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

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  1,470 ratings  ·  108 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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3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,470 ratings  ·  108 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
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
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
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.
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
Nov 02, 2012 added it
Shelves: icky-high-school
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Aug 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a nice look back at the internet boom, but he did not really provide any real interesting ideas.
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I think I would have given this book a 5 if I had read it when it came out.
David Matthews
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
Really disappointing since I like the author.
Dec 02, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Obscure book by Michael Lewis but it has some brilliant parts
Dec 31, 2016 added it
Shelves: read2011, read2016
Also Dec 21 2011.
Tim O'Hearn
Oct 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 52-books-in-2016
A compelling essay collection in which Michael Lewis is on his game. Despite a lackluster closing chapter built around the topic of "gray matter" (which hasn't aged well), his commentary intersects the fledgling ideas that grew into Netflix, targeted advertising, and even data science. Some may argue that this book should be left alone for another decade or so, but it's fine to uncork now, though I recommend finishing it in one sitting, ideally accompanied by a glass of wine.
Kerry Trombley
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio-book, 2017
As always, Michael Lewis delivers big in this book. He take a wide, broad, socially impactful topic (the advent and impact of the internet and big data), and personalizes it in a number of well researched and compelling stories.
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
Apr 24, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Oct 28, 2009 rated it liked it
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
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
Steven Grimm
Apr 25, 2012 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
May 09, 2009 rated it did not like it
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
May Ling
Jun 13, 2011 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
Jun 15, 2012 rated it liked it
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
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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.
“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.” 1 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?” 1 likes
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