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

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  1,705 ratings  ·  132 reviews
With his knowing eye and wicked pen, Michael Lewis reveals how the Internet boom has encouraged changes in the way we live, work, and think. In the midst of one of the greatest status revolutions in the history of the world, the Internet has become a weapon in the hands of revolutionaries. Old priesthoods are crumbling. In the new order, the amateur is king: fourteen-year- ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published May 17th 2002 by W. W. Norton Company (first published 2001)
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Average rating 3.69  · 
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 ·  1,705 ratings  ·  132 reviews

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Nov 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Michael Lewis has written another incredibly entertaining book about people exploiting the the latest technologies. A teenager becomes a target of the SEC, for attempting to manipulate the stock market. When confronted by a bunch of SEC officials, the boy simply throws their logic back at them, showing them that their criteria for "manipulation" are nonsensical in today's environment. Another teenager becomes one of the most respected dispensers of legal advice on the Internet. A youth develops ...more
Nov 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
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 rated it liked it
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
Mar 23, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-for-nerds
Interesting look at a book about the beginning of the internet going mainstream. I didn't realize that the book had been written in 2002. It was fun reading about the first teenager to be charged by the SEC or the teenager who answered law questions on AskMe.Com. The invention of TiVo was also interesting to me. Obviously some of the book was dated, but overall I enjoyed it. ...more
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
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 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
there's a good lesson in reading books about the future written in the past. perhaps I would have liked this book when it came out but it seems so dated - the fun parts were the aspects of human behavior gleaned from the portrayal of the people within. ...more
John Findlay
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have read many books by Michael Lewis, and have generally liked them. "Next" was written in 2001, so I finished it about 17 years after it was written. Since the book is about the many changes that the Internet has made to the world, it was interesting to see if what Michael Lewis perceived in 2001 has continued to ring true. And I have to say that the trends he saw seem to have continued. Perhaps the biggest message in the book is that the Internet has flattened the hierarchy. People, includi ...more
Ted Sweeney
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
This was interesting to read well after when it was published in 2001. In some ways, the future laid out in some of the anecdotes has already happened and seems antiquated, i.e. In others, we are still working out how to achieve critical mass on some of the networked capabilities of the internet. Certainly the data gathering talked about in the Tivo section has blossomed and is fully being used by businesses to target consumers.
It would have been fun to catch this one when it came out a
Mar 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
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 26, 2012 rated it liked it
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
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.
Mar 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting food for thought, though (obviously) a bit dated. The premise of the book is how the Internet has changed (and is rapidly changing) society. He uses "Internet" when he really means "the World Wide Web," since it was the Mosaic/Netscape browser that opened up the internet to everyone. But anyway...

Lewis is describing facets of modern America, with some snark, but on the whole in a very judgement-free manner: this is what we've become. But the thing is, we only become this if we allow
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was ok

This would have been a great podcast, very episodic, and yet tied by a theme that runs through the book. Essentially the theme is that the internet was the wild west, and young people were the only ones flexible enough to understand how best to take advantage of it in the early days. It's obviously a dated perspective, but the stories are entertaining, even if its unlikely that Lewis’s overall point is actually entirely poignant. So, I guess that’s my overall view on the book, it has a few i
Jun 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting perspective on progress in technology and the internet in pre-9/11 2001.

There are some interesting insights, such as the manner in which generational change takes place, and how outsiders go about becoming insiders.

Google the names in the book to see where these people are today. The results are interesting.

The book got a lot of general ideas right about what the future, at the time, might look like (that the internet would allow for a democratization of information and force radica
Anthony Locke
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
I thought this book was written recently because I didn’t recognize the Lewis title, but it was written back in 2002. Nonetheless, it was a fun read about the impacts of technology which continue to this day. He gives stories about how a few kids leverage the internet to enter the adult world, much to the chagrin of the SEC and lawyers around the country. Technology radically increases speed and access to information, renders geography obsolete, and flips generational wisdom on its head. All of ...more
Kiran Hegde
May 28, 2021 rated it liked it
I read this book in the year 2021. It was good to go back in past and read then, about what future holds for you and see whether it really unfolded in front of you.

A paragraph from the book - As society and the problems that face it become more and more complex and machines become more and more intelligent, people will let machines make more of their decisions for them, simply because machine made decisions will bring better results than man made ones. Eventually a stage may be reached at which
Austin Pierce
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
The book’s cover, title, and subtitle are terrible/outdated. But the contents are solid.

‘Next’ should be repackaged with a new foreword and a more fitting title like:

The First Wave:
Profiles from the Rise of the Internet in the 1990s

Despite the book’s title, it isn’t so much about predicting the future. Instead, it documented the present from a specific vantage point when much change was occurring.

In this light, it is a worthwhile addition for a Michael Lewis fan. It’s lesser Michael Lewis, but
Alan M. Shaver
Apr 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was very interesting to read this book, nearly 20 years after it was published, at a time (COVID19, spring 2020) when people all around the world are stuck communicating mostly through the Internet, using programs such as Face Time, Skype and Zoom. In many ways, the more things change the more they seem to stay the same. Michael Lewis has a marvelous way of stringing the stories of individual people together in a manner that enable us to see much larger truths. Even though the book is now "ho ...more
Will Bell
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book, like most of the authors books, has stood the test of time very well. I found the epilogue at the end quite instructive as it gave an insight into the mindset of the author and into the way he endlessly critiques his own style, which for me is what makes him such a good writer. The book does not really hang together as one narrative as other of his works do, but it is massively insightful and particularly the section on advertising towards the end of the book, awfully prescient of our ...more
Geoff Grant
Jan 11, 2020 rated it liked it
There's always the risk of reading a book about the future that is now nearly 20 years old. I think Lewis' reporting and writing holds up well, albeit only up to a point. The last third of the book kind of trails off, and that would have been the case for me 20 years ago as well. I don't think there was enough time between his previous book -- the New New Thing -- and this one to gain real insight into the Internet boom. It felt rushed to completion, looking for some larger truth that was diffic ...more
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I always enjoy Michael Lewis. This was about how what's coming next is discovered/developed by outsiders. They rebel about the status quo and develop something to stick it to the man. But what happens is that the man then throws money at the rebel. As soon as the rebel accepts, they are the man. And so a new rebel must come along. The book explores a few of these past rebels. I found it interesting. But then, I like to do taxes. Go figure. ...more
Mar 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Rating: 3.5
Next isn't as good as the Big Short, but it is still solid.
In Next, Lewis examines the lives of four teens that came of age in the late 1990s and early 2000s and each disrupted an existing industry. His thesis is that, because kids have less invested in older technologies and identities, they are better positioned to embrace new technologies and put them to use in ways that the establishment does not think of and actively resists.
OK, so it's a little bit dated, but actually not really, especially compared with things like "The Innovator's Dilemma". The conclusions are still timely and it's more of a "blast from the past" than something to throw in the "yesterday's news" category.... And it was seriously prescient about trends that continued. It's a quick read/listen and worth the time if you like to look at how successful business decisions are made, and where all the most disruptive ideas come from. ...more
Mar 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
Although the technology reviewed here is by now very dated, the analysis and predictions are pretty solid and still applicable. Very impressive.

The book also follows great traditions of good journalism mixing the narrative zoom lenses to make the story relatable and engaging the reader's interest, but the analysis far reaching.

I also appreciated the book's length - it didn't overstay its welcome.
Great thought provoking read.
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: winter17
By accident this is the third book I finished reading this week on the topic of social implications of advances in information technology. It's actually a very far-sighted book considering it was published in 2001 because it feels very current. The ending fell short to me with 2 conspiracy theorists but then again I may be the old-timer who's already a step behind progress. ...more
Richard Collins
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Future is Happening

Thought provoking, insightful and real world thinking and reporting. As usual Michael Lewis is spot on in his interviewing then putting pen to paper. I would change the title to include the future is happening now. “Young adults by the thousands are ready to insert their magic into society as we speak”
Jason Orthman
Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really entertaining, engaging book about how the tech investment boom of the late 1990s changed business models and hierarchies. Including how teenagers could become perceived stock market or legal ‘experts’ online. Although written in 2002 the lessons and insights remain as relevant old world orders and structures get broken down.
Matthew Mechtly
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
In typical Michael Lewis fashion, the author attempts (and succeeds) to explain a certain societal dynamic by looking at certain individuals and digging into their stories. Unfortunately, this book now seems untimely and outdated relative to some of his other books. Still, it's an entertaining read that looks to project some societal impacts of the growth and takeover of the internet ...more
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. I was really disappointed when it ended. I didn’t fully understand the ending either. I loved the idea that technology levels the playing field for younger people. Seeing how technology has changed the world gives a better idea of what can happen in the future.
Mithlesh Kumar
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Its an off the track book for Michael Lewis. From writing book about finance to writing book on internet is completely different. But he has done it very well. Wouldnt say its one of his best book ever but its a decent book for sure.
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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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