Listen free for 30 days

  • The Power Law

  • Venture Capital and the Art of Disruption
  • By: Sebastian Mallaby
  • Narrated by: Will Damron
  • Length: 16 hrs and 53 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (165 ratings)

Pick 1 audiobook a month from our unmatched collection - including bestsellers and new releases.
Listen all you want to thousands of included audiobooks, Originals, celeb exclusives, and podcasts.
Access exclusive sales and deals.
£7.99/month after 30 days. Renews automatically. See here for eligibility.
The Power Law cover art

The Power Law

By: Sebastian Mallaby
Narrated by: Will Damron
Try for £0.00

£7.99/month after 30 days. Renews automatically. See here for eligibility.

Buy Now for £16.99

Buy Now for £16.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Listeners also enjoyed...

Angel cover art
Founder vs Investor cover art
Influence Empire cover art
Super Founders cover art
The Dealmaker cover art
How to Invest cover art
The World for Sale cover art
Cryptocurrency cover art
No Red Lights cover art
For Blood and Money cover art
Going Public cover art
Super Pumped cover art
Zero to IPO cover art
Failing to Win cover art
The Third Wave cover art
Innovation and Entrepreneurship cover art

Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

It is no exaggeration to say that venture capital has been central to the greatest legal creation of wealth anywhere and has enabled much of the world we live in, yet we know surprisingly little about this strange tribe of financiers.

In The Power Law, Sebastian Mallaby turns his unprecedented access to the industry's central players into a riveting, character-driven account of venture capital and the world it has made. Most of the tech start-ups funded by Silicon Valley venture capitalists fail, but a very few hits succeed at such a scale that they will more than make up for everything else. That extreme ratio of success and failure is the power law that drives venture capital, and the wider tech sector.

Mallaby make sense of the seeming randomness of success in venture capital, an industry that supposedly relies on gut instinct and personality rather than spreadsheets and data. We learn the unvarnished truth about some of the most iconic hits and infamous disasters in Silicon Valley history - from the comedy of errors that was the birth of Apple to the avalanche of venture money that fostered hubris at WeWork and Uber. And he shows how the power law now echoes around the world.

©2022 Sebastian Mallaby (P)2022 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about The Power Law

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    134
  • 4 Stars
    25
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    113
  • 4 Stars
    16
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    111
  • 4 Stars
    21
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    2

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Its just betting, but with $Millions

I really loved this book. Yes its full of the greed of capitalists, then these people lost some and won some, If you listened to this via the App it was no doubt born out of tech investments. Something more governments should do, it would be of course with the taxpayers money - controversial..!!

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent engaging book

I found this interesting from start to finish. It gives a great overview of venture capital and the how's and whys we have ended up with the current setup of venture funding. I'd highly recommend this book.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great insight to VC

So glad they picked Damron to narrate. Really suited the book. Only criticism I have of this fascinating book is its over focus on Sequoia. Otherwise this is a great investment of your time.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Must read for everyone in tech!

Incredible book. If you ever pitched or tried to woo VCs this a book you must read. It will explain why when you have a wrong background, wrong age, didn’t know right people and most importantly you are not in US, China or India will have very slim chance VCs will ever speak to you. Plus you can read / listen hear how VCs decide their bets and how they operate. It’s a an intriguing book that gave lot answers about things you didn’t know how to ask.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting narrative and history of VC with too much unwanted opinion

Entertaining history of the VC industry but full of useless woke opinions by the author

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Informative

Great geographical and historical context into the VC landscape. As a person of colour, one hopes when the story is told in decades to come, it reads slightly different

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Very boring and tedious read

Another uninspiring and boring book on Silicon Valley and how it has made everyone’s life more miserable!

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant, far-reaching history of VC

The book does an incredible job of synthesising the 1000s of VC deals completed over the last 5 decades, creating a compelling narrative of the entire VC industry.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Adventure Capital

Super interesting. The birth of the industry to modern day. The US is the heart of finance.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

How Venture Capitalists shape the world into a better place

If you’re looking for an insider look into VC’s history & worldview this is the book for it. Thoroughly enjoyed it and opened my apetite to go down the rabbit hole for more on the subject.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Michiel Wesseling
  • Michiel Wesseling
  • 01-10-23

Great book on VCs

History, the different approaches of VCs, rise and fall of some and interesting perspectives on their role in society. I like it!

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Nik
  • Nik
  • 12-01-23

Fascinating and helpful.

Very interesting and consistent story of rise and methods of startup culture and vc funding.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Venkatesh Srambikal
  • Venkatesh Srambikal
  • 11-01-23

Riveting and insightful

A good book on the Venture Capital industry .
Thoroughly enjoyed it and found it very insightful .

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!