The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google

The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google

Book rating: 05 Paperback

By (author) Nicholas Carr

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  • Publisher: WW Norton & Co
  • Format: Paperback | 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 137mm x 206mm x 23mm | 249g
  • Publication date: 1 August 2013
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 039334522X
  • ISBN 13: 9780393345223
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Sales rank: 94,186

Product description

Hailed as "the most influential book so far on the cloud computing movement" (Christian Science Monitor), The Big Switch makes a simple and profound statement: Computing is turning into a utility, and the effects of this transition will ultimately change society as completely as the advent of cheap electricity did. In a new chapter for this edition that brings the story up-to-date, Nicholas Carr revisits the dramatic new world being conjured from the circuits of the "World Wide Computer."

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Author information

Nicholas Carr is the author of The Shallows, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, as well as The Big Switch and Does IT Matter? His articles and essays have appeared in The Atlantic, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Wired, and the New Republic, and he writes the widely read blog Rough Type. He has been writer-in-residence at the University of California, Berkeley, and an executive editor of the Harvard Business Review.

Customer reviews

By Daniel G Taylor 18 Nov 2013 5

The way we use computers has changed forever.

Once, everything you needed for your computer was contained in the plastic or metal casing. You bought software in a box. Now your devices are access points, a way onto the internet. Software gets downloaded or used through your browser.

Nicholas Carr sees a parallel between the way computing has changed and is changing and the way electricity moved from Edison’s controlled, private network to a utility.

The old and outdated business model was that you competed and strove for a monopoly. You wanted to quash your competitors. Now, business rivals must engage in co-opetition: Apple must let Google have apps on iDevices to satisfy consumers; the full power of Microsoft Office is only just being restored now that it’s available on every mobile platform and in the cloud.

Often in investing and business, we’re hungry to know what’s going to happen next. We forget that history is an excellent teacher. Warren Buffett, for example, used history to dodge the dot com bubble. As Carr makes his case, he links where computing is and where it’s going to the evolution of the electricity industry.

If computing affects your investments or your business, you want to read this book.

Review quote

"Future Shock for the Web-apps era... Compulsively readable-for nontechies, too-as it compellingly weaves together news stories, anecdotes, and data." "The best read so far about the significance of the shift to cloud computing." "Mr. Carr's provocations are destined to influence CEOs and the boards and investors that support them as companies grapple with the constant change of the digital age."