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The Rainforest

The Secret to Building the Next Silicon Valley
Narrated by: Tom Lorenz
Length: 10 hrs and 20 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)
Price: CDN$ 33.01
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Publisher's Summary

What makes places like Silicon Valley tick? Can we replicate that magic in other places? How do you foster innovation in your own networks? Discover the answers in this groundbreaking book from two of the world's leading experts at the intersection of venture capital and global development.

Victor W. Hwang and Greg Horowitt propose a radical new theory to explain the nature of "innovation ecosystems": Human networks that generate extraordinary creativity and output. They argue that free market thinking fails to consider the impact of human nature on the innovation process. This ambitious work challenges the basic assumptions that economists have held for over a century.

The authors argue that such ecosystems - what they call "Rainforests" - can only thrive when certain cultural behaviors unlock human potential. People in Rainforests belong to "tribes of trust" and follow a secret unwritten code: The Rules of the Rainforest. The theory of the Rainforest is influenced by several breakthrough ideas in academia, including insights on sociobiology from Harvard, economic transactions from the University of Chicago, design theory from Stanford, and the latest research in neuroscience and social network theory, among others.

With an unorthodox and entertaining narrative, the book reveals the mysterious mechanisms of Rainforests. Furthermore, the authors provide practical tools for listeners to design, build, and sustain new innovation ecosystems. The Rainforest will transform the way you think about technology, business, and leadership.

©2012 Victor W. Hwang & Greg Horowitt (P)2013 Victor W. Hwang & Greg Horowitt

What the critics say

"… an insightful, forward-thinking assessment of what makes Silicon Valley tick.… an engaging, highly creative analysis … The text is enhanced by well-designed graphic illustrations and explanatory charts. Hwang and Horowitt write with authority and wit, carefully backing up their theory with substantive examples. Readers get the feeling that the authors have unveiled a very big, important concept, one that could serve as the basis for intentionally, methodically developing other "rainforests" similar to Silicon Valley.… A provocative study of innovation." ( Kirkus Reviews)
"...a detailed analysis of the power of environment on startup success, and in particular an explanation of why Silicon Valley has been such a powerful incubator of ideas and innovation.... If you are interested in the interplay of environment and business, and in understanding in broader terms how our professional relationships define our success, I recommend picking up a copy." ( Forbes)
"I thought I was planting seeds, but I have been planting weeds. This amazing book relates innovations to random propagations of life in the rainforest. I haven't read a book this innovative since Bionomics." (Tim Draper, Draper Fisher Jurvetson)

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  • Liz Curlett
  • 2019-04-03

Cyclical reasoning, cheery-picked examples

Cyclic and contradictory reasoning aside, this is not the revolutionary insight I was hoping for. I listened to the entire book hoping something at the end would justify the time invested, only to realize the overall philosophy is grounded in a dichotomous view; those who are the influencers or connectors and should be catered to, and the "others" or the worker bees who need to just be more flexible and "keep giving back". This system only works because of what economist call "the greater fool".