Books

Secrets of Silicon Valley: What Everyone Else Can Learn from the Innovation Capital of the World

While the global economy languishes, one place just keeps growing despite failing banks, uncertain markets, and high unemployment: Silicon Valley. In the last two years, more than 100 incubators have popped up there, and the number of angel investors has skyrocketed. Today, 40 percent of all venture capital investments in the United States come from Silicon Valley firms, compared to 10 percent from New York. In Secrets of Silicon Valley, entrepreneur and media commentator Deborah Perry Piscione takes us inside this vibrant ecosystem where meritocracy rules the day.

She explores Silicon Valley’s exceptionally risk-tolerant culture, and why it thrives despite the many laws that make California one of the worst states in the union for business. Drawing on interviews with investors, entrepreneurs, and community leaders, as well as a host of case studies from Google to Paypal, Piscione argues that Silicon Valley’s unique culture is the best hope for the future of American prosperity and the global business community and offers lessons from the Valley to inspire reform in other communities and industries, from Washington, DC to Wall Street.

The People Equation: Why Innovation Is People, Not Products

Every business leader knows that the key to growth is innovation—if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got. Deborah Perry Piscione and David Crawley argue that ultimately the key to innovation is people. After all, creativity is a uniquely human function, something that can’t be automated. So how do you design an organization so that it provides the elements that will bear new thinking and bring forth bold ideas? Through The People Equation.

Based on examples from their consulting work and research into successful business practices, Perry Piscione and Crawley’s The People Equation enables leaders to create a culture where psychological safety is a given, risk-taking is embraced, and collaboration between highly competent people is nurtured. When experiments and new initiatives look promising, Perry Piscione and Crawley’s Improvisational Innovation process provides a roadmap to quickly develop ideas and bring them to market. All this requires upending the usual organizational pyramid and instilling a completely new mindset throughout the organization.

Perry Piscione and Crawley show that in our rapidly changing world, the top is not where the really disruptive ideas are going to come from. And if people are afraid to take chances, even fail, you’re never going to get those ideas—playing it safe means you’ll be out of the game. The People Equation provides you with a formula for exponentially increasing out-of-the-box thinking in your organization and multiplying your chances for greater growth and success.

The Risk Factor: Why Every Organization Needs Big Bets, Bold Characters, and the Occasional Spectacular Failure

Our most revered business icons of the last few decades are the bold risk-takers, such as Richard Branson, Elon Musk, and Steve Jobs. Yet in today’s stock market-driven economy, companies are playing it safe, with too many leaders focused on short-term gains, rather than value creation. The result is a static business culture that generates forgettable results―even as the world demands big solutions. So how do we get back in the risk-taking game?

In The Risk Factor, Deborah Perry Piscione takes the most comprehensive look at this crucial, undervalued leadership behavior, and outlines how companies must support risk-taking across the enterprise. Exploring the heroes of risk, including entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and technologists, and the role risk-taking and failure tolerance play in their success, she makes a compelling case not only for big, flashy mergers or acquisitions but also for unorthodox choices in everything from leadership to corporate social responsibility.

Drawing on case studies from a wide range of now-famous giants (Netflix, Salesforce) and successful start-ups (Tesla, NetApp), she distills lessons for both new entrepreneurs and established companies whose longtime risk aversion has cost them more than they realize.

Unfinished Business: The 10 Most Important Issues Women Face Today With New Introduction

In a thought-provoking and spirited dialogue on contemporary issues, two women on opposite sides of the political spectrum–one Democrat, one Republican–critically analyze and debate ten important issues confronting modern women, including reproductive rights, taxes, crime and violence, education, equal pay and benefits, and child care.