Author(s): Ben MezrichDownload
The high-energy tale of how two socially awkward Ivy Leaguers, trying to increase their chances with the opposite sex, ended up creating Facebook.Eduardo Saverin and Mark Zuckerberg were Harvard undergraduates and best friends–outsiders at a school filled with polished prep-school grads and long-time legacies. They shared both academic brilliance in math and a geeky awkwardness with women.Eduardo figured their ticket to social acceptance–and sexual success–was getting invited to join one of the university’s Final Clubs, a constellation of elite societies that had groomed generations of the most powerful men in the world and ranked on top of the inflexible hierarchy at Harvard. Mark, with less of an interest in what the campus alpha males thought of him, happened to be a computer genius of the first order.Which he used to find a more direct route to social stardom: one lonely night, Mark hacked into the university’s computer system, creating a ratable database of all the female students on campus–and subsequently crashing the university’s servers and nearly getting himself kicked out of school. In that moment, in his Harvard dorm room, the framework for Facebook was born.What followed–a real-life adventure filled with slick venture capitalists, stunning women, and six-foot-five-inch identical-twin Olympic rowers–makes for one of the most entertaining and compelling books of the year. Before long, Eduardo’s and Mark’s different ideas about Facebook created in their relationship faint cracks, which soon spiraled into out-and-out warfare. The collegiate exuberance that marked their collaboration fell prey to the adult world of lawyers and money. The great irony is that while Facebook succeeded by bringing people together, its very success tore two best friends apart.The Accidental Billionaires is a compulsively readable story of innocence lost–and of the unusual creation of a company that has revolutionized the way hundreds of millions of people relate to one another.Ben Mezrich, a Harvard graduate, has published ten books, including the New York Times bestseller Bringing Down the House. He is a columnist for Boston Common and a contributor for Flush magazine. Ben lives in Boston with his wife, Tonya.
Some Reviews: 1564 in Goodreads.com
As a fan of the movie The Social Network, I was surprised to find out how many of the movie’s scenes were lifted straight out of the book.
As a writer of nonfiction books that are true to the best of my reporting down to the last detail, I was disappointed how many of those scenes were fabricated. The author at least acknowledged up front that he speculated about the setting and thoughts and words of the participants, working from a framework of reported truth.
The thing was, I don’t think the story needed all this invention. It’s a fascinating story and a great angle from which to tell the Facebook story: the guys who missed the boat.
An interesting history of the origins of Facebook by a creative Harvard undergraduate interested in facilitating the process of dating. That the social networking software now used by 500 million plus users was invented by a socially inept and ethically handicapped nerd has a certain fable-like quality. The author unfortunately makes extensive use of dubious constructed dialog, which the author based on interviews with one-time friends and early partners who eventually were left in the dust of the meteoric trajectory of the invention. He also fails to uncover enough about the background and mindset of the central figure, Mark Zuckerberg, for the book to qualify as serious biography or history. Still get an interesting tip of the iceberg. The strange alignment of the frat-house lifestyle of the core team with the wealthy and ambitious venture capitalists of Silicon Valley especially deserves a more in-depth treatment.
The author’s way of writing a real story had already captured me on the other book about the MIT boys and Las Vegas. This time was no different. His storytelling is catchy and you won’t stop reading so soon. I finished it in one day, after 200 pages.
Don’t be fooled, though. The real story behind the creation of Facebook can be found only with each founder. This book and the movie based on it are only a part of the story.
Also this was the basis for my course conclusion work on journalism, about books adaptations for movies. Very interesting way of analyzing this book too, since it is also based not only on a book but also on a true story.
This is a fast paced book detailing the meteoric rise of Facebook and it’s founders. It is pretty amazing. What, however, amazes me even more are the young women, highly educated, mind you, who prostitute themselves willingly for sport with virtual strangers. It is somewhat understandable that women do this for love or money, but what has educating women done for them if they can’t respect themselves? I realize that self respect is taught from birth at home, but education should turn on a light or two.
When was the last time you posted a status update or sent a picture through social media? For many people posting on social media is like eating or walking. In the book Accidental Billionaires it explains how the very popular social media site Facebook got started. The site which was suppose to be a dating site for student at Harvard grew into the social media king it is today by Mark Zuckerberg. Mark seemed to have no ambition outside of working on computers, so when he was rejected by a girl one day it sparked him to further the creation of Facemash (Facebook). The betrayal aspect to the book comes when Mark launches the book with out the other Harvard student who were in on the idea. In his defense he did do all the work but that did not stop the other Harvard student from suing him and gaining as much money as possible.
What I didn’t like about the book was that it started off very slowly because it explain a lot of what goes around Harvard. After the book picked up it was very interesting and went into vivid details. The was also a comedy aspects to the book where one of the Harvard students gets reported to animal cruelty because he fed a chicken, fried chicken. In the book it was very interesting how Facebook started out to be a Harvard dating site called Facemash. A man with no ambition in the Harvar college now having a very exiting life with money, women, and fame.
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