The New New Thing: A Silicon Valley Story
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The New New Thing: A Silicon Valley Story

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3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  2,456 ratings  ·  136 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 foun...more
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Published August 15th 2008 by Brilliance Audio (first published January 1st 1999)
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Amber
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
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...more
Tuxlie
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
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...more
Pete
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...more
Zarko
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.
Tom
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.
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
Melanie
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...more
Jane Stewart
2 stars for entertainment. 3 stars for dry biographical information about a guy and the computer industry in the 1990s.

REVIEWER’S OPINION:
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...more
Damon
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
Rick
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
Avadhut
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...more
Nicholas
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jim
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...more
Ty
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
Michael
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
Adam
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.
Daniel
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...more
Steven Bragg
Lewis writes great books, but this was not one of them. Instead of his usual in-depth analysis, the plot skips around among a variety of topics without really locking onto any one item and drilling down into it. The book also feels dated - much more so than his other books from the same general period.
Jeff Carroll
The New New Thing tells the story (or at least part of it) of serial-entrepreneur Jim Clark, founder of Netscape, Healtheon and Silicon Graphics. Great companion piece to Netscape Time: The Making of the Billion-Dollar Start-Up That Took On Microsoft, which was released the same year.
Mandana
A close-up on dot.com bubble from a very unique perspective. I have learned A LOT about how companies develop or used to develop in Silicon Valley, and how collaboration and belief lead to creation of multi-billion dollar companies from scratch.

In short, the book is centered around the personal character of an innovator, Jim Clark. It is about the spirit of team-work, the status of venture capitalists, risk takers and future believers in the cycle of innovation. Also, I have learned about the r...more
Linnae
In the "greatest legal creation of wealth in history" that was Silicon Valley, all roads lead to Jim Clark. A man with an unremarkable past, who is an inventor--not of objects, but of ideas. Ideas that tend to become multi-billion dollar companies rather quickly. A man who thinks best when tinkering on his yacht, the biggest ever built up to that time. A man whose ideas turned the business world, and its accepted models and means of making money, on its head. Lewis attempts to unravel the enigma...more
Riley
The New New Thing is an account of the overnight success of Silicon Valley startups as told through the biography of Netscape founder Jim Clark. The book is well written and well researched, but I felt Michael Lewis searched for profundity in areas where it may not have existed. For instance, Clark learning how to fly a helicopter is a telling look into his drive and iconoclastic character -- and not, Lewis insists, a typical example of the noveau riche playing with their latest toys. It might h...more
Jesse Decker
I'm a Michael Lewis fan. I like his writing, and I like his choice of subject matter. All in all his books are good. The New New Thing, however, his look at Jim Clark, founder of Netscape, Healtheon, and other huge companies, was just dull. The first 20% and last 10% were interesting. The rest ... meh.

I sort of enjoyed the early parts of the book because I don’t live very far north of Silicon Valley and it was fun to read because Beth and I are enjoying the area so much. That couldn’t carry me t...more
Garrick
Michael Lewis usually finds a gripping story (Michael Oher) or ground zero for a sea change (the Moneyball A's). While Jim Clark is quite the character and the Internet boom was fascinating, he just doesn't quite hit the mark with this one. He's still an excellent writer and this book is even more interesting after the bust (and boom and bust and now boom). But there were other figures of the era that were more successful (Jeff Bezos) and Jim Clark has largely faded from view--even Clark's lacke...more
John Grange
It was an interesting read simply because Jim Clark, the subject of the book, is absolutely fascinating. The prose itself lacked depth and color. It was a decent book however and a very quick read.
Rene
Aug 17, 2010 Rene rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Another great book from Michael Lewis. The story is basically Michael going through a period of time with Jim Clark. If you don't know who he is, Google him. He's brilliant! From his humble roots, to starting the biggest companies in the US, to his uncanny ability to come with ideas that were ahead of their time and his obsession with his remote controlled sailboat. Michael gives us an insight into what makes Jim tick and how he sees life. Never a dull moment! Affordable computers for more than...more
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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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