The New New Thing, Michael Lewis

Feature

The New New Thing, Michael Lewis



Price: £17.99 (hardback)

Martin Couzins

A boat, Silicon Valley and Jim Clarke. These are the main ingredients of The New New Thing - sub-titled How Some Man You've Never Heard of Just Changed Your Life.

In the book the author, Michael Lewis, follows the fortunes of Jim Clarke, the man who set up Silicon Graphics, Netscape and more recently Healtheon - a project to get all US health industry transactions online.

By following Clarke's life in Silicon Valley, the reader finds out that the New New Thing is the next big thing in technology that will earn Clarke his fortune. And as he succeeds, this fortune grows and his goals become greater. This is the story of a man driven by technology, money and power.

The book is a great insight into the Silicon Graphics and Netscape success story. It is a book not about how Silicon Valley works but more about how Jim Clarke made it work for him and what drove him to succeed. As the author points out, up until 1994 Silicon Valley had simply been a the location of a few high-tech industries. With the incorporation of Netscape it suddenly became the source of changes that affected the whole country, with Internet expansion creating an atmosphere likened to that of Wall Street in the 1980s.

As dotcom fever spreads in the UK, this book provides a timely insight into how one entrepreneur made his fortune from IT - the fact it was the founder of Netscape who is a computer whizz-kid only adds to its appeal.

And then there's the boat. Clarke's dream is his boat, one that will have the world's tallest mast and that can be controlled from his PC wherever in the world he or the boat might be. By the end of the book, he has his boat and has made his billion - but it does not end there.


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This was first published in April 2000

 

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