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New New Thing, The: A Silicon Valley Story

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  3,130 ratings  ·  159 reviews
“A superb book. . . . [Lewis] makes Silicon Valley as thrilling and intelligible as he made Wall Street in his best-selling Liar’s Poker.” — Time

In the weird glow of the dying millennium, Michael Lewis set out on a safari through Silicon Valley to find the world’s most important technology entrepreneur. He found this in Jim Clark, a man whose achievements include the found
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Published August 15th 2008 by Brilliance Audio (first published January 1st 1999)
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My least favorite of the in-depth Lewis books, but that's not saying much. Unlike Liar's Poker, which Lewis thought would bring sweeping change by bringing some sketchy practices to light but still rings true, The New New Thing feels dated now, 10 years later. Nonetheless, as someone who understood the late 1990s tech boom only peripherally, this book was insightful, both in terms of those companies' business models (or lack thereof, as the case may be) and some of the relevant personalities. (S ...more
Mark Ruzomberka
It is hard to fathom Jim Clark, whom this book is really about, lead three different Billion Dollar companies: Silicon Graphics, Netscape, and Healtheon (WebMD). He and his companies are the focus of this book. The author also gives a heck of a review of the crazy times that were the late 1990s in technology but as well as the stock market. I think Biff Tannen (you know Biff from Back to the Future) would have been better off with this book than his Sports Almanac. Imagine knowing the exact comp ...more
Lewis, Michael, (1999) The New New Thing, W.W. Norton & Company, New York, NY. A witty and insightful look into the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Silicon Valley, told as a story of the adventures of Jim Clark, a serial entrepreneur. One of the best books ever written on the Valley.
Quick read, like most of Michael Lewis' books, but it felt less engaging than others. But, despite this book being published over a decade ago, it's still relevant and provides a lot of interesting context for the beginnings of the tech industry as we know it today.

One main takeaway was how Jim Clark helped to shift the startup value system to favor labor (founders) and their ideas/execution over capital (VCs), but that's only true for some companies (Google, Facebook, etc.) but not for others,
Mattaca Warnick
The New New Thing chronicles a few years in the life of Jim Clark, billionaire founder of Netscape and Healtheon. Part biography, part internet success story, The New New Thing doesn't have the same focus as Moneyball or The Blind Side, meandering from Clark's various business successes to his obsession with building a computerized sailboat. The book would have benefited from a stronger narrative thread. Lewis's efforts to coin a phrase ("the new new thing") also fall flat.

Ultimately, Clark is
Richard Block
Hero Worshipping the Devil

Michael Lewis - one of my favourites - often centres his books around heroes - whether nice or nasty - and the New New Thing has his most blatant hero so far - Jim Clark. He is as repulsive as a hero gets, often confusing us with his selfish, ludicrous behaviour. Lewis falls for Clark like a high school sweetheart - blindly in love, yet somehow keeping enough of his senses to avoid being buggered to death.

Jim Clark is a genius, and as such invites our sympathy. Having a
Not my favorite Lewis. Not because it isn't well written, but mainly subject matter. I'm more of a value man (Graham & Dodd), not a kamikaze investor. The whole idea of the New New thing is both interesting and a bit repellant to me. I love disruptive businesses, but I'm just not a fan of the smoke and mirrors of the early parts of these businesses. Anyway, I'll think over this a bit more tonight and write more tomorrow.

- Robert Farwell / Edward Jones library / Mesa, AZ 20
I love Lewis' style of writing and have thoroughly enjoyed this book. My personal interest in Web and it's history was one of the reasons why I picked up this book in the first place and although it follows the career of one man, Jim Clark, the founder of Netscape, I still found it very interesting.
Peter L
The 2nd of Michael Lewis's books I found via some excerpt in Vanity Fair or the New York Times that changed my life forever! His ability to tell a story while at the same time pulling out and discerning the key insights to his protagonist's success -in this case new Billionaire and Angel Investor Jim Clark fresh off of knocking one out of the park and shaping what we now cannot go without everyday -the internet- via his venture in Netscape!

He shares many anecdotes and stories with the raw detail
Glenn Conley
After reading this book, I wanted to read everything Michael Lewis every wrote. Then, I found out he loves baseball, or some shit, and wrote a bunch of baseball books. Fuck that shit. Baseball sucks.

But, this book is fucking awesome. Lewis weaves a thrilling tale, with fascinating characters, just like a novel. Of how the west was won. How did all those big start-ups succeed, and why did those epic failures fail. As an entrepreneur, I find this book absolutely thrilling.

If you don't give a fuck
Mar 22, 2014 Tuxlie marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
In the weird glow of the dying millennium, Michael Lewis sets out on a safari through Silicon Valley to find the world's most important technology entrepreneur, the man who embodies the spirit of the coming age. He finds him in Jim Clark, who is about to create his third, separate, billion-dollar company: first Silicon Graphics, then Netscape-which launched the Information Age-and now Healtheon, a startup that may turn the $1 trillion healthcare industry on its head. Despite the variety of his a ...more
The New, New Thing (2001) by Michael Lewis looks at Jim Clark and the internet age. It’s one of a number of books including Nudist on the Night Shift and Triumph of the Nerds that looks at the first Dot-com Bubble in Silicon Valley.
Jim Clark founded Silicon Graphics Incorporated (SGI) which was the computer company that brought real-time 3D graphics to the market. Clark laid out a chip called the geometry engine that was a VLSI design that performed matrix transformations, clipping and mapping a
Nicholas Moryl
"The New New Thing" is a Michael Lewis character study of Jim Clark. Lewis has a tendency to turn people into myths, to put them on pedestals and treat them as forces of nature. This can make anyone or anything he writes about turn into an "other", an object of fascination or something/someone of which to be intimidated. The reality of the events and people in the book was likely much more banal than portrayed, but that shouldn't get in the way of a good story (and this is, without a doubt, a go ...more
Du Nguyen
The New New Thing by Michael Lewis is Lewis' take on Silicon Valley in the time around the end of the millennium. Lewis briefly explains the development of Silicon Valley but the book is mostly about one person, Jim Clark, and the book focuses on the story of Jim Clark. Jim Clark is the founder of Silicon Graphics, Netscape and Healtheon. All of these companies were billion dollar companies and Lewis tries to explain what drives a man to create three billion dollar companies and the changes that ...more
Glenn Robinson
While dated (1994-98), this is still a very good on leadership, goals, surrounding one with smart hardworking executives and then setting new goals. Fascinating bio of James Clark during the heady days of Silicon Valley finding the meaning of the Internet, and the whims of Wall Street. Set on the scene of Clark's home, Clark's Helicopter, plane and 200 foot long sail boat, Michael Lewis shares the thinking that went into Netscape, Healthion and other early start ups. Interesting read. Pretty har ...more
Ugh. The only good thing about this book was that it was short.

I listened to the audio book during my commute. The reader sounds like he is on the verge of panic.

The book reads (sounds) like Jim Clark must have paid for it, either that or the author has a seriously terminal case of hero worship. And you'd think that nothing else ever happened in the silicon valley except things Jim Clark did. Plus it completely ignores the internet bubble phenomenon, apparently greatly inflated by this Jim Clark
Jane Stewart
2 stars for entertainment. 3 stars for dry biographical information about a guy and the computer industry in the 1990s.

I read three other nonfiction books by this author and was fascinated. But this book was not as entertaining. It was dry. It felt like newspaper journalism about one guy and his computer industry activities during the 1990s. It felt obsolete. His 1990s companies are no longer around or in the public eye. The author’s other books were entertaining because they
I really like Michael Lewis' books but reading this one I realised that he seems to always write books about stories that are as yet unfinished. For example, The Blind Side is a good book about football in general and specifically Michael Oher, who last year was just a rookie in the NFL. A significant part of Oher's story was over - his adoption from a Memphis slum by a conservative white upper class family and stardom in high school football - but even now there is a lot of his biography still ...more
Not Michael Lewis' best work, and I've pretty much read them all. He sticks to his usual formula of picking one person who personifies a specific part of American culture at a specific time. In this case, the time is the late-90's Internet boom and the culture is the weird computer-geek millionaires (and billionaires) that were created by the irrational exuberance in the US capital markets at the time. James Clark, the focus of the book, was himself the NEW NEW THING of American business at the ...more
I am a die hard fan of Michael Lewis’s ability to ferret out stories from unexpected corners. Lewis’s books are based on ‘Big Events’, but they are not just chronological accounts. Instead, they are mix of biography and clear elucidation of turning points in history, be it Wall Street or sports. – His protagonists are always impressive to read about – outsiders who defied odds and stood firm in their belief against common wisdom.

Having said that, The New New Thing is so far my least favourite am
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
another well-written and well told story from michael lewis - this time about the founder of silicon graphics, netscape and healtheon jim clark. the focus of lewis's attention is on how clark's unique personality, vision and talents turned him into the prototypical internet billionaire.

of course, the decade that followed the book completely changes the story. clark looks nothing like a visionary genius, but instead a guy who happened be be just crazily believable enough and in the right place at
i bought this book a long time ago and never got around to reading it till this past week. i'm actually glad that i waited as the book now serves as a poignant reminder of good old days gone by..."The New New Thing" is a look at Silicon Valley in the 90's. Michael Lewis chose to profile Jim Clark as his paragon of the era, and a mighty wise choice he made. Clark is one of the biggest characters in a Valley of big characters. the story of Clark's rise from a hick from Plainview, Texas, through th ...more
Breezy, entertainingly written profile of Jim Clark, a nineties Internet entrepreneur. The dominant tone is of slightly bemused glee: the author follows Clark from one escapade to another, as he builds yachts and throws tantrums and almost incidentally makes hundreds of millions of dollars, and, faced with the staggering weirdness of wealth being distributed in this way to this man, writes the book as a profile of a lovable eccentric in a strange land. So kooky, that Jim Clark, but gosh darn if ...more
An interesting look at one of the huge personalities who made the Internet thing happen. Of course, from this distance, it's mostly interesting because it's hard to remember the last time I heard anyone mention Jim Clark.

And I think Lewis really wanted to write a long magazine piece, then thought, "Hey, I bet with a little stretching, I can turn this into a short book that repeats itself a little too often."

Still, entertaining enough. But you're not missing much.
Krishna Kumar
The author brings us a close portrait of Jim Clark, one of the most successful serial entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. In the book, he details the journey of Clark from humble beginnings in Plainview, Texas to his founding of several multi-billion corporations. Lewis also devotes considerable space to Clark's obsession with his computer-controlled boat Hyperion. A good read, but note that the book does not cover the period after the dot-com bust.
Todd Johnson
The relative failings of this book is more a function of the success of Lewis's other books. My expectations with Lewis are always high.

Despite being a straight forward and interesting read, the book felt like it had the wrong narrative arch. I did not find the portions on boating particularly compelling since it didn't seem to lead the the "internet of things." I wonder if given the opportunity to write the book now, Lewis would have positioned the boat story as such. Far more interesting was
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mark Chisnell
Michael Lewis tells a great story, but its subject - internet entrepreneur and searcher for the New New thing, Jim Clark - resolutely refuses to provide Lewis with either an ending, or any kind of reason why he was the one guy that managed to start three, $1Bn companies in the space of a few years. It leaves Lewis with some structural issues which he works around pretty neatly, but it left me headed for Google to find out what happened next.

And that last sentence, combined with a couple of line
Truth and hype in the bubble years

Lewis skillfully tells a very human story of how a technical convergence of networking and computing combined with a mad investor frenzy recreated silicon valley in the late 90's. It's refreshingly free of pedestals or pillories. Having drunk the Koolaid myself in the same bubble I enjoyed learning a new perspective
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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 Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt

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