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The New New Thing: A Silicon Valley Story: A Silicon Valley Story by [Lewis, Michael]
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The New New Thing: A Silicon Valley Story: A Silicon Valley Story Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 196 customer reviews

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Length: 273 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Amazon Review

Michael Lewis was supposed to be writing about how Jim Clark, the founder of Silicon Graphics and Netscape, was going to turn health care on its ear by launching Healtheon, which would bring the vast majority of the industry's transactions online. So why was he spending so much time on a computerised yacht, each feature installed because, as one technician put it, "someone saw it on Star Trek and wanted one just like it?"

Much of The New New Thing, to be fair, is devoted to the Healtheon story. It's just that Jim Clark doesn't do start-ups the way most people do. "He had ceased to be a businessman", as Lewis puts it, "and become a conceptual artist." After coming up with the basic idea for Healtheon, securing the initial seed money and hiring the people to make it happen, Clark concentrated on the building of Hyperion, a sailboat with a 197-footmast, whose functions are controlled by 25 SGI workstations (a boat that, if he wanted to, Clark could log onto and steer--from anywhere in the world). Keeping up with Clark proves a monumental challenge--"you didn't interact with him", Lewis notes, "so much as hitch a ride on the back of his life"--but one that the author rises to meet with the same frenetic energy and humour of his previous books, Liar's Poker and Trail Fever.

Like those two books, The New New Thing shows how the pursuit of power at its highest levels can lead to the very edges of the surreal, as when Clark tries to fill out an investment profile for a Swiss bank, where he intends to deposit less than .05 percent of his financial assets. When asked to assess his attitude toward financial risk, Clark searches in vain for the category of "people who sought to turn 10 million dollars into one billion in a few months" and finally tells the banker, "I think this is for a different ... person." There have been a lot of profiles of Silicon Valley companies and the way they've revamped the economy in the 1990s--The New New Thing is one of the first books fully to depict the sort of man that has made such companies possible. --Ron Hogan,Amazon.com

Review

"A splendid, entirely satisfying book, intelligent and fun and revealing and troubling in the correct proportions, resolutely skeptical but not at all cynical. --Kurt Andersen

The most significant business story since the days of Henry Ford. . . . Lewis achieves a novelistic elegance. "

Remarkable. . . . Clark proves to be a character as enthralling as any in American fiction or non-fiction. . . . [A] great story . . . with prose that ranges from the beautiful to the witty to the breathtaking. --Fred Moody"

A splendid, entirely satisfying book, intelligent and fun and revealing and troubling in the correct proportions, resolutely skeptical but not at all cynical. --Kurt Andersen"

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 844 KB
  • Print Length: 273 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (13 Sept. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008UXLJN6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 196 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #14,503 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By tallmanbaby TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 25 Sept. 2016
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is arguably patient zero for the ongoing epidemic of books about working in the high stakes world of business, in this case Salomon Brothers in New York and London during the mid-1980s.

The author writes well, is smart with a good story to tell. There are more up to date books, and more recent financial upheavals to read about, but this remains a highly readable and enjoyable account of a deeply unreal world.

I am however a little surprised at the incredible popularity of the book, by now this ground has been well trodden by other writers, so the book might not seem quite so remarkable to readers now.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed all the Michael Lewis books I have read, enjoying real life events being told in a very readable way. This time I learned about Jim Clark, founder of a number of Silicon Valley companies, making a fortune for himself and for many many employees and investors. As Jim is described having new ideas, convincing others that they will be executable and will make money there is a background story. He has commissioned the building of a boat with the tallest, at that time, mast, to be managed/sailed via on board computers. A good read and Jim an interesting man.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great book as always a very enjoyable read and provides some useful information about banking and history. Would recommend reading barberians at the gate as well as it touches on some of the same characters
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the first books I ever read coming into the Financial Services industry and it was a riveting read. Since reading it I passed it onto my son who is also hoping to go into Financial Services. It's not as relevant today as it was 20 years ago but it still conjures up those days of excess, bravado and Mr Gekko/Wallstreet.
Good fun read if you can see beyond the grief this culture started.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A wonderfully written, vivid account of Salomon Brothers bank in the 80s. The characters, institutional mechanics and prevailing culture described forewarn of the financial disaster our respective governments and financial markets walked us into. Liars Poker is to the financial industry, what Antony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential was to the Restaurant industry- a rock n roll cautionary tale of our times.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book after being recommended it by a collegue and former investment banker. It's fast-paced, funny in parts, but most important of all, it's real! Not some wishy washy work of fiction, but a first hand account by somebody who has seen the banking system from the inside and can honestly comment on its virtues and numerous vices.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's okayish if you are interested in the atmospehere and events that led to to wealth of few and misery of many. But I really feel like complete book could be condensed to a 100 page read and be much more digestable and fun to read. Wouldn't recommend to someone without some kind of trading knowledge because it's to many of such details that span for pages and pages.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The genius of this book is the way a potentially boring subject (finance, economics) is conveyed in a humorous and captivating way. I loved the characterisations (my favourite being 'The Human Piranha'); it's easy to see how this book was influential in the making of films such as Wall Street and Boiler Room.

Some of the financial jargon and processes were lost on me at times, but that did not detract in any way from this superb account of how people behave when they win and lose in the world of high finance.
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