Stories by Daniel Akst

Survival of the Richest

Imagine a book that aspires to be the definitive study of how new businesses are formed - not laundries and hairdressing salons, but businesses that grow into sizable enterprises, even if they remain small by the standards of corporate behemoths. And imagine that such a book, published in 2000, contains no discussion of the Internet - doesn't mention the Internet, in fact, in its otherwise obsessively thorough index, even though one of its central tenets is that "promising startups cluster in market niches characterized by high uncertainty generated by technological" or other forces.