Over the long term, the future is decided by optimists

Kevin Kelly

What Technology Wants


“More thriller than primer, this is the best technology book I have ever read.” — Nicholas Negroponte, author of Being Digital

In this provocative book, one of today’s most respected thinkers turns the conversation about technology on its head by viewing technology as a natural system, an extension of biological evolution. By mapping the behavior of life, we paradoxically get a glimpse at where technology is headed-or “what it wants.” Kevin Kelly offers a dozen trajectories in the coming decades for this near-living system. And as we align ourselves with technology’s agenda, we can capture its colossal potential. This visionary and optimistic book explores how technology gives our lives greater meaning and is a must-read for anyone curious about the future.
Summary from Viking catalog

Praise for What Technology Wants

“A sweeping theory of technology . . . consistently provocative and intriguing.”
The Economist

“An exuberant book . . . Kelly’s polymath erudition and infectious confidence will prove more than sufficient.”
The Washington Post

“Bold . . . engaging . . . A sharp-eyed study of our absorbing need for cars, computers, and gadgets.”
The New York Times Book Review

“A fascinating and enjoyable book packed with insight, which should be read by everyone concerned with how technology is shaping humanity.”
New Scientist

For media queries, please contact:

Kristin Matzen
Senior Publicist, Viking and Penguin Books
212-366-2226, kmatzen@penguinrandomhouse.com


H+ Magazine, February 24, 2014
Review: What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly, Harry J. Bentham

Download the Universe, June 22, 2012
Telegraphing What Technology Wants, John Hawks

strategy+business, November 22, 2011
Best Business Books 2011: Technology, Michael Schrage

John Battelle’s Searchblog, November 9, 2011
Kevin Kelly’s “What Technology Wants”, John Battelle

The Nation, January 10/17, 2011
Spin Cycle: On Tim Wu and Kevin Kelly, Paul Duguid

San Francisco Chronicle, November 21, 2010
‘What Technology Wants,’ by Kevin Kelly, G. Pascal Zachary

Nature, November 17, 2010
Society: The rise of the ‘technium’, Zaheer Baber

Mind the Gap, November 14-19, 2010
Blogger Book Club IV

The Washington Post, November 12, 2010
Kevin Kelly’s “What Technology Wants,” William Rosen

The Technology Liberation Front, November 7, 2010
Book Review: Kevin Kelly’s What Technology Wants, Adam Thierer

The New York Times, November 5, 2010
Better All the Time, Sunday Book Review, Jerry A. Coyne

New Scientist, November 3, 2010
Machine needs: How technology is shaping humanity, Timothy Taylor

NPR, October 26, 2010
‘What Technology Wants’ Tracks The Tech Evolution, Susan Jane Gilman

The New York Times, October 25, 2010
Amish Hackers Tell All, Papercuts, Jennifer Schuessler

Inc., October 24, 2010
Review: What Technology Wants, Jack Covert

Fairer Globalization, October 19, 2010
Kevin Kelly on What Technology Wants, Evan O’Neil

The Wall Street Journal, October 16, 2010
Do Machines Have Minds of Their Own? Jeremy Philips

David Brake’s Blog, October 13, 2010
Preview of Kevin Kelly’s What Technology Wants

boingboing, October 13, 2010
Cory Doctorow

Barnes & Noble Review, October 12, 2010
Stefan Beck

The Economist, September 30, 2010
Well, what a good idea!


New York Times, December 30, 2013
The Sidney Awards, Part 2, The Opinion Pages

Krulwich Wonders, February 1, 2011
Tools Never Die. Waddaya Mean, Never?

Reality Sandwich, January 21, 2011
Playing the Infinite Game

The Technology Liberation Front, December 10, 2010
The 10 Most Important Info-Tech Policy Books of 2010

The Economist, December 2, 2010
Books of the Year

Frank Coyle, November 26, 2010
An Ever Expanding Web, Letters, Sunday Book Review, The New York Times

The New York Times, November 12, 2010
Editor’s Choice, Sunday Book Review

Lawrence Wilkinson, November 3, 2010
Leading horses to water,” (Roughly) Daily

Seth Godin, October 14, 2010
The book of the year,” Seth Godin’s Blog

Kate Wong, October 2010
What Technology Wants,” Recommended, Scientific American, 303(4), p.97


TEDxSF, November 16, 2010


专访 KK:技术、生命、失控和进化
Huxio.com, February 21, 2013

Tech Thinker Kevin Kelly on the Red Couch
Inside Flipboard, February 21, 2013

Patt Morrison Asks: The Possibilian, Kevin Kelly
Interview by Pat Morrison, Los Angeles Times, August 13, 2011

Geek Theologian
Interview by Katelyn Beaty, Christianity Today, July 15, 2011

What Technology Wants. What Kevin Kelly Says. An interview with Kevin Kelly
Interview by R.U. Sirius, h+ Magaine, January 19, 2011

Keen On… Kevin Kelly: What Does Kevin Kelly Want? (TCTV), Part II
Interview by Andrew Keen, TechCrunch, January 19, 2011

Keen On… Kevin Kelly: What Does Kevin Kelly Want? (TCTV), Part I
Interview by Andrew Keen, TechCrunch, January 18, 2011

Kevin Kelly
Interview by Erik Hansen, tompeters!, January 6, 2011

RISE #154: A Chat With Kevin Kelly On What Technology Wants & The Power Of 1,000 Fans
Interview by David Siteman Garland, The Rise To The Top, December 28, 2010

Kevin Kelly on What Technology Wants
Interview by Peter Schwartz, GBN in Conversation, December 9, 2010

Kelly on Technology and What Technology Wants
Interview by Russ Roberts, EconTalk, November 29, 2010

Ask not what your technology can do for you…
Interview by Jamillah Knowles, BBC Outriders, November 23, 2010

Part One: What Is Life? — Science & the Search for Meaning: 5 Questions
Interview by Jim Fleming, To The Best Of Our Knowledge, November 21, 2010

TWiT Live Specials 49: Live With Kevin Kelly
Interview by Leo Laporte, November 17, 2010

Kevin Kelley Interviewed by Rick Kleffel
The Agony Column, Litseen, November 15, 2010

Kevin Kelly On Singularity 1 on 1: Technology Doesn’t Want A Singularity
Interview by Nikola Danaylov, Singularity Weblog, November 3, 2010

Evolution of Technology
In conversation with James Gardner
Interview by George Noory, Coast to Coast AM, November 2, 2010

Wired Co-Founder Kevin Kelly on ‘What Technology Wants’
Interview by Jennifer Pollock, 7×7, October 24, 2010

Kirkus Q&A: Kevin Kelly
Interview by Devon Glenn, Kirkus Reviews, October 20, 2010

Kevin Kelly on Tech: the Unabomber was Right; the Amish, too
Interview by Christopher Lydon, Radio Open Source, October 19, 2010

The Tendencies of Technology
In conversation with Nicholas Negroponte, David Kirkpatrick, and Nick Bilton
Moderated by John Hockenberry, Boston Book Festival, October 16, 2010

Kevin Kelly Tells Us What Technology Wants
Interview by Bill Frank, Brainstormin’ with Billy the Brain, October 15, 2010

Kevin Kelly and Steven Johnson on Where Ideas Come From
Wired, Issue 18.10, September 27, 2010

Kevin Kelly on “What Technology Wants”
by David Spark, Techonomy, August 5, 2010.

Additional Praise for What Technology Wants

“If you are interested the big picture of technology, you need to read this book.”
Danny Hillis, designer of The 10,000-year Clock

“It isn’t often that a book is so important and well crafted that I feel compelled to urge everyone to buy it and read it even though I profoundly disagree with aspects of it. What Technology Wants is the best, purest statement of one way of thinking about our era and the future. You can’t understand the most important conversation of our times without reading this book.”
Jaron Lanier, technologist, inventor

“Kevin Kelly’s new book is unputdownable. It’s brilliant. It’s necessary.”
Doug Coupland, author of Generation X

“This is why it is still worth our time to read books. Kevin Kelly, the clearest-eyed visionary we have about the intersection of culture and technology, has created a tour de force, a book for the ages. It will be several months before I stop bringing this book up with everyone I meet.”
Seth Godin, author of Linchpin

“Kevin Kelly has given us a magisterial tome that should be ingested slowly and savored to the last paragraph.”
Tom Peters, co-author of In Search of Excellence

“Unparalleled in both depth and breadth, this book is set to become a landmark in modern thinking.”
Brian Eno, muscian and producer

“Kevin Kelly’s original and unusual mind has produced an enthralling account of the living, changing `technium’ in which all our lives are immersed. His conclusion is that technology’s evolution is incremental, inevitable and inexorable. This is a book swarming with fresh insights.”
Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist

“Here you have the first theory of human history that is reliably predictive, because it extends to before and after humans. The writing is a model of lucidity.”
Stewart Brand, Global Business Network and Whole Earth Discipline

“Kevin Kelly’s thesis is spellbinding, lucid, contrary, and ever fantastic: technologies are an expression of a self-organizing universe better understood through the metaphors of biology than engineering. Read it to be startled, read it to be shaken up; read it to transform technophobia into wonder.’
Paul Hawken, author of Blessed Unrest

“This is the first book that has made me accept the inevitability of our technologized future, while simultaneously making me feel hopeful about it. This is technology writing at its very best.”
Douglas Rushkoff, author, Program or Be Programmed

“Kevin Kelly is one of the world’s best philosophers of technology, and he’s again ahead of the wave with this astonishingly brilliant book. He shows how technology is an outgrowth of human life, and thus it evolves based on its own inherent desires and instincts. It expands the mind’s urge toward connections and unity and, yes, toward goodness and beauty. What a cool insight, at once both useful and optimistic!”
Walter Isaacson, President of the Aspen Institute

“What Technology Wants is an inspiring, provocative and sweeping account of how our world works and where it’s going. Kelly wants you to make choices about technology, but he also wants you to understand that technology is making choices about you. It is an extraordinary book.”
Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing

“Kevin Kelly is the biggest thinker I know, and What Technology Wants is a breathtakingly big look at what technology is, what it is becoming, and what humans can do about it. It’s a uniquely appealing invitation to rethink the role of technology in the world and our lives. I read it like a connoisseur must savor a rare wine because books this important and this compellingly written don’t come along often.”
Howard Rheingold, author of Smart Mobs

“A terrific book. Kelly’s guarded optimism about our technology-empowered future is infectious and persuasive. Anyone who catches a glimpse of the tomorrow presented here will want it, and move mountains to make it happen.”
David Brin, science fiction author

“Brave Kevin Kelly says what others are too timid to admit: he sees technology as a life force, a desiring partner. In the embrace of the web that he loves, he wants to give technology what it wants and this book is his theory of its wishes. By making the strong case Kelly opens up the conversation we need to have about technology, determinism, and human choice.”
Sherry Turkle, MIT professor and author of Second Self

“This is no mere book about stuff. To Kevin Kelly, life is an extension of matter and energy, the fundamentals of the universe ever since the Big Bang, and technology is an extension of life. From this perspective, humans are not the ultimate but rather intermediate between the born and the made. If you want to expand your mind and way of thinking about life and the cosmos, I can think of no better book than What Technology Wants. Kelly is a master of the Big View.”
Stan Davis, author of Future Perfect

“One of the foremost connoisseurs of technology, Kevin Kelly takes us on a wild ride into the living, pumping, networked heart of the world that has grown up around us. Through his eyes we come to see the technium as an evolving ecosystem whose genes are ideas and whose lush varieties form a seventh kingdom of life. This book will immediately become a classic guidepost for anyone wanting to navigate the strange and miraculous ecology in which we now find ourselves.”
David Eagleman, author of SUM

“Kevin Kelly’s book more than provokes thoughts–it unleashes geysers of them. This masterful treatise on how technology evolves goes far beyond the conventional hand-wringing or flag-waving to present an original and constructive vision of the world we’ve created and its future.”
Steven Levy, author of The Perfect Thing and Hackers

“It’s tough work predicting the future but–now that it’s here grabbing us by the lapels and looking us in the face–someone’s got to do it, and who better than Kevin Kelly? What Technology Wants is provocative and exciting.”
James Gleick, author of Chaos

“We humans have achieved sentience and self-awareness via self-organizing systems, beginning with molecules and genes. Our next emerging state is what Kevin Kelly calls the “technium” — a colossal system in which people and machines work together. The focus of What Technology Wants is on how we can work together, with our creations, to make life better for all — humans and creations.”
Craig Newmark, craigslist

“In What Technology Wants Kevin Kelly makes a convincing case that technological development is not merely similar to the evolutionary process — it’s an integral part of it. This is an ambitious, thought-provoking book whose bold premise will be discussed and debated for some time to come. Highly recommended.”
Daniel Suarez, author of Daemon

Other Editions

Hardcover, 416 pages
Viking, New York
ISBN: 978-0670022151

Paperback, 416 pages
Penguin, New York
ISBN: 978-0143120179

Kindle (US)
Viking, New York
ISBN: 978-1101444467


Kindle (UK, DE, International)
Kevin Kelly, Pacifica
ISBN: 978-0972392570

Viking, New York
ISBN: 978-1101444467

Viking, New York
ISBN: 978-1101444467

Audible, 15:10:00
Tantor Audio, Old Saybrook
ISBN: 978-1400168859

Audio CD, 15:10:00
Tantor Audio, Old Saybrook
ISBN: 978-1400118854


Chinese (Simplified)
CITIC Publishing House, Beijing
ISBN: 978-7508630373
Available from: Douban
Chinese (Traditional)
Owl Publishing House (Cite Publishing), Taipei
ISBN: 978-9862620793
De wil van technologie
Maven Publishing, Amsterdam
ISBN: 978-9490574285
Available from: Maven, Libris
Quello che vuole la tecnologia
Codice Edizioni, Torino
ISBN: 978-8875781842
Available from: Amazon.co.uk, laFeltrinelli
기술의 충격
Thorndike Press (Minumsa), Seoul
ISBN: 978-8937483653
Available from: Aladin, Kyobo, Yes24
Hardcover, 456 pages
Misuzu Shobo, Translator: Hattori Katsura,
ISBN: 978-4622077534

Para Onde nos Leva a Tecnologia
Grupo A, Brazil
ISBN: 978-8577809707
Available from: Amazon

Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences

Avalerion, Russia