Over the past seemingly forever Erik Brynjolfsson and I wrote The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies. Norton is bringing it out in late January of 2014.
All authors are contractually obligated to say the following, but that doesn’t make it less true: I’m really excited about this book. It picks up where Race Against the Machine left off in three main ways: 2MA (as we’ve taken to calling it) explains why we’re currently in this weird and wonderful period where science fiction technologies (self-driving cars, automated personal assistants, humanoid robots, etc.) are becoming everyday reality. It also discusses the consequences of this trend, which is simultaneously the best economic news on the planet and quite possibly the most challenging. And finally it offers a set of prescriptions, some aimed at policymakers, others at individuals, for how to amplify what’s good and mitigate what’s bad about the second machine age.
This post is to let people know that 2MA is coming, and that both before and after its publication I’ll be talking about it a fair bit in many venues: the mainstream media; Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn; my HBR blog and this one; and just about anyplace else that will have me. We’ll be doing a book tour in January and February, so I’ll send out alerts about where and when its events will be held. And if I have your email address, you might well be hearing from me that way, too.
I’ll be doing all this because I want to promote the book (duh). Erik and I spent a lot of time and effort on it, we’re pleased with and proud of the results, and whether or not we plan to get fantastically wealthy off 2MA (we don’t) we do want to get its ideas out there and get them widely discussed. The best way to do this is to sell a lot of copies, and everything I’m hearing and learning about today’s publishing industry convinces me that books no longer sell themselves, if indeed they ever did (they didn’t).
So this is the first of multiple efforts to make you aware of 2MA and get you interested enough to get it and read it. I’ll try hard to make sure future efforts don’t annoy you. Any and all emails you get about it will include a working ‘unsubscribe’ option, and if my hucksterism on social media becomes unbearable please feel free to unfriend, unfollow, and otherwise disconnect.
I certainly hope you won’t, but I understand if you do.