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The New Normal: Great Opportunities in a Time of Great Risk Hardcover – November 18, 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover (November 18, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591840597
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591840596
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,430,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

For Silicon Valley venture capitalist and club-touring rock musician McNamee, the title's state of affairs means "[s]afety nets have been replaced by new possibilities" and that "[t]he New Normal will reward the brave." Each of 18 short chapters covers areas where money, individuals and regulations intersect (government, finance, media, education, family, etc.), giving a rough picture of what current conditions are like and how one might maximize one's investments within them: "In the New Normal, the happiest people will be those that optimize their lives across multiple dimensions," McNamee notes in the chapter on family. Most chapters consist of just a few pages, onto which McNamee has uploaded rifflike distillations of truisms he steers by—the proliferation of digital media means that technologies that organize it (like TiVO) will have lots of niche opportunities—and case studies in entrepreneurship, as of the online diamond engagement ring retailer Blue Nile. His declarative quips (many of which begin "In the New Normal...") are glib and annoying, but are usually followed up with at least some substantive discussion, as in a chapter on time ("it is more important to be right than to be early"). As a road map of the post–New Economy economy, this book can feel as scattered and emptily assertive as the late '90s, but its core message—that new conditions mean new opportunities for entrepreneurs—remains as true as ever.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Roger McNamee is a prominent Silicon Valley venture capitalist and investor, having managed top-performing funds at T. Rowe Price, Integral Capital Partners, and Silver Lake Partners. He has been profiled in many publications and appears regularly on CNBC. He also plays guitar for the Flying Other Brothers Band.

David Diamond is a writer in San Francisco.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Carol Weston on November 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Roger McNamee writes compellingly and The New Normal helped me take a big-picture look at my career. We're always hearing about leaders and followers, but McNamee talks too about individuals and our value in the world and marketplace. Some of his advice is simultaneously motivating and funny:"As always, delay is still a strategy. But it's a reallly, really bad one." Some is thought-provoking: "If we accept the notion that your career is a marathon, then you need nourishment along the way. Nourishment comes from having a life: family, hobbies, charities, a band. Whatever works for you. What matters is that you be passionate about your work and your life." McNamee does a great job pointing out that we could all be working 24/7 and we need to make choices. Since technology gives us new ways to both save time and waste time, McNamee cautions: "Time is the most precious thing you have. Guard it fiercely." Me, I'm glad I took the time to read this book--you will be too. (And we'll all be glad for the Investor Alerts!)
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Kool-aid drinker on November 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
A "rock star venture capitalist" in the literal sense, I was curious to hear McNamee's views beyond the two-minute clips aired on CNBC. Unlike many of the business books penned by one-hit wonders from the last few years, McNamee has posted super-size returns on early stage and public investments for two decades. While the title suggests a total paradigm shift in today's market economy, the chapters are refreshingly rooted in basic business fundamentals. McNamee doesn't attribute his success to a genius mind or visionary powers -- he writes about working smarter (utilizing technology, exploiting your own competitive advantages, cultivating your network). The New Normal echoes multiple authors: Horatio Alger (get out and do something); Howard Schultz (love what you do); Peter Lynch (invest in things you understand...learn from your mistakes); Warren Buffett (buy and hold...stay the course). McNamee layers in enough self-deprecating stories to remind you he's not Superman (despite succeeding in life, work, music, etc.). His investment theories offer good counsel to portfolio managers and college students alike (e.g. innovation comes in three phases: infrastructure, enabling technology, content & applications. Know what phase we're in to avoid investing in good ideas before their time.). He seems like the kind of guy you'd want to invest your money (he stays in Best Westerns on the road!), serve as your mentor or professor, negotiate multilateral trade agreements, play guitar at your wedding or babysit your kid. Good read.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Stephen B on December 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Bought this on a whim. Like many business books, it offers a tantalizing insight into a successful person's life. But like many business books, it is long on broad, overarching concepts but short on actual reccomendations. I too can be a pundit and sagacious by saying, " To make money, all one has to do is pick the correct stock and buy it." - but without reccomendations on what that one might be, it is less useful advice.

I think this is a useful book for someone who is in their mid 20's and is beginning to make their way in the world. The advice it offers about a constant state of change in the future is valid, but it doesn't offer much concrete information on exactly what to do with that information. An enjoyable read, but not a must-read or a first line book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on January 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover
If you're looking for a "how-to" book to help you find your way in the new economy, there are countless insights in "The New Normal" that will help you understand the major issues facing investors today. If you are looking for an honest account of how an individual in his twenties with good instincts and a willingness to do research, created his own place in the world, this book is for you. What was valuable to me in reading "The New Normal" were McNamee's strategies for thinking outside the box, and his suggestions about how to develop a sound approach to entrepreneurship. The book also gives the clear message that technology IS the future. No matter what field you are in, there are ideas and points of reference here that will enhance your career and heighten your success. In this book, you will find no-nonsense, sound advice based on experience, intelligence and a genuine desire to help others achieve their goals.
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