The History of the Future: How a Bunch of Misfits, Makers,

The History of the Future: How a Bunch of Misfits, Makers, The dramatic, larger than life true story behind the founding of Oculus and its quest for virtual reality, by the bestselling author of Console WarsFrom iconic books like Neuromancer to blockbuster films like The Matrix, virtual reality has long been hailed as the ultimate technology But outside of a few research labs and military training facilities, this tantalizing vision of the future was nothing but science fiction Until , when Oculus founder Palmer Luckey then just a rebellious teenage dreamer living alone in a camper trailer invents a device that has the potential to change everythingWith the help of a video game legend, a serial entrepreneur and many other colorful characters, Luckey s scrappy startup kickstarts a revolution and sets out to bring VR to the masses As with most underdog stories, things don t quite go according to plan But what happens next turns out to be the ultimate entrepreneurial journey a tale of battles won and lost, lessons learned, and never ending twists and turns including an unlikely multi billion dollar acquisition by Facebook s Mark Zuckerberg, which shakes up the landscape in Silicon Valley and gives Oculus the chance to forever change our realityDrawing on over a hundred interviews with the key players driving this revolution, The History of the Future weaves together a rich, cinematic narrative that captures the breakthroughs, breakdowns, and human drama of trying to change the world The result is a super accessible and supremely entertaining look at the birth of a game changing new industry This is one of the hardest books I ve read to rate I would put it closer to 2.5 stars, but not close enough to other books I rated 3 stars to use 3 instead of 2 I picked up this book because of both an interest in VR and its history It wasn t anything I really knew a lot about beyond the names of the big companies, so I knew little about key players I found the first three parts interesting, but like most of the other mixed or negative reviews I ve read, my main issue was with Part IV It fe This is one of the hardest books I ve read to rate I would put it closer to 2.5 stars, but not close enough to other books I rated 3 stars to use 3 instead of 2 I picked up this book because of both an interest in VR and its history It wasn t anything I really knew a lot about beyond the names of the big companies, so I knew little about key players I found the first three parts interesting, but like most of the other mixed or negative reviews I ve read, my main issue was with Part IV It feels too close to propaganda for Luckey to my taste My main issue as I was listening to the first three parts was that there seemed to be a too good to be true narrative with Luckey Harris really seemed to be trying a little to hard to be hammering home the he s such a nice guy narrative, particularly with bits like the he literally gave someone the shirt of his back story It seems a bit disingenuous, especially with Luckey situated firmly as the protagonist and a lot of perspectives from those who didn t directly agree throughout his time at Oculus with him not presented You don t have to be nice to be treated unfairly, but making someone look a little too nice can cast doubt on whether they really are innocent it makes it seem like something is missing This makes me a little dubious that this story is the full truth, or if things were strategically left out to create a clear hero and villains Definitely an interesting book and I d be interested in readingfrom different sources to help contextualize this one, but I just can t shake that some behavior, opposing viewpoints, or valid concerns are fully overlooked and omitted to cast Luckey as an unquestionable martyr I am reluctant to pass negative comments about peoples work, but I m upset about it s naive portrayal of Palmer Luckey and I feel somebody has to at least question it As far as I know the facts are correct and I think Blake is a good writer, however I have several problems with this book Problem 1 Blake gives Luckey a complete pass on Trump and Nimble America because the other allegations are not proved He doesn t address those allegations what about the picture of Luckey with Bannon and t I am reluctant to pass negative comments about peoples work, but I m upset about it s naive portrayal of Palmer Luckey and I feel somebody has to at least question it As far as I know the facts are correct and I think Blake is a good writer, however I have several problems with this book Problem 1 Blake gives Luckey a complete pass on Trump and Nimble America because the other allegations are not proved He doesn t address those allegations what about the picture of Luckey with Bannon and the Holocaust denier Even if all Luckey did was support Trump, that needs examination Why do 99% of his peers in Silicon Valley think it s so wrong How does somebody hear the Pussygate tape and still support Trump, especially given the atmosphere of toxic masculinity in tech Does Luckey not know that Trump didn t even write The Art of the Deal , the book he cites as an inspiration Problem 2 Luckey is a self confessed Internet troll that pays for Internet trolling of Clinton and then is upset when people on the Internet troll him The book spends most of the last third trying to make us feel sorry for him I just kept thinking Great this is a fate I would wish on all Trump supporters and Internet trolls Problem 3 Many people at Facebook are shocked at the Trump election and blame themselves Blake dismisses this scathingly the conceit of this group was that Trump s victory was some sort of proof that Facebook needed to change its ways Even if you don t think Facebook is a threat to democracy, you surely have to accept that many people do History will not be kind to Facebook during this period and any book with History in the title should at least consider it it s arguably the biggest issue in tech today.Problem 4 The Facebook acquisition causes anger outside of Oculus, which I can understand The fact that option holding employees are upset sticks in my craw and the author doesn t challenge this Millionaires don t get to cry about creative freedom.Problem 5 The relentless narrative that they are doing something courageous and important They make video games, they don t cure cancer.For me it s a book of two halves The first half is a journalistic account of the early days of a startup, the second half is a public relations exercise to rehabilitate Luckey and get back at Facebook for pulling the author s all access pass The feel good ending that Luckey gets to build drones for the military tells you everything you need to know It is easy to say that one should never be penalized professionally for their personal views But what if they were the face of a company and had a view that was unpopular with the MSM resulting in their perhaps unfair vilification of the founder and by association the company Blake Harris does a commendable job taking us through the story of Oculus founder Palmer Luckey s journey right from his days of dreaming up Oculus right behind his childhood home to his Jobs esque ouster following its Fac It is easy to say that one should never be penalized professionally for their personal views But what if they were the face of a company and had a view that was unpopular with the MSM resulting in their perhaps unfair vilification of the founder and by association the company Blake Harris does a commendable job taking us through the story of Oculus founder Palmer Luckey s journey right from his days of dreaming up Oculus right behind his childhood home to his Jobs esque ouster following its Facebook acquisition While Harris risks, at times, being an apologist for Luckey through this book he does manage to do this without alienating his audience Worthy read for anyone who has been interested in VR I was eagerly anticipating this one because I recently listened to Console Wars and enjoyed that immensely VR is my passion and I was looking forward to a similar treatment of its history This didn t disappoint, as it went into the inspirational history of Oculus and how it s been changing gaming These events are a lot fresher in my memory and I already knew quite a bit of the history of the principal figures, but I still learned enough for this book to be an enjoyable read listen.

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