Cover image for The new new thing : a Silicon Valley story
The new new thing : a Silicon Valley story
Lewis, Michael (Michael M.)
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : W.W. Norton, [2000]

Physical Description:
268 pages ; 25 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HD9696.63.U62 C585 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Despite the variety of his achievements, Clark thinks of himself mainly as the creator of Hyperion, which happens to be a sailboat . . . not just an ordinary yacht, but the world's largest single-mast vessel, a machine more complex than a 747. Clark claims he will be able to sail it via computer from his desk in San Francisco, and the new code may contain the seeds of his next billion-dollar coup.On the wings of Lewis's celebrated storytelling, the reader takes the ride of a lifetime through this strange landscape of geeks and billionaires. We get the inside story of the battle between Netscape and Microsoft; we sit in the room as Clark tries to persuade the investment bankers that Healtheon is the next Microsoft; we get queasy as Clark pits his boat against the rage of the North Atlantic in winter. And in every brilliant anecdote and character sketch, Lewis is drawing us a map of markets and free enterprise in the twenty-first century.

Author Notes

Michael Lewis was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on October 15, 1960. He received a BA in art history from Princeton University in 1982 and a Masters in economics from the London School of Economics in 1985. He is a non-fiction author/journalist of mostly financial themes. His books include Liar's Poker, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, The Money Culture, Boomerang, Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt, The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine and The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Lewis, in his eye-opening and best-selling Liar's Poker (1989), told tales on himself: about his meteoric rise from trainee at Salomon Brothers investment firm to very successful trader. Now he tells tales on someone else: Jim Clark, who created Netscape and thus "triggered the Internet boom." To write this profile, Lewis more or less shadowed Clark for a while, and dogging him meant participating in Clark's transatlantic journey in his obsessively designed, totally computerized sailing ship, Hyperion. Lewis' book, in effect, provides a look at the whole computer industry, for the more we learn about Clark, the more we learn about the industry as a whole. Silicon Valley, referred to as "the greatest legal creation of wealth in the history of the planet," is the Wall Street of the 1990s, and Clark is a primary mover and shaker. He is strictly an idea man, coming up with new ideas of how to make millions and leaving his engineers to arrive at workable details. Clark, as we follow and marvel at his career, invents his life as he goes along. What drives him is his abiding need to pursue new concepts and experiences. He is protypical of the superwealthy leadership in Silicon Valley: "the geek holed up in his basement all weekend discovering new things to do with his computer." That's the point of the Silicon Valley computer industry: people don't have to build new computers to make a fortune, they just have to devise new things for the computer to do. This book will prove very popular, not only with readers interested in business and computers but also with those who are simply curious about "the new new thing." --Brad Hooper

Publisher's Weekly Review

While it purports to look at the business world of Silicon Valley through the lens of one man, that one man, Jim Clark, is so domineering that the book is essentially about Clark. No matter: Clark is as successful and interesting an example of Homo siliconus as any writer is likely to find. Lewis (Liar's Poker) has created an absorbing and extremely literate profile of one of America's most successful entrepreneurs. Clark has created three companiesÄSilicon Graphics, Netscape (now part of America Online) and HealtheonÄeach valued at more than $1 billion by Wall Street. Lewis was apparently given unlimited access to Clark, a man motivated in equal parts by a love of the technology he helps to create and a desire to prove something to a long list of people whom he believes have done him wrong throughout his life (especially his former colleagues at Silicon Graphics). As Lewis looks at the various roles of venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and programmers and at how these very different mindsets fit together in the anatomy of big deals, he gives readers a sense of how the Valley works. But the heart of the book remains Clark, who simultaneously does everything from supervise the creation of what may be the world's largest sloop to creating his fourth company (currently in the works). Lewis does a good job of putting Clark's accomplishments in context, and if he is too respectful of Clark's privacy (several marriages and children are mentioned but not elaborated on), he provides a detailed look at the professional life of one of the men who have changed the world as we know it. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Listeners are due for a thrilling ride through the strange landscape of computer geeks and billionaires, with a focus on the unique story of after-tax multibillionaire Jim Clark, founder of Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI), Netscape, and the newly emerging Healtheon. Lewis (Liar's Poker) focuses on Clark's story as the key to comprehending the newly emerging Internet wealth, emphasizing his battles between Netscape and Microsoft; his almost immediate success with SGI; his emotional investment in his computer-driven sailboat, the Hyperion; leading up to his next new, new thing, Healtheon, Clark's Internet health site envisioned literally to transform the $1 trillion healthcare industry. Clearly, Clark's nonpareil personae is an excellent example of how vastly different it is doing business in the age of the Internet, but this is not so much an analysis of Clark's business successes as it is a sort of technobiography. The numerous lengthy anecdotal tales and scenarios, narrated by Bruce Reizen, enrich the understanding of this exemplary personality, a high-tech rags-to-riches tale of a poor boy from Plainview, TX, but add little to a full appreciation for the strategies around these companiesDa story yet to be told. Highly recommended for all public libraries.DDale Farris, Groves, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. 13
1 The Boat That Built Netscapep. 19
2 The Accelerated Grimacep. 28
3 The Past in a Boxp. 41
4 Disorganization Manp. 50
5 Inventing Jim Clarkp. 68
6 The Boom and the Mastp. 88
7 Throwing Sand in Capitalists' Eyesp. 101
8 The Great Brain Quake of August 9, 1995p. 112
9 The Home of the Future?p. 133
10 God Modep. 142
11 How Chickens Become Porkp. 151
12 New New Moneyp. 160
13 Cheese Sandwiches for Breakfastp. 176
14 Could Go Either Wayp. 189
15 At Sea in the Home of the Futurep. 206
16 Chasing Ghostsp. 223
17 The Turning Pointp. 238
18 The New New Thingp. 250
19 The Past outside the Boxp. 262
Epiloguep. 267
Acknowledgmentsp. 269