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Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations
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Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  9,862 ratings  ·  1,368 reviews
A field guide to the twenty-first century, written by one of its most celebrated observers

In his most ambitious work to date, Thomas L. Friedman shows that we have entered an age of dizzying acceleration--and explains how to live in it. Due to an exponential increase in computing power, climbers atop Mount Everest enjoy excellent cell-phone service and self-driving cars ar
Hardcover, 486 pages
Published November 22nd 2016 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published August 23rd 2016)
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Veronica Berglyd Olsen It is definitely long winded, occasionally inaccurate (as I've noticed when it touches on subjects I'm familiar with) and has a distinct feel of being…moreIt is definitely long winded, occasionally inaccurate (as I've noticed when it touches on subjects I'm familiar with) and has a distinct feel of being a bit old fashioned despite the topic.

On the other hand, it covers a wide range of topics, within its scope, and you're bound to learn something from it.

I'd rate it as above average for its genre.(less)
Khem Thank you very much for all support. I already got the book.
There are 496 pages on my side as well.
Checked for both UK and US editions they are the sa…more
Thank you very much for all support. I already got the book.
There are 496 pages on my side as well.
Checked for both UK and US editions they are the same.

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Start your review of Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations
I couldn't finish this book. The author's writing style comes across as really precious, and the chapters are bloated because he repeats himself a lot.

The points I was beaten over the head with before I finally gave up were:

* Technology is changing quickly! Life moves fast! It's important to find time to pause and think about things. Okay, pause is over -- life is moving fast again!

* 2007 was an amazing year! The iPhone! Twitter! The spread of Facebook! More phone applications! Totally amazing!
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thomas Friedman is a prolific writer.

An eminent futurist and commentator on modern life, he writes banner political essays for the New York Times.

He is not afraid to wrestle in an enlightened and urbane manner on short notice with current issues, and risk getting caught in the ensuing crossfire.

A brave and prolific man - but perhaps a bit too prolific...

Because that’s a grievous temptation of writing: not listening to the inner voice of discretion, urging brevity.

It’s almost as if the Daemon
Steven Hull
Dec 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Some people don’t like Tom Friedman. He is a liberal-progressive on most issues, he works for the liberal New York Times, and he is not a fan of Donald Trump. In this book he identifies three trends that are causing the Age of Acceleration. These trends are not credible among many conservatives and two, globalization and global warming, are down right unpopular. Friedman offers some sound advice for readers early in the book—drop the ideology and labels, already! Focus on facts and realities an ...more
Dec 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Subtitled, “An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations,” this book has a lot to say for those of who were born, and grew up, before the internet in particular. The author is a journalist and he argues that his job is to understand a complex subject, so he can help his readers understand it. He also argues that many people feel, “fearful or unmoored,” in these changing times. Technology, globalisation and climate change, he argues, are all accelerating in pace, while our society, ...more
Katia N
Jan 24, 2017 rated it liked it
The book is certainly ambitious in its scope: it sets out the forces which are driving the world and how it would effect the future. To summarise its main idea, we entered the era of acceleration and exponential change in our environment: 1) technology 2) nature 3) market forces. But being humans we cannot adapt to the changes so quick. So we have to learn how to do it.

It is not a bad book, but I had an impression of a half baked cake. I allowed myself to use the metaphor as Mr Friedman is cons
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: leadership-read
To put my thoughts on this book rather bluntly, I felt the concepts were fantastic but the execution was horrendous. Friedman opens the novel by introducing the three main accelerations that the world is facing: technology, globalization, and climate change. All very valid. The book goes on to discuss in VERY lengthy detail the minutiae behind these accelerations. There were times in my head that I was screaming OKAY I GOT IT ALREADY.

Once each of the concepts is laid out Friedman goes on to dis
Dan Graser
Nov 27, 2016 rated it liked it
As an avid reader of Friedman's column and his books, this (unfortunately to me) amounts to quite a disappointment especially given the quality of his output. The subtitle of the book, "An optimist's guide to thriving in the age of accelerations," is hugely misleading. What he does a fantastic job of is displaying the massive changes of technology that impact day-to-day life for working Americans. His subsequent discussion of the impact of climate change is also very deeply felt, though for most ...more
Oct 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
So many books have purported to explain technology, the twenty-first century, and social change.

This may very well be THE one.
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
TL;DR: I can't recommend this book for someone in the tech field or who follows technology news with any regularity. However, if you are not as familiar with technology products released from 2007 to 2016 (how are you reading this from your cave?), and are interested in how technology has shaped the world and may continue to shape the world, then you may enjoy slogging through this (in my opinion) overly long book. Although, be forewarned the last 1/3 of the book diverges into a discussion on cl ...more
Brad Boyson
Nov 27, 2016 rated it did not like it
I wanted to like this book so much. Thomas Friedman's track record of insightful, intelligent, anti-academic, universally popular narratives weaving together disparate ideas is legendary. However this book falls well short of his previous. I struggled to find any one idea that wasn't already common knowledge or previously articulated by Friedman; many sub themes were clearly rehashes of successful chestnuts being re-purposed as cliches. The introduction by Friedman practically confesses to the r ...more
Monica Kim: Reader in Emerald City
Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less. — Thomas L. Friedman, Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations
Thomas L. Friedman’s “Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations” turned out to be a tremendously profound reading experience, and also happened to be a powerful complementary to Brené Brown’s “Braving the Wilderness: The Qu
Jeff Sutherland
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The world as we know it started in 2007. That's when Facebook really got going, the iPhone and Android were launched, Twitter and Github got started ... That's the year I started doing consulting and training on Scrum full time and it is when Friedman realized his earlier book "The World is Flat" was totally out of date!

So I'm still reading and it looks like a better book than his previous work. Will update later.
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thomas Friedman is more than a brilliant journalist; he also happens to be a shape-shifter who is looking out for the good of the planet and his fellow man. With a keen understanding of matters both foreign and domestic, geopolitical and social, and, especially, technological, Friedman not only clearly sees the challenges that we face, but he also expresses them with prose that is easy to understand and digest.

Each Friedman book that I've read has inspired me to think beyond life on a local lev
Dick Reynolds
May 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one book the president should read. OK, so he doesn't read. Maybe one of his trusted advisors could summarize the chapters about Mother Nature for him. Bottom line, Mr. President: Global Warming is NOT a hoax. ...more
Anil Swarup
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
"Thank You for being Late" is not in the same genre as "The Lexus and the Olive Tree". Nor is it as seminal as "The World is Flat". Yet it has the class of Thomas Friedman written all over it. It is extremely well researched, thought provoking and, hence, makes a lot of sense. He discusses revolution that is being caused by technology that is also making the world flat through globalization. But he is distressed at the discontent that pervades human existence despite the comforts arising out of ...more
Nov 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Good overview of accelerating change. A guide? Missing inclusive innovative social systems approach to avoid leadership blind spots.

Friedman did a good job of describing the in-between nature of how the acceleration of technology, climate change and growing interconnectedness contribute to a general sense of unease because the rate of change is leapfrogging past our ability to adapt. While his 30,000 foot view provides a solid frame for reflection in the first 3/4 of the book, his "return to Min
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I very much savor and hang onto the observations and admonitions of such sages as Tom Friedman. Loathe to stand by, his grassroots in St Louis Park spurred him to great imaginings and desires to make this place a better one. He explains in great details in what ways technology urges us not to be left behind, and is balanced in his warning that though empowering and facilitating lives the human touch is something of just as great import. The most promising jobs of the future are ones involving bo ...more
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I know we're supposed to hate on Friedman and he makes it so easy sometimes with his ridiculous optimism and warmongering etc, but this book was pretty good. It was optimistic certainly, but it was also a nice cataloguing of where we've come from and where we're going and the crossroads we're standing at. Friedman also happens to be a great writer with high levels of access to important figures, which make for really cool stories and interviews. ...more
Adam Shields
Dec 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Short Review: I generally like Friedman's writing style (very story focused) and his world view (tech obsessed, culturally aware and globally focused). He is definitely susceptible to the charge of being a technocrat and maybe even naive about tech and the global economy being net positives.

This is a book that spends an awful lot of ink on the negatives of the world. But it is still an optomist's guide and that is another thing that I like about Friedman, he is still an optimist, not because he
Mike Zickar
Feb 08, 2017 rated it liked it
A bit of a schizophrenic book. I loved the first 2/3rds of the book that is a mixture of classic Friedman, talking about the role of technology in bringing the world together along with the increased anxiety that technology has caused by bringing about fundamental shifts in our economy. Friedman, an eternal optimist, has some great stories to tell and great advice on how we should as a country and as individuals adapt to this new reality. 5 stars for this section of the book. . .

And then the boo
Michael Huang
Jun 30, 2018 rated it liked it
The book has roughly two parts. The first explains some confluence of changes in today’s society and the second tries to paint one way forward in addressing the challenges resulted from these changes.

The changes of today’s world contains 3 parts: acceleration of science and technology; the increasingly global interactions; and the climate changes. The challenges brought by the confluence of these three factors are multiple. For instance, global outsourcing and robotics will make many jobs disap
Apr 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I found the best part of this book to be the first 60%, the parts where he describes the accelerations taking place in nearly all aspects of life today because of technology (microchips, internet, social media and the "cloud"). Friedman also makes a compelling case for heightened concern for the effects of climate change by describing its impact on African continent and its population. For me, all the good the book had to offer, was diluted when Friedman attempts to bring the issues he's describ ...more
Fred Forbes
Nov 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Want to understand much of what is taking place in the world? Pick up a copy as the author tracks the speed and acceleration of technology, globalization and severe climate change. These have altered our circumstances far faster than previously in history and the solutions offered by our leaders tend to be simple, futile, and unrealistic.

While there is a bit too much padding in places, in general it is quite a readable text and the solutions offered to help us adapt to a rate of change that is q
Feb 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked very much about 40% or the content and struggled from boredom (annoyance?) from about 10-20%. The rest was just OK. Overall I liked the experience. I like to follow memorial-like journeys in the form of long books. And even if some parts of those journeys seem irrelevant (and too pompous?) to me, I am still grateful to be exposed to something other than what I enjoy enormously (tales about technological advances, especially optimistic ones). I guess I will still pick up the next book of ...more
Rod Zemke
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is book is really divided into two parts. The first part addresses the incredible changes that have taken and continue due to advances in technology. The second part address what it will take to deal with these rapid changes and Friedman does it in a most interesting way. To find out his prescription, you will have read the book.
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally managed to finish reading Thank You For Being Late by Thomas Friedman (author of The World is Flat). It’s been a bit of stop-and-go for this book, picking it up only during weekends.

I’ve decided to take a more conscientious approach in jotting down my own thoughts and certain interesting passages, not only because this book touches upon a number of important and thought-provoking topics, but also to make sure my reactions, however fleeting, are given a chance to be put on paper (or at l
Alfred Haplo
Mar 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommended. Published Nov 2016, the contents still very much relevant on the acceleration and inter-dependency of technology, climate change, globalization. In a world of Hurry, Hurry, Hurry, some things still work better when mulled over slowly like a proper review. Rambling notes taken in the running updates will suffice as pseudo-review for now.

EDIT June 5, 2017 Washington Post. I want to be this guy - re Friedman's analogy of being in the eye of the storm. Or, in this case, mowing th
Dana Stabenow
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Friedman's premise here reminds me very much of the series of articles James Fallows wrote for The Atlantic magazine called Journeys Across America ( He and his wife Deb flew all over the place looking for communities that worked, and they found them. The message is clear: America doesn't work from the top down anymore, and only by creating, building and enabling communities from the ground up to embrace all facets of those communities from business to e ...more
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
Friedman delivers lots of interesting points, stories, and interviews. The problem is that this book tries to cover too many of then on 500 pages (note: I am not suggesting that the book should be any longer). Friedman covers everything: from cloud computing to the history of small-town St. Louis Park (Minnesota); how extreme climate events give rise to terrorism and how we should redesign education in the light of artificial intelligence. Honestly, it was a relief to see the letters “afterword, ...more
William Stevens
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Vitally important read. I’ve never felt more responsible and more invested in not just my own future but our country’s.
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Thomas L. Friedman is an internationally renowned author, reporter, and, columnist—the recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes and the author of six bestselling books, among them From Beirut to Jerusalem and The World Is Flat.

Thomas Loren Friedman was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on July 20, 1953, and grew up in the middle-class Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park. He is the son of Harold and Marga

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