Old priesthoods - lawyers, investment gurus, professionals in general - are toppling right and left. In the new order of things, the amateur, or individual, is king: 14-year-old children manipulate the stock market and 19-year-olds take down the music industry. Deep, unseen forces are undermining all forms of collectivism, from the family to the mass market: one little black box has the power to end television as we know it, and another one - also attached to the television set - may dictate significant changes in our practice of democracy. Where does it all lead? And will we like where we end up?
©2001 Michael Lewis; (P)2001 Random House, Inc., Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, a Division of Random House, Inc.
"Engaging and irreverent." (Publishers Weekly)
"Mr. Lewis is a gifted journalist and a smart observer." (The Wall Street Journal)
"Entertaining, thought-provoking." (Amazon.com)
This book brought to light several very interesting events and technologies currently directing change in our society. While it hinted at general trends in power shifts and the effects of certain technologies, it didn't do a great job of synthesizing what exactly the author thinks is coming up.
This isn't really a positive or negative, but the book definitely provoked more questions than it gave answers. It also looked more at current happenings than predicting future ones. That said, it succeeded at picking out some great representative case studies of how our lives are truly being changed by technology. Most succesfully, it described a power shift. With the value of experience decreasing, and being replaced by an openness to new habits and thinking best embodied by children.
I didn't get everything I hoped for out of this book, but I was very pleased with what I did get. I look forward to this authors next book, and definitely think "Next" is more than worth your time.
More through a series of seemingly disjointed tales about the Net, the author tries to take a look into the crystal ball that is technology and see what the future holds. The seperate stories themselves are pretty interesting just as stand-alones, though I'm still not clear what the central point (if there is one) that the author is trying to make. Still, forecasting the future and making sense of the present is hard business to be in, and the author does a good job of presenting his material in a straight-forwards and understandable manner. It's worth a read if you're at all interested in how technology is shaping our world.
If you've read Liar's Poker or The New New Thing by Michael Lewis, you'll probably know what to expect here. Lewis reverse engineers business advancement and evolution, then hints at what trends may result from these changes. Liars Poker shone light into the stock market, The New New Thing into the birth of the mainstream internet. Next builds on both of these concepts and delivers even more hints at where the business world may be looking next.
Lewis writes less as a question/answer writer, where at the beginning there is a linear hypothesis that will be proven or disproven by the end, then quickly summed up to tie loose ends and make a point, than he does as an inquiring mind looking at how new business trends are the way they are. He carefully picks his examples, then tells an elaborate story about them to advance the theme of the book. It's wonderfully done and, as one of my favourite authors, I was entertained throughout.
Don't listen if you're looking for answers, listen in order to add perspective to your own questions. Lewis is an enabler of ideas, and uses the success of others through his writing to express these views. This book is not written to tell you what will happen next, but written so you can better understand where we may truly be headed.
Highly recommended as a 'light' read. Those looking to learn where the 'Next Big Thing' will be, I'll spoil the plot by saying the answer in not in these pages... it's for you to figure out on your own.
This is a book of disjointed short stories about things that happened in the PAST on the Internet. Although some of the stories are mildly interesting, the author doesn't provide any common theme on how these stories give us insight into what is coming NEXT? The author rambles on tangents about the indivuals or their families in the stories for much of the book. I have listened to literally over one hundred audiobooks, many of them with technical themes. Unless you are totally in the dark about the Internet/Technology revolution, don't buy this book.
Lewis does a very good job at what he understands, which is business. He takes us through vignettes of young kids and disenfranchised adults who view the world differently and use this to change the business future.
The only down side is that authors should understand what they are writing about, and the last chapter about the BIG future is just random bits of mildly interesting science fiction. Since he is not a scientist, he does not know how to filter plausible science from impossible and it shows. But the beginning, with his keen insights into business, I found very valuable.
As far as authors go who read their own works, he is much better than most; he neither detracts, as Steven King, nor adds to the book, as John le Carre.
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 hindsight, I’d skip the rest.
1. Jonathan Labed began playing the stock market at age 13. He learned about the markets watching TV and the internet. He bought stocks, then wrote and published his comments about the stocks on the web. He made a lot of money. The SEC punished him for things that brokerage firms and analysts did on a regular basis without being punished. I laughed at conversations with SEC personnel, Jonathan’s parents, Jonathan’s friends, and Jonathan himself. Jonathan sounded so much more intellectual and knowledgeable than the adults. The chairman of the SEC appeared incompetent because he didn’t understand what Jonathan did and was unable to explain what law Jonathan broke.
2. Marcus Arnold was 15 years old. He learned about the law from TV shows like Judge Judy. As a volunteer he began answering legal questions for people through Ask com (or AskMe com). He became the Ask com #1 legal expert, based on the number of questions he answered and favorable votes given to him. When lawyers learned his age, they began attacking him on Ask com. I laughed at a number of things in his story as well.
3. In 2000 people were getting free music through Napster and similar software. There was a lot of controversy about the future of the music industry and who would survive in this environment. What happened with the British music group Marillion surprised and delighted me. They had no money for a tour. There was an online fan club that took up a collection. They raised $60,000 and the group was able to do a North American tour. A while later, the group needed 100,000 pounds to make a record. The recording company wasn’t interested. So again, the fans raised the money for the group. With this, the group went to the recording company and set their own terms for rights, royalties, etc. They made the record. I was fascinated with fans paying for the group to do things.
Other stories in the book were interesting but not as funny or as fascinating. They included music sharing software, TIVO and Replay TV boxes, TV advertising, marketing surveys, and a clock to last 10,000 years.
NARRATOR: The author narrated his own book. It was ok, but I’d prefer he use an actor. The author has a southern accent which was distracting. It made me think of “him” instead of his material. I guess I‘m spoiled with (or used to) all the generic TV anchor-speak out there.
GENRE: computer industry nonfiction.
This is the fourth or fifth Lewis book I have read. They all have a touch of sarcazim, but not usually to this uncuous exess.
Something more up-beat and inciteful. One gets the feeling that everyone he met was in greater need of a psychiatrist than a financial advisor.
He gave each one a seperate identity, but they were all piculiarly irrational in their logic process.
Yes, he is a talented writer and tells an interesting story, but you have to overlook his sarcasum in order to pick up the other points of interest in his charicters, and that is not easy in this case.
He is a gifted writer; he understands the workings of the market place and has good instincts of human nature. I hope he learns to give his charecters a little more slack
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