October 3, 2022

11 of the best technology books for summer 2022

Read Time:9 Minute, 7 Second


Welcome to the long and hot summer of 2022. Hopefully workloads will lighten a bit, COVID-19 caseloads will begin to fall, and you’ll get a bit of beach time (or couch time) to catch up on your reading. If you’re into tech, there’s a wide selection of new titles to choose from, including new books on the metaverse, the future of mobility, and Silicon Valley’s role in addressing the Digital Divide.

Here are Fast Company‘s picks of the 2022 tech titles that are perfect for your reading enjoyment this summer.

Build: An Unorthodox Guide to Making Things Worth Making
By Tony Fadell, published May 3, 2022
Tony Fadell was part of the team at General Magic that envisioned and built the ’90s precursor to the smartphone. He later led the teams at Apple that created the iPod and the iPhone–both of which ushered in major shifts in the way we entertain ourselves and organize our information. Build is a container for many of the lessons Fadell learned about leadership, design, startups, decision-making, mentorship, failure, and success during his 30+ years of experience in Silicon Valley. He imparts this knowledge through real-life stories of being in the room when some of tech’s most important products were being created. Fadell’s great insight may be that you don’t have to reinvent everything from scratch to make something great. Some old-school, tried-and-true principles of collaboration and management can set the stage for the biggest technology breakthroughs. —Mark Sullivan, senior writer

Spies, Lies, and Algorithms: The History and Future of American Intelligence
By
Amy B. Zegart, published February 1, 2022
Spanning a history from George Washington and the Revolutionary War to space satellites, Amy Zegart investigates how the development of American espionage now faces a digital revolution capable of transforming everything we think we know about espionage. According to Zegart, it’s the private citizens, those who can track nuclear threats using only Google Earth, who can show us how technology has created vast discoveries and plenty of new enemies. For anyone ready to uncover the dark, rapidly transforming state of espionage, Spies, Lies, and Algorithms is for you. —Grace Buono, editorial intern

After Steve: How Apple Became a Trillion-Dollar Company and Lost Its Soul
By Tripp Mickle, published June 3, 2022
Author Tripp Mickle, a veteran Apple reporter who has broken numerous stories on the company, has looked closely at the drastic changes that  occurred at America’s Favorite Tech Company since the death of its cofounder and spiritual leader Steve Jobs in 2011. After Steve tells the untold story of the rise of company’s COO-turned-CEO Tim Cook and the fading influence of design chief Jony Ive, whom Jobs considered his spiritual kin. Mickle interviewed hundreds of people in and around the company to describe major events from the Cook era, as well as address big questions about how Apple might develop new, world-changing products as its profits shift away from the iPhone. —Mark Sullivan, senior writer

Road to Nowhere: Silicon Valley and the Future of Mobility
By Paris Marx, out July 5, 2022
Writer Paris Marx turns a critical eye to Silicon Valley’s utopian proposals for the future of transportation. By examining the history of mass mobility in the U.S. and the various contracts and subsidies doled out to the transportation industry by the federal government, Marx paints a picture of a sector gone wild, one that offers highfalutin (if not improbable) solutions that conveniently ignore the question of accessibility. But more than a ride share service or an underground tunnel, Marx argues, we need to put our energy into improving public transit, and better prioritizing the needs of pedestrians and cyclists. It’s a scathing read, and one could make you want to buy a bicycle before a Tesla. —Max Ufberg, senior staff editor

Building a Second Brain: A Proven Method to Organize Your Digital Life and Unlock Your Creative Potential
By Tiago Forte, published June 14, 2022
Research has shown that many of us have become lax about remembering information we may need later, because we know in the back of our minds that Google is always there. Author Tiago Forte, a productivity expert, argues that we need a new way of thinking about information and technology to effectively “manage and streamline” our information. In Second Brain, Forte introduces a four-step process called CODE–an acronym for Capture, Organize, Distill, and Express–that leverages existing technology to help you store your most important ideas and memories in your phone where they can be called up at a moment’s notice. Until memory implants become a thing, mastering the “second brain” in your hip pocket might be our best move. —Mark Sullivan, senior writer

Thriving on Overload: The 5 Powers for Success in a World of Exponential Information
By Ross Dawson, out September 6, 2022

Australian entrepreneur, futurist, and author Ross Dawson offers readers actionable steps for how, given today’s information overload and 24-hour news cycle, we can continue to thrive. Knowing how to survive and navigate this access to limitless information is key not only for success, but improved personal well-being, according to Dawson. Presenting lessons from leading “information masters,” including Dawson’s clients at Citibank, Google, and Microsoft, Thriving on Overload offers the five best ways to manage our information-drenched world. Grace Buono, editorial intern

Dignity in a Digital Age: Making Tech Work for All of Us
By Ro Khanna, published February 1
Congressman Ro Khanna, whose district encompasses much of Silicon Valley, has a unique challenge as a politician. Most Congresspeople spend lots of time working to bring appropriations (“pork”) back to their home districts. Khanna has made it his cause to help more people outside his district benefit from the wealth-generating power of the tech sector. “[J]ust as people can move to technology, technology can move to people,” the book’s foreword states. Dignity proposes practical ways of healing the lingering symptoms of the digital divide, such as poor rural broadband, job automation, and inequalities in technological access. MAGA America believes that the “coastal elite” has benefited from tech’s growing wealth while everybody else has been left with the bad side effects, such as job automation. Khanna’s ideas might spread tech’s wealth more evenly, and in so doing begin to soothe the country’s simmering political tensions. —Mark Sullivan, senior writer

Everything I Need I Get From You: How Fangirls Created the Internet As We Know It
By Kaitlyn Tiffany, published June 14, 2022
In her first book, journalist Kaitlyn Tiffany, a self-identified One Direction fangirl, explores how fandoms on Twitter, Tumblr, and other internet platforms have shaped what we know about social interactions online. Tiffany traces the stereotypes and limitations so often assigned to these music fanatics—from the fangirls of the Beatles to One Direction—ultimately arguing that we’ve underestimated them for too long. Taking a step back from her role as a participant in fandom subculture, Tiffany asks why fangirls took to the internet and how our digital lives have changed since. —Grace Buono, editorial intern

Binge Times: Inside Hollywood’s Furious Billion-Dollar Battle to Take Down Netflix
By Dade Hayes and Dawn Chmielewski, published April 19, 2022
The television industry has undergone a massive shift from broadcast and cable TV to streaming video. Old-guard media companies (including Disney) have had to play a difficult game of catch-up against the likes of streaming pioneer Netflix and the deep-pocketed Amazon Prime Video, both of which got a decade’s head start. Binge Times tells the inside story of how Apple, AT&T/WarnerMedia, Comcast/NBCUniversal, and well-funded startup Quibi scrambled to create and launch streaming products to compete against Netflix. Hayes and Chmielewski describe how these companies were forced to repeatedly redesign their streaming products, as well as their org charts and strategic plans to capture their share of the streaming future. —Mark Sullivan, senior writer

The Power Law: Venture Capital and the Making of the New Future
By Sebastian Mallaby, published February 1, 2022
Author Sebastian Mallaby has made a career out of chronicling various aspects of how finance works and, in The Power Law, he turns his attention to what he believes is the under-sung role that venture capitalists have played in the innovation economy. Mallaby’s book is most compelling–even to the most ardent followers of VC funding–when he delineates the history of the now taken-for-granted financial innovations of startup fundraising: employee stock options, funding rounds, growth equity, founder control, and more. For those less initiated in Silicon Valley history, the VC-eye view into the early days of Atari, Cisco, Apple, Google, and other iconic names add fizz and surprise. Mallaby can be heavy-handed in proffering his thesis, veering into terrain that would suggest that the money men deserve more credit than the creative folks who had the company ideas in the first place. In the process, though, he perhaps reveals more than he realizes about the cutthroat nature of venture capital. In these times when every “capital allocator” has issued dire warnings to their portfolio companies and would-be suitors for their dry powder, the unintended takeaway that VCs will ultimately do whatever they need to do to save their investment is one that adds an extra bit of piquancy to this otherwise triumphalist romp through Silicon Valley history. —David Lidsky, deputy editor

The Metaverse And How It Will Revolutionize Everything
By Matthew Ball, out July 19, 2022
Theorist and venture capitalist Matthew Ball was all about the “metaverse” well before the concept suddenly, in 2021, became the topic of endless tech press articles and before Facebook co-opted the term, even going so far as to rename the company after it. Ball has been defining what the metaverse might be, from the technical implications to the human consequences, in a series of influential essays going back years. He brings his whole body of thought on the matter together in The Metaverse, exploring the technologies involved–including the breakthroughs that will be necessary to fully realize it–the governance challenges, as well as the roles of Web3, blockchains, and NFTs. Ball predicts that the metaverse will eventually subsume the internet, in which case things like social networking and searching for content would no longer happen on little screens but would surround us via the magic of AR and VR. —Mark Sullivan, senior writer





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