Kessler, Andy 1958–
Kessler, Andy 1958–
Born November 15, 1958; married; children: four. Education: Cornell University, B.S., 1980; University of Illinois, M.S.E.E., 1981. Hobbies and other interests: Basketball, hiking, skiing, biking.
Home—CA. E-mail—[email protected]
Writer. AT&T Bell Labs, chip designer and programmer, until 1985; PaineWebber, New York, NY, researcher and analyst, 1985-89; Morgan Stanley, New York, NY, semiconductor analyst, 1989-93; Unterberg Harris, San Francisco, CA, fund manager, beginning 1993; Velocity Capital Management, Palo Alto, CA, cofounder and president, 1996-2001.
Running Money: Hedge Fund Honchos, Monster Markets, and My Hunt for the Big Score was named a best book of 2004 by Barron's; How We Got Here: A Slightly Irreverent History of Technology and Markets was named a best business book of 2005 by Library Journal.
Wall Street Meat: Jack Grubman, Frank Quattrone, Mary Meeker, Henry Blodget and Me, Escape Velocity Press, 2003, published as Wall Street Meat: My Narrow Escape from the Stock Market Grinder, foreword by Michael Lewis, HarperBusiness (New York, NY), 2004.
Running Money: Hedge Fund Honchos, Monster Markets, and My Hunt for the Big Score, HarperBusiness (New York, NY), 2004.
How We Got Here: A Slightly Irreverent History of Technology and Markets, Collins (New York, NY), 2005.
The End of Medicine: How Silicon Valley (and Naked Mice) Will Reboot Your Doctor, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2006.
Contributor to periodicals, including American Spectator, Forbes, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Weekly Standard, Wall Street Journal, and Wired. Contributor to Web sites, including Slate, techcentralstation.com, and thestreet.com.
Andy Kessler first made a name for himself by managing a highly successful investment fund and later added to his fame by writing about his investing experiences in several best-selling books. His first book, Wall Street Meat: Jack Grubman, Frank Quattrone, Mary Meeker, Henry Blodget and Me, was initially self-published but sold so well on the Internet that HarperBusiness bought the rights to a paperback edition. In the words of USA Today reviewer Barrington M. Salmon, it is a "cheeky" book that describes "the inner workings of Wall Street … in simple terms so that even the most thick-headed reader can understand." A Publishers Weekly critic suggested that the story "relies too heavily on Kessler's former proximity to now-famous people," but other reviewers responded more favorably. Writing in Research, Mary Scott commented that "any financial professional would enjoy spending some beach time reading Wall Street Meat," which she deemed "a fun, interesting read."
In Kessler's second book, Running Money: Hedge Fund Honchos, Monster Markets, and My Hunt for the Big Score, he recounts his experiences as the co-manager of a hedge fund—an investment fund that is exempt from many mutual-fund regulations, usually requires large minimum investments, and can use aggressive strategies to generate high earnings. Dubbed "part memoir and part textbook" by David Wells in the Financial Times, the book contains many stories about the challenges and successes of running the fund. Wells described Kessler's style as "breezy, conversational," and "often sarcastic" and compared the book to "a summer blockbuster film." New York Times critic Paul B. Brown highlighted Kessler's "humorous stories," his revelations about hedge funds, and the framework he sets out for successful long-term investing. He admitted that "the book does have its flaws"—such as not always defining terms on first mention and jumping back and forth in time—but Brown concluded that "Kessler has written an entertaining business book, in which it is more than possible to learn something. That is a rare combination."
How We Got Here: A Slightly Irreverent History of Technology and Markets, Kessler's third book, is a collection of material originally intended for Running Money. A Publishers Weekly reviewer described it as "a whirlwind tour of the industrial and digital revolutions." Kessler examines 300 years of technological change and considers its ramifications in what Harold Dorn in the Historian dubbed a "breezy style." Dorn suggested that most readers would have difficulty grasping some technical details and some might dislike the style, but he nonetheless concluded that "readers who tolerate the jokes and the technicalities can learn much from this book."
Kessler takes on the American health-care industry in his fourth book, The End of Medicine: How Silicon Valley (and Naked Mice) Will Reboot Your Doctor. In this book he maintains that technological innovation in diagnostic tools will shift the field sharply toward prevention while also offering a boost to the economy as investors seek to profit from the new technology. It is an "entertaining" work, according to Timothy J. Mullaney in Business Week, a "smart-aleck tour of academic labs where Kessler says the future is being invented." In contrast, Dennis S. Palkon in his review for Hospital Topics felt that Kessler's "proclivity to entertain rather than educate" flawed the book. He wrote that the author's "crude language" prevented him from taking Kessler seriously, and he claimed that The End of Medicine provided "little to no substantiated knowledge." USA Today writer Kerry Hannon looked "underneath the banter and anecdotes" to find that "Kessler is no bumbler. He's an intelligent researcher" who has produced a "thought-provoking" work.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Across the Board, July-August, 2006, Matthew Budman, review of The End of Medicine: How Silicon Valley (and Naked Mice) Will Reboot Your Doctor, p. 71.
Barron's, September 5, 2005, Susan Witty, review of How We Got Here: A Slightly Irreverent History of Technology and Markets, p. M10; August 7, 2006, Lewis Perdue, review of The End of Medicine, p. 32.
British Medical Journal, October 7, 2006, David Woods, review of The End of Medicine, p. 760.
Business Week, August 14, 2006, Timothy J. Mullaney, "Business, Heal Health Care," p. 84.
Financial Times, September 9, 2004, David Wells, "A Rollicking Way to Get Street Wise," p. 14.
Forbes, September 20, 2004, Rich Karlgaard, "Two for Our Time," p. 45.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram, October 28, 2004, Cecil Johnson, "What Deficit? Outdated Thinking Prevents Economists from Seeing U.S. Margin Surplus in Trade."
Historian, winter, 2006, Harold Dorn, review of How We Got Here, p. 906.
Hospital Topics, summer, 2007, Dennis S. Palkon, review of The End of Medicine, p. 40.
Investment Adviser, October 11, 2004, Tim Price, "Don't Fear the US Dollar Wobble."
Library Journal, June 15, 2005, Dale Farris, review of How We Got Here, p. 80.
New York Times, June 29, 2003, Landon Thomas, Jr., "From Stints on the Street, Many Tales to Tell," p. BU1; October 10, 2004, Paul B. Brown, "Pulling Back a Curtain on Hedge Funds," p. BU31.
Physics Today, May, 2006, Herbert I. Fusfeld, "When Wall Street and Technology Team Up," pp. 55-56.
Publishers Weekly, December 1, 2003, review of Wall Street Meat: My Narrow Escape from the Stock Market Grinder, p. 52; May 23, 2005, review of How We Got Here, p. 72; May 15, 2006, review of The End of Medicine, p. 61.
Research, July, 2003, Mary Scott, review of Wall Street Meat, p. 76.
USA Today, February 29, 2004, Barrington M. Salmon, "Street Insider Tells It Like It Is," p. 05B; March 23, 2004, Laura Vanderkam, "Self-Publishing Will Spur Book Industry to Modernize," p. 13A; October 11, 2004, Kerry Hannon, "Author Takes Readers on Wild Ride of Investing," p. 09B; July 24, 2006, Kerry Hannon, "Medicine + Tech = Great Investment (Someday)," p. 04B.
Andy Kessler Home Page,http://www.andykessler.com (September 22, 2008).