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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.
Not his best effort, but part of that is the subject matter and timing. Jim Clark is a fascinating man, but this was published in 1999 when his career was much more in the public... Read morePublished 18 days ago by Humble Servant
The audio was great! The narrator used many voice inflections and some special effects, which made the story more enjoyable and kept my attention. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Paul H Schaaf
I adored the first half. I got a bit bored in the second half.
Spoiler alert: This book doesn't touch on the fall of the internet boom. Read more
not up to boomerang standards, but does describe a personality type.Published 1 month ago by Some thoughts
A bit hyperbolic perhaps but having lived through that era in Silicon Valley, I know how many people, including me, were captivated by the idea T they could get richer than they... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jack Ellis
This was my first Michael Lewis book and it did not disappoint. He captures moments like no author I have ever read. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Rachel