Next: The Future Just Happened
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Next: The Future Just Happened

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  786 ratings  ·  71 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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Eric_W
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...more
John
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
Brian
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. LegalZoom.com and lawyers advertising their services and the huge number of people getting legal advice from answers websites like askme.com are some examples.

The finance world is turned on its head as brokers bec...more
Daniel
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
Kevin Hanks
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
Jordy
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.
Derek Neighbors
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
Chris Aldrich
Generally the excellent writing and storytelling we expect from Lewis. Alas, the coverage is becoming a bit dated making it more interesting historical vignettes from the "early" days of the internet. It makes an interesting time capsule of some of the philosophies of the early web, but is difficult to read it now given my personal background. For those who missed the early days, this builds some of the requisite background for what has ultimately become the social web and should thus be require...more
Chris
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...more
May
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...more
Steven Grimm
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...more
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...more
Allisonperkel
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...more
Matt
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
Brian Sobolak
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...more
Lexi
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...more
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...more
June
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.
Sam
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
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.
Dave Golombek
I didn't find Next as compelling as Michael Lewis's other books, which I've greatly enjoyed. Perhaps it just hasn't stood the test of time as well as many of his others (Liar's Poker could just have easily been about the recent financial collapse). The first couple characters described in Next are excellent and hightlight his overall points well, but the book doesn't hold up as well towards the end. Or perhaps I just feel like I know too much about Danny Hillis and Bill Joy for his relatively br...more
Jim Tucker
The author believes (and writes) that we are in one of the greatest status revolutions of all times, meaning in this case, that the technological age that is upon us is being and will continue to be led by the young rather than the older individuals of society. The teen-agers will rule the world, because they are the ones with sufficient time, energy, and motivation to master the present portals to that era that is either to come or here already. This book is either frightening (to the oldsters)...more
Mark Kricheff
Several good stories but insights are dated. I think this is true of some of his other work, Liar's Poker in particular.
Scott
As with his other books, Michael Lewis did a great job of telling the story of how some guys from Silicon Valley redefined the American economy. Even though the book is over 10 years old, it is visionary.

Eric
You wouldn't think that a book written in 2001 about the impact of the internet on our social order would be of much interest in 2011, given how much more the story has evolved since then. That would probably be true for most authors, but Michael Lewis (The Big Short, Moneyball, Liar's Poker) has a way of finding the most interesting people at the heart of a societal issue and telling their story as if over beers with the reader. Though not my favourite Lewis book nor even in the top half of his...more
Debra Blasi
This book is critical for anyone interested in what's coming down the pike. The book demonstrates how the younger and youngest generations take for granted internet technologies, without the grumbling, hand-wringing, and misinterpretations of older generations...like 25-year-olds. The publishing industry has already been changed by technologies, and so has reading and writing literature. More changes on their way. Use the book to better understand what's possible, what's probably, and what hasn'...more
Phil Simon
While I might have been a bit late discovering Next, it was actually interesting to read the book with the benefit of that type of hindsight. Lewis is, as with his other books, focused on telling the stories of interesting folks indicative of larger trends. I was particularly intrigued by the example of English prog rock band Marillion and how it obviated the need for a record contract and company.

My only regret: that it took me so long to find out about this book.
Michael Harris
I purchased everything Michael Lewis wrote after reading Liar's Poker. In Next, Lewis with his story tellers style, shows us how the internet has re-ordered the establishment in a number of silos of life ... finance and capital markets, expert information, intellectual property, social norms and opinions and thinking about the future. It is an easy and very thought provoking read and is as relevant in 2011 (soon to be 2012) as it was in 2001 when it was written.
Nicholas
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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.

His latest book, Flash Boys, was published on March 31, 2014.
More about Michael Lewis...
Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game Liar's Poker Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World

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