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New New Thing a Silicon Valley Story

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 3.9 étoiles sur 5 327 commentaires
98 internautes sur 104 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Needs Cynicism 22 novembre 1999
Par Joseph Adler - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
There are two reasons why Liar's Poker was such a great book. First, it profiled some of the greatest characters of Wall Street during the 1980's. Secondly, Lewis was very critical of Solomon. Reading "Liar's Poker" makes you think about how ridiculous traders' views of the world were in the late 1980s.
The problem with "The New New Thing" is that Michael Lewis is not critical enough of Jim Clark. Jim Clark certainly was generous to Michael Lewis by letting him tag along on so many of his adventures, and it would probably have been inapproriate for Lewis to be more critical of his subject. But, this doesn't make it an interesting book.
If you're looking for the "Liar's Poker" of the Internet, try Michael Wolf's "Burn Rate," or Po Bronson's "Nudist on the Late Shift," both of which contain much more interesting people, much more information about the internet revolution, and much more cynicisim.
147 internautes sur 159 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 The New New Economic Realities 12 mars 2000
Par Perpetual Skeptic - Publié sur
Format: Relié
I bought this book at an airport I was passing through en route to someplace else. I knew Michael Lewis as an author, having read Liar's Poker, so I knew I would find his style appealing. I had no idea about Jim Clark at all.
To my utter surprise, the book was not only entertaining, but it brought to my attention some facts about the world that I live in that I had never fully realised:
1) You can choose to be a down and out misfit on the road to nowhere, or you can choose to show 'em all and make something of your life
2) Having decided to do something, there is no actual limit to how big you can think
3) An individual can actually swing the entire economy and all of its big established companies around to a different agenda and different competitive landscape
4) If you are blessed/cursed with the kind of mind that loves to dwell in "pure possibility", is never satisfied with the way things are and can always see how they could be, do what Jim Clark does - get on with changing the world! Actions speak louder than words.
5) Engineers have finally realised that they should be more fairly compensated, relative to the amount of value they create in the economy. The consequence of this is that financiers, who really don't understand what or how an engineer does what he does, must now compete to get a piece of the action. A financier, even if he has infinite money, cannot personally create anything of tangible value with his financial skills. Contrast this to what an engineer with good skills can create and you realise that what really counts is the creation of tangible things that make the human condition somehow better. This realisation is driving the new new economic realities - engineers can build a better world, financiers can only pay for them to do it.
6) You don't have to be especially bright or gifted to change the course of business history, but if you are, you owe it to yourself and others to use those gifts to the best advantage you can
So, all things considered, this book was a revelation and an especially welcome pleasant surprise.
48 internautes sur 50 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Fun, Educational and Inspiring 30 novembre 1999
Par J. Wright - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
This book is just a fun read. It is not an academic book, and Lewis does love to dwell on the excesses or silly points, but Lewis captures better than any other author the culture and people of Silicon Valley, who have legally created a stupendous amount of wealth in less than a decade.
There were two parts of the book I particularly loved: First, the part on the engineers from India was compelling. These kids grow up on the brink of starvation and work their tails off to make it to Silicon Valley to seek their dreams. The book keenly demonstrates how Jim Clark is able to harness these kind of people and let their talents operate in the most productive way, and also make them rich beyond their wildest dreams.
Second, the best part of the book was the second to last chapter, about how Jim Clark came from absolute poverty in Texas. Clark had to defend his mother from his drunken father, and his mother had only $5 a month after the bills were paid. The book keenly demonstrates how Clark's sense of anarchy and adventure led him to rise far above the hand he was dealt in life.
The story of how Clark has made 3 different billion dollar companies is amazing, and even more amazing is that he is using his talents to create a fourth company instead of only sailing his crazy boat.
You'll learn a lot when you read this book, it will inspire you, and you'll enjoy it. Read it soon, before the next new new thing makes it irrelevant.
74 internautes sur 81 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An Insightful Read About A Silicon Valley Visionary 5 décembre 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Michael Lewis has written a humorous and insightful book about Jim Clark, the founder of Silicon Graphics, Netscape,Healtheon and myCFO. The story is educational in that it provides an insight into the process of conceptionalizing a technology idea, packaging and selling the idea to the venture capitalists,individual investors and those that have to bring the idea to a reality,convince the Wall Street investment bankers of the marketability of such a scheme to the investing public and the final IPO which makes everyone along the food chain rich. This educational story will certainly make you think twice before investing in future technology IPOs. For some, valuation is not a consideration. Lewis has a great style, which is not only informative, but also humorous. I especially liked the way he chides the American legal system (page 195). Anyone who has experienced serving jury duty will appreciate the arrogant and pompous process described by Lewis as the Department of Justice begins the trial against Microsoft. This is a must read for anyone who has ever invested in a high flying technology stock or wondered about life in the Silicon Valley.
15 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Entertaining, but not just flash 15 février 2000
Par Un client - Publié sur
Format: Relié
This is an entertaining, readable book that manages to convey a surprisingly clear-eyed picture of today's Silicon Valley. I don't feel that the author overrated his subject, as Clark's achievements would be notable in any context: he started out as a solid technical expert, and subsequently combined a good "nose" for the New New Thing with a Pied-Piper-like ability to attract talented people and build a phenomenal work team. I also think he deserves considerable credit for his habit of sharing the wealth with the engineers who designed a product; in the past, the only people who got rich from an invention were the executives who marketed it and the investors who backed it! On the other hand, the author unsparingly chronicles Clark's less admirable behavior -- his temper tantrums, whims, failed relationships, and years-long grudges -- so I felt that overall the picture was a balanced one. Much of wealth creation today consists, not of coming up with a better mousetrap, but of convincing investors to buy into your "vision," and the stories of how Clark did this were very instructive.
I also found the book rather scary in its depiction of how our educational system fails to "connect" with the brightest students: Clark was bored in school, became a prankster, and eventually was expelled; if he hadn't chanced to meet a teacher who recognized his great talents in math, it's likely that his ingenuity and his desire for wealth would have led him into a life of crime. I felt that the author's attempts to explain Clark's behavior in terms of his unhappy family history and trying to "prove something" to the folks back in Plainview were rather weak: he's a typical "gifted" person in that he has an all-consuming interest in technology and will subordinate everything else to his pursuit of that. (If he were motivated only by a desire for wealth, he wouldn't be so willing to risk his own!) Our schools are still designed to turn out well-behaved "organization men," following the 1950's model that Lewis succinctly describes, and their failure to recognize real talent and teach its possessors how to use it well are, I feel, a major national failing.
All in all, this is a book that makes you think, as well as being amusing, and I feel everyone with an interest in high technology should read it.
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