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The End of Big: How the Digital Revolution Makes David the New Goliath
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The End of Big: How the Digital Revolution Makes David the New Goliath

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  146 ratings  ·  29 reviews
How seemingly innocuous technologies are unsettling the balance of power by putting it in the hands of the masses--and what a world without "big" will mean for all of us In "The End of Big," Internet pioneer and Harvard Kennedy School lecturer Nicco Mele draws on nearly twenty years of experience to explore the consequences of revolutionary technology.

Our ability to connec
Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 13th 2014 by Picador (first published January 29th 2013)
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First of all, the author is my firstborn, so I do have a bias. That out of the way, I read this book not once but several times, as he wrote it and most recently a review copy which I just completed. Each rereading impressed me with Nicco's (sorry but he is family!) vision and analysis. I don't agree with everything he asserts in this book, but he works with, teaches and has thought deeply about the impact on society of all of the technologies he examines and I do not. I think this is an importa ...more
Alex B
Jan 14, 2013 Alex B rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone hoping to change the world; anyone running those BIG institutions that could see their end;
Shelves: work-related
Nicco effectively synthesizes the changes going on in every aspect of society into a strong narrative of our times. Digital technologies, enabling "radical connectivity," are destabilizing, disrupting, or simply changing every aspect of the modern world, that is for sure.

Ultimately I really enjoyed End of Big because it challenged some of what I've been thinking, brought new ideas to my attention, and had a great tone of exploration and passion for the subject. I sometimes wished for a more aca
I enjoyed most of this book. In a world where large corporations seem to rule, it was refreshing to read about the little guy who is thriving. A lot of the book was about the political system and the military, otherwise I probably would have given this one five stars! Howard Dean's rise was rehashed and I didn't find it all that interesting.

That being said, this is an overall good read! While I don't agree with everything the author espouses, it was still interesting. Easy to read, it flowed ni
Mary Helene
He tells a story which makes sense of what's happening!
In a successful attempt to distinguish himself from the marketplace, Mele has adopted a Cassandra-like viewpoint, seeing the online environment through cautionary rather than rose-tinted glasses. That could have been refreshing, but his book is one of those tremendously disappointing works in which the author ties a few anecdotal observations into vastly inflated, overgeneralized claims he cannot support. Whether this is due to intellectual laziness (Mele cops to painting with a broad brush towa ...more
Daniel (Attack of the Books!) Burton
The End of Big by Nicco MeleIf Thomas Friedman's thesis in his 2005 The World Is Flat is that globalization has led to a flatter playing field, then The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath tells author Nicco Mele's vision that the ultimate tool of that equalization is the internet.

In truth, it's not a hard argument to make.

An young tech geek when the Howard Dean for President campaign hired him to help with their online fundraising, Mele learned first hand how the internet
Peter Mcloughlin
Big centralized institutions like media, government, big political parties, the entertainment industry, big universities, and of course big business grew larger through the twentieth century and more slow moving, sometimes unresponsive and corrupt. Dissatisfaction with these institutions and their leaders deaf ear to the consumers and rank and file is now challenged by massive interconnectivity of the web which empowers individuals.
Before we cheerfully dispose of former fat cats like the music
Many great examples of how the connectivity of the Internet empowers individuals and small groups to compete effectively with established institutions. Covers a broad range of fields, from publishing to government to business to entertainment. I particularly liked the balanced approach of pointing out the positive things that institutions provide, which may be lost if they are put out of business by small guys -- like the news coverage that's being lost as newspapers with large investigative rep ...more
I'm divided on this one; I agreed with many of Mele's observations and his overall narrative, but some of his evidence and anecdotes made me cringe. Athens as a paradigm shift; Howard Dean, the amateur politician and, perhaps most egregious, everyone will have the ability to access energy generated by your friendly neighborhood wind and solar panels and we'll all be using electric cars within two decades. This, in addition to everyone using a 3D printer so they can print out their shoes and clot ...more
Tara Brabazon
Well, I wasn't expecting that... This year I've read an array of mediocre books in internet studies, often demonizing 'the young people' and 'social media.' Then I opened Nicco Mele's The end of big. As with many books in this genre, 'the internet' is a threat to - well - civilization. However there is a deep and searching ambivalence that renders this book important.

At times, it is a book of mourning: what we have lost through the decline of 'big' institutions. His work on the loss of the media
Got bored after two chapters. It may be interesting to a person who is not in technology or following what's happening. Otherwise the book is simply recording a few relevant events in the history and offering very few insights.
Good collection of recent web 2.0 innovation stories for different domain. I knew much of the stories - so was a skimmer. Been thinking through API economy and platform business - and I found the book helpful in that regard.
In "The End of Big" Mele, a former political operative for Howard Dean details how interconnectivity and its distributional effects are shattering traditional paradigms in political parties, journalism, business, government, and militaries. This ultimately allows smaller entities, be they people or organizations to form their own parties, develop their own "news", create their own startups, participate more fully in the democratic process, and combat armies much larger than themselves. In many w ...more
The End of Big is not a book I would have ever picked up on my own. It came highly recommended but I knew from the outset that it wouldn’t move me. Mele laments the End of Big by referring to an American project that I was never fully invested in. Every time he writes about the value of Big politics, government, media, minds, companies, etc. I just rolled my eyes and thought “those big institutions never valued black people.” The big accountability he wants to reestablish has actively enslaved, ...more
Phil Simon
An excellent synthesis of major economic, social, and technological forces

Mele ties many ostensibly disparate trends into a cohesive whole. To be clear, this is anything but a tactical book. As he mentions early on, each chapter could serve as serval deep books. No, I don't always agree with his viewpoint, specifically, on the ephemeral nature of platforms and the culpability of software consultants on failed IT projects. A few minor quibbles aside, the power of the Internet and disruptive tech
Mark Chadbourn
This is an important book. We're going through the fastest period of change in human history and one that's accelerating - everything we're used to is going to alter in some way, and if you want to survive with your job, finances, health and sanity intact, you have to be prepared for what's coming. The End of Big is your road map.

Nicco Mele, who sits on the faculty of Harvard's Kennedy School, examines the changes that are rushing through different sectors: business, the news media, the entertai
Robert Chapman
When I first picked up this book I thought it would be about how big = bad and small (or new) = better. The obvious things come to mind such as anyone with a smart phone and a Twitter account being able to provide real-time coverage of unfolding events, thus ending our reliance upon the big news outlets and the bias that often comes with their political affiliations.

I was pleasantly surprised in how the depth of this book far exceeded my expectations and presented a thorough view of both the pos
Roberto Gallardo
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kevin Kasowski
the book just felt contrived -- taking some ideas that do have a good bit of truth to them (that the Internet is changing the ability of traditional big institutions (political parties, school systems, etc.) to control our lives -- but then taking a very one-sided uncritical view of the world to make it seem like that is all that is going on when in reality those big institutions retain quite a lot of power indeed. It seemed like he was trying to write another "Future Shock" or such but didn't r ...more
Barbara Kilpatrick
Very well written, including bibliographies, spoken with a tone of assurance and credence, excellent lessons put forth, thank you to the author.
Interesting, technological and philosophical. The future is segmented and small: from one centralized place of services products to smaller more diverse places: wall mart vs. etsy/quirky, one big bank vs. smaller credit unions/bitcoin/paypal... The challenge will be the organization and quality standard of many smaller parts/unions.
I wanted to be enthralled by this book, to be drawn into contemplation of the future. I wasn't. Instead, I found myself skimming its pages feeling rather bored. It didn't come alive for me and I am generally a huge fan of alternative views.
Very good 4.4. Reducing big--companies, political parties, newspapers, government, entertainment, etc.
Thought provoking, More accessibility, transparency, accountability and responsiveness expected.
I read things all the time that make me think of this book and feel smart because the author has already told me about them. Seriously, it's exciting to read, well-written and right on the money.
Arief Wicaksono
Content of this book is not as catchy as its title. I got so many "so what"; I feel like having several anti-climax going thru chapters and sub-chapters that were presented in provocative manner.
Highly recommended if you are interested in how the internet is changing how the world operates.
A thought-provoking book. Way to go, Nicco!
awesome & life changing - read it.
Jacques Louvelle
Jacques Louvelle marked it as to-read
Nov 26, 2015
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NICCO MELE – entrepreneur, angel investor, and consultant to Fortune 1000 companies – is one of America’s leading forecasters of business, politics, and culture in our fast-moving digital age.

Born to Foreign Service parents, Nicco spent his early years in Asia and Africa before graduating from the College of William and Mary in Virginia with a bachelor’s degree in government. He then worked for s
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