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The New New Thing : A Silicon Valley Story…

The New New Thing : A Silicon Valley Story (original 2000; edition 1999)

by Michael Lewis

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1,0821311,588 (3.51)8
Title:The New New Thing : A Silicon Valley Story
Authors:Michael Lewis
Info:W.W. Norton & Co. (1999), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 272 pages
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The New New Thing: A Silicon Valley Story by Michael Lewis (2000)



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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
Michael Lewis is one of my favourite non-fiction authors... Silicon Valley stories still pique my curiosity. The book gives you a high-level idea about the first IT bubble and Jim Clark role into it, but Michael Lewis is too fascinated by his source to dig into the subject. ( )
  d4lamar | Jan 22, 2017 |
I'm not sure if its the subject matter, the fact that its older and what it talks about is so distant / seems irrelevant due to economic changes, the disjointed storytelling of 3-4 major themes, or what - but I found this book incredibly dull and a much much more laborious and slow read; especially compared to the other Lewis books I read (Moneyball and Boomerang).

Parts of the book read like the regular backroom/background life of 'any old' company. For how things are discussed, it has the dull every-day drama of the work-life of say Applebee's or FedEx or a Silicon Valley start-up company. The only difference is that these are people who LATER become important, so we need to hear and know about them early.

I also must say I quickly find myself not caring or being even sympathetic for Jim Clark. His personality, his character, just doesn't inspire much care, sympathy, or interest --- in my opinion. ( )
  BenKline | Apr 21, 2016 |
Computer geeks are pressing buttons, that's about as technical as it gets. ( )
  volumed42 | May 12, 2015 |
After reading this book, I wanted to read everything Michael Lewis every wrote. Then, I found out he loves baseball, or some shit, and wrote a bunch of baseball books. Fuck that shit. Baseball sucks.

But, this book is fucking awesome. Lewis weaves a thrilling tale, with fascinating characters, just like a novel. Of how the west was won. How did all those big start-ups succeed, and why did those epic failures fail. As an entrepreneur, I find this book absolutely thrilling.

If you don't give a fuck about business, or start-ups, or tech in any way, you will probably find this book boring as fuck. But, for the rest of us, there's nothing better. It's a great, fun romp of a book. ( )
  gecizzle | Mar 5, 2015 |
Silicon Valley would indeed be a very different place without Jim Clark who, at the time of The New New Thing was founder of at least 4 companies worth a billion dollars, including Silicon Graphics and Netscape. What he did to the internet economy is so astonishing, that aftershocks are still rippling through the world.

Jim Clark was the man who convinced investors to start throwing their money into Silicon Valley high tech companies before they turned a profit. Whatever Clark thought up and implemented turned people very rich, and we all wanted a piece of that action. It's still a part of the mythos here that one can get rich if they just pick the right start up and ride it out.

The New New Thing follows Clark through construction of his "boat" and consequent sailing of the computerized behemoth from the North Sea to Antigua where the mundanity of a ripped sail forced the trip to a halt. But, of course, it's not truly the story of trying to get the largest boat's programs to work together so that Clark could sail it from anywhere in the world, remotely. It's the story of how this crazed maniac of a visionary turned Silicon Valley into what it is today and how the rules of business were changed forever.

I really enjoyed this book and chuckled at how this whole thing got started because Jim Clark wanted a boat bigger than Larry Ellison's Juliet and needed money to build Hyperion. ( )
  AuntieClio | Dec 20, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0140296468, Paperback)

Michael Lewis was supposed to be writing about how Jim Clark, the founder of Silicon Graphics and Netscape, was going to turn health care on its ear by launching Healtheon, which would bring the vast majority of the industry's transactions online. So why was he spending so much time on a computerized yacht, each feature installed because, as one technician put it, "someone saw it on Star Trek and wanted one just like it?"

Much of The New New Thing, to be fair, is devoted to the Healtheon story. It's just that Jim Clark doesn't do startups the way most people do. "He had ceased to be a businessman," as Lewis puts it, "and become a conceptual artist." After coming up with the basic idea for Healtheon, securing the initial seed money, and hiring the people to make it happen, Clark concentrated on the building of Hyperion, a sailboat with a 197-foot mast, whose functions are controlled by 25 SGI workstations (a boat that, if he wanted to, Clark could log onto and steer--from anywhere in the world). Keeping up with Clark proves a monumental challenge--"you didn't interact with him," Lewis notes, "so much as hitch a ride on the back of his life"--but one that the author rises to meet with the same frenetic energy and humor of his previous books, Liar's Poker and Trail Fever.

Like those two books, The New New Thing shows how the pursuit of power at its highest levels can lead to the very edges of the surreal, as when Clark tries to fill out an investment profile for a Swiss bank, where he intends to deposit less than .05 percent of his financial assets. When asked to assess his attitude toward financial risk, Clark searches in vain for the category of "people who sought to turn ten million dollars into one billion in a few months" and finally tells the banker, "I think this is for a different ... person." There have been a lot of profiles of Silicon Valley companies and the way they've revamped the economy in the 1990s--The New New Thing is one of the first books fully to depict the sort of man that has made such companies possible. --Ron Hogan

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:38 -0400)

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" ... describes a vast paradigm shift in American culture: a shift away from conventional business models and definitions of success, and toward a new way of thinking about the world and our control over it. The rules of American capitalism--how money is raised, how the spoils are divided--have been drastically rewritten according to a single entrepreneur's vision of the future of the Internet ... "--Dust jacket.… (more)

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