible
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a technophile, history buff and someone who's worked exclusively for venture-capital funded companies, this book was supremely interesting to me even before I picked it up. It has done full justice to those expectations, providing a broad framework to understand the diffusion of technology and understand it's effects on society.

The book is enjoyably multi-disciplinary sweeping across economics, history, management and philosophy. The academic tone of the author might be off putting for some,
Max Nova
Very dry and all seemed fairly obvious. Drew very heavily from Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions book - heavy on "paradigm shifts". But then again, maybe this is one of those books that seems blindingly obvious in retrospect but was genius in its organization of the chaos that existed before
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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
“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…