Inspiring examples of responsible capitalism.

How to invest for a better world.

Decrying the fact that most venture capitalists “worship in the church of greed,” Klein and Kapor, founders of the impact investment firm Kapor Capital, offer myriad examples of businesses they have supported that are focused on doing good—specifically, on closing “gaps of access, opportunity, or outcome for low-income communities and/or communities of color.” An impact investment firm, the authors explain, aims to get a substantial return on their investments by funding entrepreneurs “whose own life experiences compel them to create companies and build wealth that will solve the difficult problems that they personally had to overcome.” Not surprisingly, those people come from underrepresented groups, including immigrants and children of immigrants, racial minorities, women, and individuals who identify as queer. At Kapor Capital, write the authors, “every person involved in making the fund’s investment decisions is a person of color.” They profile an impressive assortment of ventures responding to social, political, economic, and environmental problems, including Bitwise and Career Karma, companies helping people from underrepresented communities train for and secure jobs in the tech industry, notoriously dominated by White males from Stanford and Harvard; BlocPower, which uses a highly sophisticated software system to identify energy efficiency or inefficiency in low-income neighborhoods; Aclima, which aims “to close equity gaps in race, the environment, economics, education, and health by quantifying disparity as it relates to the quality of air people breathe; and Honor, which uses technology to make home health care more accessible and equitable. “What’s wrong with the larger ecosystem of mainstream tech and venture capital,” the authors assert, is that “its mission is to solve problems for the rich, and its players believe they’re smarter than the experts.” Although the authors address venture capitalists, they urge employees, consumers, and shareholders to join their efforts to make a positive impact.

Inspiring examples of responsible capitalism.

Pub Date: March 14, 2023

ISBN: 9780063268517

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Harper Business

Review Posted Online: Jan. 5, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2023



Perhaps not magic but appealing nonetheless.

Want to get ahead in business? Consult a dictionary.

By Wharton School professor Berger’s account, much of the art of persuasion lies in the art of choosing the right word. Want to jump ahead of others waiting in line to use a photocopy machine, even if they’re grizzled New Yorkers? Throw a because into the equation (“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine, because I’m in a rush?”), and you’re likely to get your way. Want someone to do your copying for you? Then change your verbs to nouns: not “Can you help me?” but “Can you be a helper?” As Berger notes, there’s a subtle psychological shift at play when a person becomes not a mere instrument in helping but instead acquires an identity as a helper. It’s the little things, one supposes, and the author offers some interesting strategies that eager readers will want to try out. Instead of alienating a listener with the omniscient should, as in “You should do this,” try could instead: “Well, you could…” induces all concerned “to recognize that there might be other possibilities.” Berger’s counsel that one should use abstractions contradicts his admonition to use concrete language, and it doesn’t help matters to say that each is appropriate to a particular situation, while grammarians will wince at his suggestion that a nerve-calming exercise to “try talking to yourself in the third person (‘You can do it!’)” in fact invokes the second person. Still, there are plenty of useful insights, particularly for students of advertising and public speaking. It’s intriguing to note that appeals to God are less effective in securing a loan than a simple affirmative such as “I pay all bills…on time”), and it’s helpful to keep in mind that “the right words used at the right time can have immense power.”

Perhaps not magic but appealing nonetheless.

Pub Date: March 7, 2023

ISBN: 9780063204935

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Harper Business

Review Posted Online: March 23, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2023


Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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