The End of Big: How the Digital Revolution Makes David the New Goliath

Nicco Mele

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The End of Big: How the Digital Revolution Makes David the New Goliath

The End of Big How the Digital Revolution Makes David the New Goliath How seemingly innocuous technologies are unsettling the balance of power by putting it in the hands of the masses and what a world without big will mean for all of us In The End of Big Internet pione

  • Title: The End of Big: How the Digital Revolution Makes David the New Goliath
  • Author: Nicco Mele
  • ISBN: 9781250022233
  • Page: 419
  • Format: Paperback
  • How seemingly innocuous technologies are unsettling the balance of power by putting it in the hands of the masses and what a world without big will mean for all of us In The End of Big, Internet pioneer and Harvard Kennedy School lecturer Nicco Mele draws on nearly twenty years of experience to explore the consequences of revolutionary technology.Our ability to connecHow seemingly innocuous technologies are unsettling the balance of power by putting it in the hands of the masses and what a world without big will mean for all of us In The End of Big, Internet pioneer and Harvard Kennedy School lecturer Nicco Mele draws on nearly twenty years of experience to explore the consequences of revolutionary technology.Our ability to connect instantly, constantly, and globally is altering the exercise of power with dramatic speed Governments, corporations, centers of knowledge, and expertise are eroding before the power of the individual It can be good in some cases, but as Mele reveals, the promise of the Internet comes with a troubling downside He asks How does radical thinking underpin the design of everyday technology and undermine power How do we trust information when journalists are replaced by bloggers, phone videos, and tweets Two party government will its collapse bring us qualified leaders, or demagogues and special interest backed politicians Web based micro businesses can out compete major corporations, but who enforces basic regulations product safety, privacy protection, fraud, and tax collection Currency, health and safety systems, rule of law when these erode, are we better off Unless we exercise deliberate moral choice over the design and use of technologies, Mele says, we doom ourselves to a future that tramples human values, renders social structures chaotic, and destroys rather than enhances freedom Both hopeful and alarming, thought provoking and passionately argued, The End of Big is an important book about our present and our future.

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    One thought on “The End of Big: How the Digital Revolution Makes David the New Goliath

    1. Nick on said:

      First of all, the author is my firstborn, so I do have a bias. That out of the way, I read this book not once but several times, as he wrote it and most recently a review copy which I just completed. Each rereading impressed me with Nicco's (sorry but he is family!) vision and analysis. I don't agree with everything he asserts in this book, but he works with, teaches and has thought deeply about the impact on society of all of the technologies he examines and I do not. I think this is an importa [...]

    2. Alex on said:

      Nicco effectively synthesizes the changes going on in every aspect of society into a strong narrative of our times. Digital technologies, enabling "radical connectivity," are destabilizing, disrupting, or simply changing every aspect of the modern world, that is for sure. Ultimately I really enjoyed End of Big because it challenged some of what I've been thinking, brought new ideas to my attention, and had a great tone of exploration and passion for the subject. I sometimes wished for a more aca [...]

    3. Desiree on said:

      I enjoyed most of this book. In a world where large corporations seem to rule, it was refreshing to read about the little guy who is thriving. A lot of the book was about the political system and the military, otherwise I probably would have given this one five stars! Howard Dean's rise was rehashed and I didn't find it all that interesting. That being said, this is an overall good read! While I don't agree with everything the author espouses, it was still interesting. Easy to read, it flowed ni [...]

    4. Kevin on said:

      I don't think the content supports the title. There are some glaring holes in the theory that are hard to ignore. First off, this is about the end of big companies and big government. That was, from my perspective, what he was driving at. Some prime evidence for small companies competing with the big ones and winning are Firefox, Google, YouTube, Twitter, and . Which, last I checked, were all massive. Right at the end, the author does make a point which I feel should have been the only one worth [...]

    5. Bruce on said:

      In a successful attempt to distinguish himself from the marketplace, Mele has adopted a Cassandra-like viewpoint, seeing the online environment through cautionary rather than rose-tinted glasses. That could have been refreshing, but his book is one of those tremendously disappointing works in which the author ties a few anecdotal observations into vastly inflated, overgeneralized claims he cannot support. Whether this is due to intellectual laziness (Mele cops to painting with a broad brush towa [...]

    6. Peter Mcloughlin on said:

      Big centralized institutions like media, government, big political parties, the entertainment industry, big universities, and of course big business grew larger through the twentieth century and more slow moving, sometimes unresponsive and corrupt. Dissatisfaction with these institutions and their leaders deaf ear to the consumers and rank and file is now challenged by massive interconnectivity of the web which empowers individuals. Before we cheerfully dispose of former fat cats like the music [...]

    7. Daniel (Attack of the Books!) Burton on said:

      The End of Big by Nicco MeleIf Thomas Friedman's thesis in his 2005 The World Is Flat is that globalization has led to a flatter playing field, then The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath tells author Nicco Mele's vision that the ultimate tool of that equalization is the internet. In truth, it's not a hard argument to make. An young tech geek when the Howard Dean for President campaign hired him to help with their online fundraising, Mele learned first hand how the internet [...]

    8. Tara Brabazon on said:

      Well, I wasn't expecting that This year I've read an array of mediocre books in internet studies, often demonizing 'the young people' and 'social media.' Then I opened Nicco Mele's The end of big. As with many books in this genre, 'the internet' is a threat to - well - civilization. However there is a deep and searching ambivalence that renders this book important.At times, it is a book of mourning: what we have lost through the decline of 'big' institutions. His work on the loss of the media es [...]

    9. Rob on said:

      Many great examples of how the connectivity of the Internet empowers individuals and small groups to compete effectively with established institutions. Covers a broad range of fields, from publishing to government to business to entertainment. I particularly liked the balanced approach of pointing out the positive things that institutions provide, which may be lost if they are put out of business by small guys -- like the news coverage that's being lost as newspapers with large investigative rep [...]

    10. BLACK CAT on said:

      Interesting, technological and philosophical. The future is segmented and small: from one centralized place of services products to smaller more diverse places: wall mart vs. etsy/quirky, one big bank vs. smaller credit unions/bitcoin/paypal The challenge will be the organization and quality standard of many smaller parts/unions.

    11. David on said:

      Good collection of recent web 2.0 innovation stories for different domain. I knew much of the stories - so was a skimmer. Been thinking through API economy and platform business - and I found the book helpful in that regard.

    12. Shu on said:

      Got bored after two chapters. It may be interesting to a person who is not in technology or following what's happening. Otherwise the book is simply recording a few relevant events in the history and offering very few insights.

    13. Alice Faryna on said:

      The author is the nerd who turned Howard Dean's 2004 run for office into a viable campaign by soliciting small donors, a tactic expanded brilliantly by Obama. The subtitle could be "Revenge of the Nerds". He neatly summarizes how large and wealthy institutions are crumbling as individuals take over their functions: Print media supplanted by social media and blogs; Publishing houses,Hollywood and the music industry challenged by individuals self publishing, using You Tube and independent labels; [...]

    14. Luiz on said:

      Sounded like it world follow the reality is broken book i just finished well. It does. Can tell it is written before Trump was elected it talks about the end of big parties and the rise of the fringe and splitting the parties. Which is all well a nd good but seems very America centric. Would like to see an updated one with net neutrality. Liked the idea of local car manufacturing and power/ gardens. Little scary as the press is the watchdog of Gov’t and we all get stuck in our filter bubbles. [...]

    15. Jack Oughton on said:

      A fascinating and enjoyable insight into near term implications of the internet and various technological changes taking place right now.Didn't really learn that much but this is dated back to 2013, which is a long time in 'technology years'.

    16. Deborah on said:

      I'm divided on this one; I agreed with many of Mele's observations and his overall narrative, but some of his evidence and anecdotes made me cringe. Athens as a paradigm shift; Howard Dean, the amateur politician and, perhaps most egregious, everyone will have the ability to access energy generated by your friendly neighborhood wind and solar panels and we'll all be using electric cars within two decades. This, in addition to everyone using a 3D printer so they can print out their shoes and clot [...]

    17. Mark Chadbourn on said:

      This is an important book. We're going through the fastest period of change in human history and one that's accelerating - everything we're used to is going to alter in some way, and if you want to survive with your job, finances, health and sanity intact, you have to be prepared for what's coming. The End of Big is your road map.Nicco Mele, who sits on the faculty of Harvard's Kennedy School, examines the changes that are rushing through different sectors: business, the news media, the entertai [...]

    18. Ebony on said:

      The End of Big is not a book I would have ever picked up on my own. It came highly recommended but I knew from the outset that it wouldn’t move me. Mele laments the End of Big by referring to an American project that I was never fully invested in. Every time he writes about the value of Big politics, government, media, minds, companies, etc. I just rolled my eyes and thought “those big institutions never valued black people.” The big accountability he wants to reestablish has actively ensl [...]

    19. Robert Chapman on said:

      When I first picked up this book I thought it would be about how big = bad and small (or new) = better. The obvious things come to mind such as anyone with a smart phone and a Twitter account being able to provide real-time coverage of unfolding events, thus ending our reliance upon the big news outlets and the bias that often comes with their political affiliations.I was pleasantly surprised in how the depth of this book far exceeded my expectations and presented a thorough view of both the pos [...]

    20. Aaron on said:

      In "The End of Big" Mele, a former political operative for Howard Dean details how interconnectivity and its distributional effects are shattering traditional paradigms in political parties, journalism, business, government, and militaries. This ultimately allows smaller entities, be they people or organizations to form their own parties, develop their own "news", create their own startups, participate more fully in the democratic process, and combat armies much larger than themselves. In many w [...]

    21. Roberto Gallardo on said:

      The End of Big is eye opening. The author argues that radical connectivity is changing everything from political parties, to government, to transnational corporations. The author offers a series of ideas at the end so that humanity can transition to the post-big era. He argues that local community will once more be critical for this. Of most importance however is how the author brings up and center the need to build institutions that can sustain the values of the 20th century. Yet, these same in [...]

    22. Phil Simon on said:

      An excellent synthesis of major economic, social, and technological forces Mele ties many ostensibly disparate trends into a cohesive whole. To be clear, this is anything but a tactical book. As he mentions early on, each chapter could serve as serval deep books. No, I don't always agree with his viewpoint, specifically, on the ephemeral nature of platforms and the culpability of software consultants on failed IT projects. A few minor quibbles aside, the power of the Internet and disruptive tech [...]

    23. Kevin Kasowski on said:

      the book just felt contrived -- taking some ideas that do have a good bit of truth to them (that the Internet is changing the ability of traditional big institutions (political parties, school systems, etc.) to control our lives -- but then taking a very one-sided uncritical view of the world to make it seem like that is all that is going on when in reality those big institutions retain quite a lot of power indeed. It seemed like he was trying to write another "Future Shock" or such but didn't r [...]

    24. Jhfrancis01 on said:

      I wanted to be enthralled by this book, to be drawn into contemplation of the future. I wasn't. Instead, I found myself skimming its pages feeling rather bored. It didn't come alive for me and I am generally a huge fan of alternative views.

    25. Pamela on said:

      Very good 4.4. Reducing big--companies, political parties, newspapers, government, entertainment, etc.Thought provoking, More accessibility, transparency, accountability and responsiveness expected.

    26. Cynthia on said:

      I read things all the time that make me think of this book and feel smart because the author has already told me about them. Seriously, it's exciting to read, well-written and right on the money.

    27. Jonathan on said:

      Highly recommended if you are interested in how the internet is changing how the world operates.

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