Boulevard of Broken Dreams

Why Public Efforts to Boost Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Have Failed—and What to Do About It

Released: November 2009

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.

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.

Learn more on the Princeton University Press site