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Next: The Future Just Happened

3.63  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,092 Ratings  ·  84 Reviews
In Liar's Poker barbarians seized control of the bond markets. In The New New Thing some guys from Silicon Valley redefined the American economy. Now, with his knowing eye and wicked pen, Michael Lewis reveals how the Internet boom has encouraged great change in the way we live, work, and think. He finds that we are in the midst of one of the greatest revolutions in the hi ...more
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Published July 31st 2001 by Random House Audio (first published 2001)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,358)
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Jan 13, 2010 Eric_W rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: current-affairs
This is an excellent book that rationally examines the Internet and the social change it has invoked. Rather than just bemoan and whine about the impact, Lewis has bothered to investigate the reasons for the myriad changes. His book should be required reading for sociology and business classes. He has a sarcastic wit yet keen insight into the radical shifts that have taken place, and he speculates on what the future might bring.

Central to Lewis's observations is the idea that the Internet has al
Sep 20, 2011 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lewis is one of the more entertaining business writers out there. His hands on experience as a trader at Salomon Brothers gives a unique "been there done that and know what I am talking about" type of perspective. His best writings are on financial markets - Liar's Poker, The Big Short - and his devastating portraits of Eurozone casulaties in Vanity Fair. Despite his abundant talents, he navigates less certain terrain when he writes about the world of high-tech. His New New Thing and The Future ...more
Apr 19, 2015 Arpita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A thoroughly engaging book with the author taking on the role of a story-teller. Michael Lewis provides a fascinating view of the people behind the turmoil caused by the internet. The pyramid to pancake theory was an eye-opener and goes a long way in showing how 'outsiders' have been empowered by the reach of the world wide web. It made me wonder if there's a limit on how many masks we have to smear on to help us cope with life. The obsessive need to update our profiles online, however, only goe ...more
Mar 08, 2010 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
I really enjoyed this book. Essentially, this is a book about how new technologies, mostly the internet, have interrupted and changed the world that we have grown accustomed to. A few examples:

The law profession is increasingly being pushed towards business-ization and commoditization. and lawyers advertising their services and the huge number of people getting legal advice from answers websites like are some examples.

The finance world is turned on its head as brokers bec
Dec 29, 2012 Sam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Ever want to know what had just happened and was about to happen--ten years ago? Here's your book! Michael Lewis catalogs several bizarre delights from the formative years--have they begun to end yet?--of our beloved Internet. We meet the first 15-year old to be charged by the SEC with stock manipulation, discover the Manchester youth who dreams of the next Napster and helped to promote peer-to-peer computing (that's bit-torrent, n00bs), and consider the ramifications of a little, black box call ...more
Apr 25, 2014 Daniel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some reviews of Next speak of it as “dated,” but this is a misleading description. Of course, some of the stories Lewis tells here—about TiVo or Gnutella, for instance—were more edgy when the book was published in 2001. But, as with Walden, the issues remain, regardless of the age of the vehicle. In that book, Thoreau tells his readers, “What old people say you cannot do, you try and find that you can. Old deeds for old people, and new deeds for new." This is Lewis’s theme: the ways in which the ...more
Michael Tarpinian
It is interesting to read a book about the future that was written nine years ago. Nokia will lead the smartphone revolution and Microsoft is working to become an internet company. Keep working on that one Mr. Balmer.

Much of it was spot on, but some of the changes can’t be predicted. Progress does not move in a straight, orderly line.

Nobody could have predicted facebook, youtube, and the iPod. And Lewis did not try.

Just as people needed to other people to tell them who they were, ideas needed ot
Micah Neely
Dec 04, 2014 Micah Neely rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: journalism
I prefer his finance books, but this one still read beautifully. Felt like an extra-long form Atlantic article.

Spoiler alert: the title is somewhat ironical. This is not about the future or predicting the changes that tech will bring; it's somewhat more about how tech trends reflect the the concurrent social changes. That makes it a much harder book to write and possibly to read, but it's worth your time given its brief size.

I'll add that a lot of Michael Lewis books get read mostly wrong. I'm
Kevin Hanks
May 30, 2014 Kevin Hanks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting read... the author focused on the Internet and the different effects of its adoption into society. I was fascinated by the accounts of how the internet upended old social systems and introduced variables into economics, consumerism, and politics that didn't exist 25 years ago. It was utterly fascinating and entertaining to read these accounts. While it was interesting and fascinating, I thought it lacked a cohesive thesis. I couldn't quite figure out what the point of the book was, o ...more
Not really my cup of tea. But it still interests me at times because i always love reading about the impacts of technology on society.
With the coming of the internet, the outsiders (computer geeks) became the insiders, while the insiders (corporate America) were either left behind or scrambling to get a piece of the action. The author illustrates with profiles of teens who used the internet to get around the system. There is 15-year-old Jonathan Lebed who made over a million in online trading by impacting share prices with his posted opinions. Marcus Arnold, 15, dispensed legal advice on a law website and became a sought-after ...more
With the coming of the internet, the outsiders (computer geeks) became the insiders, while the insiders (corporate America) were either left behind or scrambling to get a piece of the action. The author illustrates with profiles of teens who used the internet to get around the system. There is 15-year-old Jonathan Lebed who made over a million in online trading by impacting share prices with his posted opinions. Marcus Arnold, 15, dispensed legal advice on a law website and became a sought-after ...more
Derek Neighbors
Mar 23, 2014 Derek Neighbors rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy Lewis' writing in general, but I particularly liked where he went with Next. Showing how the Internet boom has changed everything. Telling the tale of the revolution with real life stories from those leading it. With a 13 year old son interested in technology and already making money on it, truer words couldn't exist. The Internet exposes so much yet hides things in a way that a pre-teen can be a legal expert or a stock trader. After reading this you might have to ask yourself how aware ...more
Oct 28, 2009 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In 2001, author Michael Lewis wrote the book, Next: The Future Just Happened, which reveals truths from nearly a decade ago, many of which still ring true today. Lewis is more famously known for works such as, Liar’s Poker and The Money Culture. He writes mainly on the economy, and more recently sports, although his book Next takes us into the ever-changing Internet age.

In this four-part book readers are taken into worlds that now seem to be all too familiar. The first is the story of a teenage
Feb 16, 2016 May rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
While not quite as raw informative as Lewis's prior books, Next is a fantastic, short read. Lewis identifies the nuances of the ways that internet is changing society. However, unlike so many hokey, feel good pieces, he demonstrates how this is upsetting the balance of "things" and the ways in which these "things" are playing out in the landscape of existing norms.

Instead of thinking of the possibilities of where science can take you as other books about the tech advancement do, Lewis asks the
Steven Grimm
Apr 25, 2012 Steven Grimm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book from 2001 on the social changes being wrought by the Internet. Is it still relevant in 2012? Yep!

The first half or so of this book is a great read, focusing on the stories of a couple of teenagers who made established authorities in the financial and legal worlds look pretty foolish. The SEC is shown as especially buffoonish. Even though it's over a decade old, the first couple stories are still fresh and entertaining and relevant.

The book starts to show its age a bit in the second half a
Jane Stewart
5 stars for three stories which surprised and delighted me. 2 stars for the rest.

The author researched and interviewed people and then wrote several stories with some interpretation at the end. Most of the stories are internet related and happened more than ten years ago. Three of the stories I hadn’t heard of, and I was fascinated. I was laughing out loud with the first two stories, hearing conversations with parents and other adults. The book is worthwhile for those three stories. For me, on h
May 09, 2009 Allisonperkel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Sometimes you are reading a book and phrases pop into your brain - for Next the phrases were "You're doing it wrong" and "trying too hard".

The general theme of the book seems to be based around the disruption of technology and the generational confusion that this has caused. This by itself is an interesting theme. Sadly his take read more like a "gee, the kids today - look how they are upsetting the apple cart" and "gee, adults today look how they don't get it". These are not themes I can get b
One might think a circa 2000-01 take on the disruptive power of the internet would be old news by now. The stories that Michael Lewis highlights on this topic aren't the ones you'd expect though - no "kids in a garage" narratives on the rise of the Googles of the world. Instead he finds stories that illustrate disruption to the norms of social order, like a teenager who used his legal knowledge - developed from watching Law & Order episodes - to become the highest-reviewed commentator on a p ...more
So this chronicles the early days of the internet. Published in 2001 and chronicling a few of the early adopters, and standout stories of democratization and youthful successes. It has interesting things to say about youthfulness and aging computer geeks and a very prescient chapter on the rise of Tivo and how people consume media - and avoid commercials. Overall, enjoyable and short 'read' that made me appreciate Michael Lewis more for catching the theme so early.
Debbie Jacob
Mar 15, 2016 Debbie Jacob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Always an entertaining writer, Michael Lewis tells a tale of horror as he exposes how teenagers use and abuse the Internet with no sense of ethics. Equally disturbing is his revelation about how companies target a younger and younger audience when designing technology. Because it was written in 2002, some of Lewis's predictions about how technology and the Internet could be used have actually come to pass, making this book a version of George Orwell's 1984.
Brian Sobolak
Aug 28, 2008 Brian Sobolak rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fictiony
As always, brilliant.

Michael Lewis' ability to take fairly complex things and explain them really well is amazing. And he explores some heavy stuff here: colonizing the future, generational conflict, and why the SEC never asked a kid exactly what he did to earn $800K.

I enjoyed this book for its accessibility and finished it feeling like I had read a book of philosophy. Not philosophy with a capital p that leaves you numb (epistemology this is not) but it does make you profoundly consider what th
Dec 11, 2013 Lexi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The best part of this book is the first story about Jonathan Lebed, a teenager investigated by the SEC for making $800,000 in part through promoting penny stocks online. Unfortunately, the rest of the book didn't live up to the standard set by that first story. The author essentially admits the book's flaws in his afterword (amidst awkward jokes about 9/11):

"It's too early to say whether the stories in this book capture the general drift of American capitalism and democracy or are simply sui ge
Jeremy Raper
Every time I read a Michael Lewis book I find myself ripping through it in a few days, blithely agreeing with most of his arguments and then forgetting about it shortly after - which I guess is not the highest praise you could give an author.

This effort, on the social effects of the Internet (written in 2001), argues basically what you might expect - the Internet has democratized and decentralized centers of power, knowledge and wealth, from corporations to family units - and is eminently reada
Mar 05, 2015 Anthoferjea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lewis is, as usual, amazingly prescient. This book isn't as well-written as Moneyball or Boomerang (the other two of his books I've read), but it's still incredibly fascinating. His economic literacy is off the charts, which is rare for a journalist who also loves human stories. Pair this up with the recent New Yorker article "The Virologist" and you've got a (kind of dystopic) read on the world of youth, money, and the internet.
Nicholas Moryl
Overlooked at the time it was published, Next is quite a prescient book. Although there are some diversions into futurism and some uncritical rose-colored glasses moments, the book makes overall accurate predictions about the impact, after 2001, of the internet on modern life, the effects of which we are still feeling and digesting.
Selim Tlili
Jul 12, 2015 Selim Tlili rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written book that stands the test of time. Written in 2002 the chapters are still relevant nearly 14 years later. Lewis described how the Internet would alter life in a fairly prescient manner. It's worth reading even though it is outdated.
Jun 06, 2014 June rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stories about the internet's possibilities, including the 15 year old investor from Cedar Grove who talked up a stock, the child who gave legal advise, and the men who invented and then reinvented file servers. interesting but very piecemeal.
Filipe Lemos
2,5 stars A book about the future written 10 years ago

I guess if I'd complain about the outdatedness of this book, I'd be missing the whole point.

(to be completed)
Omar Leal
Overall a well written book. It is especially reading it 10+ years after it was originally printing. Both because Mr. Lewis has continued to improve as a writer but also because it captures the internet at a point in its development before it becomes the ubiquitous presence it not is. Although some of the specific examples are a bit out dated, the issues raised by the book are still relevant today. Not a long read, and thus I would recommend it.
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Michael Lewis, the best-selling author of Liar’s Poker, The Money Culture, The New New Thing, Moneyball, The Blind Side, Panic, Home Game, The Big Short, and Boomerang, among other works, lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife and three children.
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“Inside every alienated hacker who thinks he stands for the “good things that ultimately don’t matter to most businesses” there is a tycoon struggling to get out.” 0 likes
“And who would deny that the consumer demand for ever more stuff at ever cheaper prices is one of the great deterministic forces in history?” 0 likes
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