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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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Michael Lewis provides a very insightful look into the psyche of Silicon Valley through the eyes of Jim Clark.
Lewis writes the book in a way that indicates that he's an author that knows he's got nothing but has invested far too much time in research to try to turn back.
I think Biff Tannen (you know Biff from Back to the Future) would have been better off with this book than his Sports Almanac.
Excellent book lifting the veil on how the internet came into our lives...for ever!!Published 2 days ago by Maurice O'Brien
Not as good as Michael Lewis' other books-he did not capture the essence of Silicon Valley with this book.Published 5 days ago by cindy williams
Not the best Michael Lewis book that I have read and obviously 15 years dated. Would be fun to have him 2 chapters to say where all is now...Published 9 days ago by JMR
This book makes it sound like Jim Clark was responsible or was the fore runner for everything creative to come out of Silicon Valley. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Bob
The parts of the growth of Clark's companies and the more centrally focused Silicon Valley focus: superb and riveting. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Zachary Thomas
Story holds your attention. Want to make One Billion dollars? Who doesn't? Jim Clark helped dozens of people become millionaires. See how.Published 29 days ago by Ron
I spent my life building mortgage companies in silicon valley. The offline mortgage business was lifted up by Jim Clark and THE next big thingPublished 1 month ago by William Dallas