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Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World Hardcover – October 24, 2008

51 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0071508636 ISBN-10: 0071508635 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"A MUST READ...if you understand the Net Generation, you will understand the future."--The New York Times

"A fascinating look at how young people are transforming our culture. The bottom line: An insightful, data-rich analysis with broad implications for managers, marketers, and politicians." -BusinessWeek

"A thoughtful antithesis to entrenched and sometimes alarmist managerial opposition to internet-influenced behaviours."--The Financial Times

"Demonstrates the world-changing power of the Net Generation."--Eric Schmidt Chairman & CEO, Google

"In the past two years, Don Tapscott has overseen a $4.5m study of nearly 8,000 people in 12 countries born between 1978 and 1994. In Grown Up Digital he uses the results to paint a portrait of this generation that is entertaining, optimistic, and convincing."-The Economist

"Grown Up Digital paints a generally encouraging picture . . . an optimistic view of how humans are evolving to engage with technology. Literally evolving: Mr. Tapscott cites scientific research that people who use digital media from a young age have different brain development than those who don't. . . . Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals alike, can draw lessons about the expectations of young people raised on real-time access to deep layers of information." -The Wall Street Journal


“No one has been a more informed commentator on the transformative impact of the digital age than Don Tapscott.”
―Brad Anderson, Chairman & CEO, Best Buy

“Don Tapscott provides an exciting roadmap to surviving and thriving in the Connected Era.”
―Michael S. Dell, Chairman & CEO, Dell

“Don Tapscott nails it. A must read.”
―Richard Florida, author, Who’s Your City? and The Rise of the Creative Class

“For anyone leading a talent-based organization, Grown Up Digital is an essential read.”
―William D. Green, Chairman & CEO, Accenture

“The first guide to the land of the Net Generation that should be read both by visitors and residents alike.”
―Nicholas Negroponte, Founder & Chairman, One Laptop Per Child

“In Grown Up Digital, Tapscott uniquely shows how to harvest the big contributions this Net Generation has to offer.”
―Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President & CEO, FedEx

“Don Tapscott is one of the world's leading cyber gurus.”
―Al Gore

About the Author

Don Tapscott is Chairman of the nGenera Innovation Network and an adjunct professor of management at the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. He is an international bestselling author or coauthor of eleven books, including Wikinomics, Paradigm Shift, and The Digital Economy. Link in with the net generation at


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (October 24, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071508635
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071508636
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #291,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Don is one of the world's leading authorities on innovation, media, and the economic and social impacts of technology. He is CEO of the Tapscott Group, a think tank that regularly advises business and government leaders. Don is also the Founder and Executive Director of Global Solution Networks, a multi-million dollar program investigating networked models for cooperation, problem solving and governance. In 2013, Thinkers50 listed him as the 4th most important business thinker in the world.

Don has authored or co-authored 15 books, including most recently, The Digital Economy Anniversary Edition: Rethinking Promise and Peril in the Age of Networked Intelligence (October 2014); Macrowikinomics: New Solutions for a Connected Planet (2012); Grown Up Digital (2008); and, Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything (2006).

He is an Adjunct Professor of Management at the Rotman School of Management and the inaugural fellow at the Martin Prosperity Institute. In 2013, Don was appointed Chancellor of Trent University. He also plays the Hammond B3 organ in the band Men in Suits, which has raised millions of dollars for charity.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Mark P. McDonald VINE VOICE on December 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had high expectations for this book based on Tapscott's prior work, the fact that this is based on a multi million-dollar study, and that Net Generation is coming into the workforce. I did not think that my expectations were too high, but I may be wrong, as Grown Up Digital did not deliver for me. It is long on description and short on prescription.

It's a good book, but not one that shapes your thinking like Tapscott's Wikinomics book, nor does it break significant new ground relative to all the other books covering this subject. I put this book down several times for weeks, to read other books, so it is more of a reference than a must read.

I would recommend reading Plugged In by Tamara Erickson as I think it's a better business book, one that is more focused and more valuable to readers than Grown Up Digital. I reviewed that book as well and found some issues, but it provides a more succinct, actionable and insightful focus - which were things that I had hoped for here.


The book is comprehensive in its description and treatment of the Net Generation and describing this generation as a group with its own values and behaviors that will have in impact on society.

The book looks at the Net Generation from different perspectives in terms of their impact on the workplace, society, education, etc.

The book provides some brief caricatures of the net generation so they are able to speak in their own words what is going on.


The primary challenge is the books single dimensional view of the net generation in terms of their adoption and use of technology. It does not take into account that this group grew up under a period of relative social, political and economic stability.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By John C. Stepper on January 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Like "Wikinomics" before it, "Grown Up Digital" is full of interesting and relevant facts, examples and quotes. It also gave me several things to think about or to research (including now owned by Amazon).

For example, I liked the 8 "net generation norms" - freedom, customization, scrutiny, integrity, collaboration, entertainment, speed and innovation - and how they're applied to various topics throughout the book including the workplace and consumerism. These 8 norms provide a useful framework for examining how the net generation may view or seek to change other areas.

However, for all the useful information, I find the style and tone of the book to be that of a self-aggrandizing cheerleader rooting for a cause than that of a serious analyst.

- Applying the woefully over-hyped and overused "2.0" label to yet more areas (and even claiming credit for some as original thoughts) - "The 2.0 School", "Consumers 2.0", "Leadership 2.0", "Film 2.0", "Talent 2.0", "Democracy 2.0" and "Marketing 2.0, as I call it."

- Promoting that the book is based on a $4 million research study, then littering the book with 38(!) references from his 2 children as exemplars of the net generation plus more quotes from his wife, daughter's boyfriend, and kids' friends.

- Making broad sweeping statements with little or no backing. There *are* many useful statistics in the book but there are many claims which are backed up only by an anecdote or a quote from his children. In a section on memory and internet use, for instance, it is ridiculous to list "learning a new language of acronyms, like OMG and LOL" as evidence.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By T. Johnson on November 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
While I fouund Mr. Tapscott"s book interesting I got a little tired of reading how the net generation is the answer to the world's present and future problems. It seemed to me that Mr. Tapscott's purpose for writing this book was to debunk any negative comments or research that he had ever heard or read regarding the net generation. According to Mr. Tapscott, other then their one negative of sharing too much personal information on facebook, the net generation will make all other generations pale in compaison.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Quantum on November 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I'll admit, I didn't read this book cover to cover. I spent about 3 hours reading it, which probably means that I `read' about half and skimmed the rest. This speaks both to the book's strengths and its weaknesses. On one hand, the book is clearly organized, with three levels of subtitles within the book making skimming much more efficient. On the other hand as a member of the generation that Tapscott is trying to describe, at least 60% of the information is intuitive to the point of banality.

What Tapscott does bring to the table, however, is a quantitative approach to how the Net Generation is truly different from those preceding it, with some concrete information deeper than our ubiquitously cited ability to multitask or our improved hand eye coordination. His chapter on "The Net-generation Brain" contained some interesting statistics. For example, he discusses how 10,000 hours of video games and 20,000 hours of internet before age 20, have a positive effect on our ability to process visual information in rapid and complex ways. Additionally, like the Economist review that introduced me to the book, I believe the chapter on `Obama, Social Networks, and Digital engagement' is the primary selling point for the book with interesting anecdotes and a broad view picture of its effectiveness, although the book was published too early to claim it was the reason for his victory.

In the end, there's not enough new information contained in this book for a blanket recommendation. It is has enough to interest genre hacks willing to wade through the banalities, or those who have not yet been exposed to Net Gen ideas. I guess that means I should recommend this book to my mother.
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