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Internet Entrepreneurship in Europe

Venture Failure and the Timing of Telecommunications Reform Niko Marcel Waesche, Global Industry Head, Media and Entertainment, GfK, UK
From its launch in 1997, the Frankfurt technology stock exchange developed spectacularly as did other European technology exchanges. Many Europeans thought that a new age of entrepreneurship had dawned. Following the downturn, however, the search for blame began. Much of this blame was undifferentiated and subjective. Public policy lessons were not drawn. Written by a well-known commentator of the European venture capital community, this book analyses the rise and decline of European internet entrepreneurship. The effects of both the public promotion of venture capital investments as well as the timing of telecommunications reform are examined in detail in various European countries, in particular in Germany and Sweden. The book contains a wealth of unique data on the failure of European internet ventures and draws several technology and telecommunications policy conclusions.
Extent: 352 pp
Hardback Price: $165.00 Web: $148.50
Publication Date: 2003
ISBN: 978 1 84376 135 8
Availability: In Stock
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  • eISBN: 978 1 78195 133 0

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From its launch in 1997, the Frankfurt technology stock exchange developed spectacularly as did other European technology exchanges. Many Europeans thought that a new age of entrepreneurship had dawned. Following the downturn, however, the search for blame began. Much of this blame was undifferentiated and subjective. Public policy lessons were not drawn. Written by a well-known commentator of the European venture capital community, this book analyses the rise and decline of European internet entrepreneurship. The effects of both the public promotion of venture capital investments as well as the timing of telecommunications reform are examined in detail in various European countries, in particular in Germany and Sweden. The book contains a wealth of unique data on the failure of European internet ventures and draws several technology and telecommunications policy conclusions.
‘Waesche has produced an excellent book that is both informative and enjoyable to read for anyone interested in the rise of the internet in Europe and the impact of national policies concerning telecommunications and innovation.’
– Joanne Roberts, R&D Management

‘Theoretically informed and grounded in careful empirical research, the book is vital reading for all such business persons and policymakers who are interested in public policies for communications revolution and the new network economy.’
– M.A. Qureshi, Science of Science

‘This is an excellent book. It contributes significantly to our understanding of the telecommunications/internet boom and bust, and parts are ideal for teaching.’
– John Zysman, University of California, Berkeley, US

‘This accomplished research monograph breaks new ground by looking at the relationship between internet entrepreneurship and public policy. The first part charts the development of the internet as the basis for a new global network economy, and the contribution to its success of government telecoms policy in the USA, while the second part examines in detail the rise; and underlying vulnerabilities – of internet entrepreneurship in Germany, examining in close detail the character of the policy relationship between the German federal government, the incumbent national telecommunications operator and the new internet ventures. It also offers a useful comparative European chapter looking at developments in France, the Netherlands and in particular Sweden. Analytically penetrating, detailed and thorough, the book shows how national institutions (such as German corporatism) and government policies for telecommunications and for national innovation have refracted the opportunities presented by global networks, causing internet businesses to develop along unique, national trajectories. Theoretically informed and grounded in careful empirical research, the book makes for compelling reading for anyone interested in public policies for the communications revolution and the new network economy.’
– Peter Humphreys, University of Manchester, UK

‘The commercialization of the internet unleashed a massive wave of entrepreneurial activity around the world. In his excellent book Internet Entrepreneurship in Europe Niko Waesche explains the reasons for the relative lag that Europe, in general, and Germany in particular experienced in establishing firms in internet-related business areas. He presents a sophisticated analysis that recognizes that creating an entrepreneurial environment requires the creation and coordination of a wide spectrum of policies including, but not limited to telecommunications regulation, tax policies, and mechanisms for encouraging venture capital formation. This book is vital reading for all business persons and policymakers wishing to understand the reasons that Europe has had such a mixed record in creating new ventures capable of taking advantage of the internet to build entrepreneurial firms.’
– Martin Kenney, University of California, Davis, US
Contents: 1. Introduction: Uneven Development and Internet Entrepreneurship in Europe Part I: Global Opportunity 2. The Global Growth of the Internet and the Role of the United States 3. Unregulation and the Death of Distance Part II: National Political Economy 4. Institutional Reform and Political Compromise 5. Incumbent Telecommunications Operator Strategy and Internet Access 6. Survey of Internet Entrepreneurship in Germany 7. Varieties of Internet Venture Development in Europe: The Swedish Case 8. Conclusion: The Timing of Policy Reform and Internet Entrepreneurship in Europe Appendix A: Procedure and Results of the Globalstartup Survey Appendix B: Interviews Appendix C: Selected Financial Figures for International Telecommunications Operators Appendix D: Internet Advertising Expenditures and the Number of Internet Users by Country Bibliography Index