Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 334
The New New Thing by writer Michael Lewis was published in 1999 and is mostly the story of Jim Clark, A Silicon Valley tech giant. Lewis explores how things in Silicon Valley work and how venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and programmers must learn to work together. This book was written when the internet was still unknown territory and vastly under regulated. It was this type of environment that attracted people like Jim Clark, who enjoyed gambling with investments from time to time.
Never was a man’s love of risk so beautifully amplified by his environment as Clark’s was in Silicon Valley.
Although Clark has started two billion plus dollar companies, his latest obsession is a huge yacht he calls Hyperion, which is the world's largest single-mast vessel. Clark claims he will be able to sail remotely via computer from his desk in northern California. He is so convinced of the validity of his new technology, that the believes that this will form the backbone of his third multi-billion dollar company.
A good friend/business associate of Clark's named John Doerr believes that Silicon Valley is indeed a unique place. He likes to describe the Valley as:
... the greatest legal creation of wealth in the history of the planet.
We learn about Clark's youth in the book; he grew up with an alcoholic father and his parents divorced when he was young. He joined the Navy out of high school and then went on to get a college degree, an MA and a PhD. Even now, Clark tends to get bored quickly. He needs stimulation and often finds himself obsessed with new projects:
Clark was far happier doing something that he had just decided to do than something he had decided long ago. No decision was worth sticking to unless it had replaced several other decisions.
There are other quotes in the book that don't reference Clark, but since he really is the main character in the book, it makes sense to focus on him.
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