Author(s): Nick BiltonDownload
Twitter seems like a perfect start-up success story. In barely six years, a small group of young, ambitious programmers in Silicon Valley built an $11.5 billion business out of the ashes of a failed podcasting company. Today Twitter boasts more than 200 million active users and has affected business, politics, media, and other fields in innumerable ways. Now Nick Bilton of the New York Times takes readers behind the scenes with a narrative that shows what happened inside Twitter as it grew at exponential speeds. This is a tale of betrayed friendships and high-stakes power struggles as the four founders—Biz Stone, Evan Williams, Jack Dorsey, and Noah Glass—went from everyday engineers to wealthy celebrities, featured on magazine covers, Oprah, The Daily Show, and Time’s list of the world’s most influential people. Bilton’s exclusive access and exhaustive investigative reporting—drawing on hundreds of sources, documents, and internal e-mails—have enabled him to write an intimate portrait of fame, influence, and power. He also captures the zeitgeist and global influence of Twitter, which has been used to help overthrow governments in the Middle East and disrupt the very fabric of the way people communicate.
Some Reviews: 1046 in Goodreads.com
Amazon Best of the Month Review: Spoiler alert: The subtitle sorta says it all. That is, Nick Bilton’s
delivers “A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal,” though not necessarily in that order. The book’s four central players–Ev, Jack, Biz, and Noah–conceived of Twitter while working on Odeo, an ultimately doomed attempt to revolutionize podcasting. As their little chick grew, the four men’s personal and ideological differences led to a power struggle that eventually left them all on the sidelines as a former stand-up comedian took Twitter into the uncertain future. Writing with the pacing and veracity of detail of a true-crime book, Bilton makes use of a trove of source material–from internal Twitter e-mails to extensive interviews with and early tweets by the founders themselves–and the result is as exciting and fast-paced as it is topically relevant. If you’re looking for a thoughtful rumination about Twitter as a revolutionary global communications platform, keep looking. If you’re looking for a quick, well-written, thoroughly researched human drama, the story of an utterly dysfunctional foursome and the accelerated unraveling of their once brilliant partnership, this is your book. #HighlyRecommended —Jason Kirk (@brasswax)
I am a huge admirer of the written word I all formats, but to me the hardest to write has to be the non-fiction novel. But Bilton completely nailed it with Hatching Twitter. I haven’t read a non-Fiicton novel that I liked this much since Capote’s In Cold Blood. From the opening scene with Ev throwing up in a trash can as he is about to be forced out as Twitter CEO, I was hooked. The novel then goes back in time slowly building to the opening scene, and even though I knew what was gown to happen, I was on the “edge of my seat” as he built toward the climax. I can’t imagine being behind the sciences of a technology that has truly changed the way we communicate.
It is so interesting to find out what was really going on as Twitter was being built. The dynamic between the co-founders was fascinating. It really speaks to where power of positive press can get you and illustrates to me to never really believe what I read in the media. @jack’s relationship with the media reminded me a little of the whole Man T’ai Teo thing where the media just took something at face value and really didn’t know the truth. It worked out better for Jack than Man T’ai.
I loved this book and immediately after it was over Googled exaggerated of the founders to find out where they are now – and I followed them on Twitter of course.
It is a super entertaining book about people behind one of the greatest Internet startups of all time. Hatched as a side project and then pivot of podcasts website – Odeo, Twitter was at the right time in the right place, however not really ready for the exponential growth which was waiting for it.
Instead of focusing on Twitter as a product, the author focuses on people behind it, their backgrounds and relationships with each other. Of course when there are so much money and power involved friendships get broken and intrigues start. It is interesting to read how people change exposed to such things and what happens behind the scenes.
However, the story should be taken with the salt of grain as it looks like the author is a bit biased in favor of Ev and against Jack.
Moral of the book – people are feeling lonely. Twitter’s initial idea was supposed to be the antidote for that. People are still lonely but at least they know “What’s happening” faster.
I wanted to give it 5 stars. This is the first time I finish reading a book in about 3 days. The book is entertaining and it’s hard to try to take a break while reading it. I gave it 4 stars as I felt many times that the author didn’t like Jack. Still this is a book I would recommend to anyone planning to start a startup/new business, especially if planning to get the support of external investors.
Building a company isn’t a happy experience. You will always get involved in fights over power, fame, and money. Friends will turn into enemies, and your VCs will always follow the best for their interests without care about anything else. You won’t read about these stories on Techcrunch, so this book will show you how things like that happen. similar fights happened at Facebook, and many other startups, and most probably will happen at yours at some point in the future. So be ready!
A look into what goes on inside a tech startups as seen through the eyes of founders, investors, employees, friends and families. Often when you read startup news (blog, sites), all you see is money, power and fame. But what actually goes into making a startup successful is almost always left out – emotions and the politics that doesn’t care for emotions. As an entrepreneur myself, this book has now helped me realize the true meaning of starting up, about what it costs, and about the things that founders would not think about. Granted it’s only one example (Twitter, in case you couldn’t guess), it seems to be the story of most successful companies. I think this is one of the one book that will have the most impact on my life.
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