- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 9 hours and 25 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Brilliance Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: September 29, 2008
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B001H071HC
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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The New New Thing: A Silicon Valley Story Audiobook – Unabridged
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Top customer reviews
Explaining the how's, why's, and differences between the old way of doing things and the new (or new new) way of doing things can be tricky, because it assumes you have some understanding of how the old (or old old) way of doing things works. I'm not a Wall Street investor, but I felt not only capable of understanding Lewis' framework of explanation, but I felt like I could extrapolate deeper meaning from it. He manages to paint fascinating pictures of all the people involved in the pursuit of the new new thing and how their constellation manages to orbit itself as it becomes standard operating practice in the growing tech industry.
I also felt like I could better understand how the minds of billionaire "executives" (as Lewis points out, Jim Clark wasn't exactly sure how to describe exactly what it was he does) and how they anticipate the next new new thing, why it interests them, and how quickly it starts to lose their interest. If you can understand someone like Clark, you can start to understand the industry.
Does that that mean I wouldn't recommend it? No! I still liked it, and would recommend it as a "good" read, I was disappointed because I expect a "great" read from this author.
Although I doubt commercial interest warrants, this book could use an updated epilogue, particularly surrounding Healtheon/WebMD, which I have to think does not at all match the original vision.
As usual, very well written and engaging; always the case with Lewis. I didn't find Jim Clark as sympathetic as I think I was intended to, and as a result some of the chapters focused on him personally (especially his flying a helicopter, and sailing his boat across the Atlantic) dragged a bit.
Lewis is a master of engaging character portrayals, with intoxicating and hyperbolic prose. He plays objective narrator throughout, sometimes interfering with the plot, but holds no punches in describing Clark's maniacal quest for wealth.
In the end, there is a wonderful demonstration that wealth doesn't bring happiness with it. From p. 258: "Why do people perpetually create for themselves the condition for their own dissatisfaction?" -- an retort to Clark's statement that "Once I have more money than Larry Ellison, I'll be satisfied". A few years earlier, satisfaction for Clark amounted to a measly $10 million on the bank; that number mushroomed to $1 billion.
Throughout, Lewis conveys the feeling of the Internet bubble of the late 90s; the wealthy, controlling venture capitalists; the insanely-priced IPOs for companies that had no clue how to make money. So yes, that's all a bunch of old old things by now, and if I were looking for a historical account of that period, the book would be worth only 4 stars; yet, I was going for the portrait of Clark, and for those who lived through it, the book is a good behind the scenes look at the creation of Silicon Graphics, Netscape, and Healtheon.
Most recent customer reviews
This book was originally published in 2000 and written over the course of the previous...Read more
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