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Accidental Billlionaires, a review

By September 13, 2010No Comments2 min read

Accidental Billionaires
Being a fan of Ben Mezrich’s work, i figured I almost had to read his latest book about Facebook. The fact that half my business is built around providing software for their platform means I needed to get a better insight into where it all came from. That and the fact that this book was being turned into an Aaron sorkin movie meant I needed to get this review out asap.

Having read most of mezrich’s books meant I knew what style of writing I was getting into. For those of you who haven’t read any of his books, a quick primer: he takes what should be drab/boring topics (counting cards, investing in oil futures, nikkei stock market, anything that involves lots of money) and speeds up their pace and dramatizes them. Accidental billionaires is no different.

The book covers in a chronological method the story of mark zuckerberg and the other players involved in the creation of Facebook. It dives into the interpersonal relationships between each of the players involved, and how money and power affected them all.

Zuckerberg comes across as this callous unemotional robot completely hellbent on one goal, and one goal alone: making a big impact in the world. It turns out to be a pretty wild ride, but not completely unique (when you take the billions out of the equation) when you look at it as just a startup. The way Zuck is portrayed surely won’t make him happy (assuming he feels that emotion, which the book would lead you to believe he doesn’t), but it’s not as bad as the way the movie portrays him (review of that coming next).

There are some important lessons to be learned from this book, and some fascinating examples of the components involved in building a startup. At the end of the day the book is a fun ride, easy to read, and well paced, so I recommend it. If you get nothing else from it, you’ll gain some insight into the sheer drive thats required to build something as impactful as Facebook.