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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading if you care about where the internet is heading
I just finished reading 'The Facebook Effect' about an hour ago, and I must admit that I was surprised by the book and it's content. It gave an intelligent account of the story of Facebook and real insight into the thinking of founder and CEO Mark Zuckenberg.

There were two concerns when I started reading the book. The first one was that the author, David...
Published on 6 Aug. 2010 by Philip Weiss

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3.0 out of 5 stars The Facebook Effect: The real Inside Story of Mark Zuckerberg and the World's Fastest Growing Company
A well written and researched book David K. Enjoy reading it but I doubt whether Facebook would become the world's fastest growing company looking at the much hyped initial public offering of its shares now worth 50% of its $38 per share offer. Glad I did not buy those shares knowing that it was a social network with no opportunity to attract would be advertisers as it is...
Published on 8 Dec. 2012 by Leo


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading if you care about where the internet is heading, 6 Aug. 2010
I just finished reading 'The Facebook Effect' about an hour ago, and I must admit that I was surprised by the book and it's content. It gave an intelligent account of the story of Facebook and real insight into the thinking of founder and CEO Mark Zuckenberg.

There were two concerns when I started reading the book. The first one was that the author, David Kirkpatrick had clearly been given a great deal of access to Facebook and you couldn't expect him to be too critical of the company given his apparent closeness to the founder and key staff. Second, that the book would be an excited and prophetic account about the 'Facebook miracle' hyping once more an already over-hyped subject.

After finishing the book I feel that Kirkpatrick was able to tell the story of Facebook in a revealing way and that his proximity to the company was a real asset in understanding the guiding thinking and philosophy behind the company. We learn how the founder approached some major challenges and changes to the platform, from the expansion outside of the Ivy league network of US unversities, to the introduction of newsfeeds and it's subsequent user rebellion as well as global expansion. It delves a little too much in the equity structure and on-going discussion about selling or not selling and who thought what when. It fails to truly critize Facebook in any significant way - although it raises the privacy issues and concerns, you still end up feeling that Mark Zuckenberg is a visionary genius who had figured it out from the beginning (which he probably is - but you leave feeling you needed a more balanced account to be convinced). Although it is balanced by the doubts and lack of certainty that he experience you still feel that there is more to the story than what is told and that luck and circumstance played a more significant role than 'brave and bold' strategic decisions. Maybe the upcoming movie 'the Social Network' will help complete the picture of the Facebook story.

On the Facebook miracle question, the book clearly hypes the company as more a less the future of the internet, and sometimes even the future of humanity, morals, and mankind. This is when Kirkpatrick get's carried away by the official Facebook propaganda. However the underlying changes that Facebook is doing to society, as well as it's incredibly important significance for the world of business and communications is explained in an intelligent and meaningful way. I felt I understand much better some of the changes that happened to fFacebook, and where it is heading and how the corporate culture and founder's vision is getting it there.

On the whole it is a thoroughly enjoyable read, worth your while if you want to understand how Facebook happened, and get an insight into the mind of the founder. It should be more critical of Facebook and more open about the accidental events that lead to it's dominant position (and could equally removing it from that pedestal), but all in all it was a great read.

Phil
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative history of Facebook, from inception to impact, 1 Dec. 2010
By 
Rolf Dobelli "getAbstract" (Switzerland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Statistically speaking - if Facebook and the internet keep growing at a steady rate - by 2013, every internet user will have a Facebook page, a remarkable achievement for an organization in operation only since 2004. In fact, Facebook is the best networking platform ever. Writer, editor and technology expert David Kirkpatrick examines its amazing start-up and covers "the Facebook effect," the singular phenomenon that enables people globally to connect in new ways. Facebook is ubiquitous, with far greater penetration than any other mass medium. Most intriguing, information can bubble up from Facebook users and quickly spread from one online "friend" to another across an immense social network of nearly 500 million users worldwide. Kirkpatrick nails Facebook's complex corporate biography and, even more tellingly, captures the personalities of the innovators involved, particularly genius CEO Mark Zuckerberg. getAbstract recommends this book to all Facebook members, which if current trends continue, soon will be everyone online.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FACEBOOK: PART ONE - THE UPWARD JOURNEY, 19 Jun. 2011
By 
DOPPLEGANGER (TEDDY B) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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Much as been said and written about the phenomenal success, since it's start-up in 2004, of the ubiquitous social networking site, Facebook. From humble beginnings, but with hindsight inspirational foresight and determination,and whilst in his first year at Harvard, Mark Zukerberg and his coterie drove through with almost a religious fervour his concept of the future of global communications, into a mammoth modern technology company.

That company Facebook has now been morphed into a massive concern with upwards of 500 million of us having joined up to socialise among family and friends, make new acquaintances, and 'rubber-neck' other's lives and goings-on. It also allowed us a freedom and flexibility of instant communication and networking that hitherto had not been available to the great unwashed masses.

David Kirkpatrick's most competent and engagingly attention-holding book 'The Facebook Effect' does an excellent job in tracking the growth of the Google Business from the early days at Harvard through until 2010, including all of it's teething troubles and growth pains, warts and all. He was given extensive access to Zuckerberg and his team which helped him build up a very clear and concise understanding of how 'Facebook' bludgeoned it's way into our affections. That the company is now valued at $15 billion is testament indeed, to this contemporary geek culture.

So what happens now? Quoting from the eminent Science Fiction Author Timothy Zahn " For a change, lady-luck seemed to be smiling on me. Then, again, maybe the fickle wench was just lulling me into a false sense of security while she reached for the hard rock." The international newswires are claiming that subscribers to Facebook have very recently started witnessing reduced subscription levels which does not auger well for the rapid growth experienced so far. Could it be that the 'fickle hand'of fate has already started to erode Facebook's subscriptions,and thus the beginning of a spiral downturn? You only have to look at the rapid decline of subscribers in "Friends Reunited" to witness the fickleness and transient nature of social networking sites. It could prove that getting Facebook to where it is today might be considerably easier than keeping it there.Let us hope that lady-luck does not rain down hard rocks but only time will tell, with the real 'rough and tumble' not yet begun.

This book charting the rise of Facebook is highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating!, 3 May 2011
By 
AM (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: The Facebook Effect: The Real Inside Story of Mark Zuckerberg and the World's Fastest Growing Company (Paperback)
I bought this after watching the film and it nicely fills in the gaps that had to be left out of the movie.

It's quite incredible how quickly this became a success. I'd like to say Facebook is one of those 'once in a generation' type of companies but I suspect many will come along with just as good ideas that take off just as quickly. It's the nature of the game.

The book is quite well written and done with an edge of intrigue from the author.

It's not a quick read (well not in my half-hour lunch breaks!) but leaves me inspired with my brain ticking over into the afternoon. Man I need to escape the 9 to 5!

Facebook fan, programmer, entrepreneur or you've just seen the film, I think you'll really like this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Surfing the Tide, 19 Feb. 2013
By 
Mac McAleer (London UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Facebook Effect: The Real Inside Story of Mark Zuckerberg and the World's Fastest Growing Company (Paperback)
"There is a tide in the affairs of man which taken at the flood leads on to fortune", and Mark Zuckerberg has surfed that tide to unimaginable success.

It helped that he had the right personal attributes, the right background and was in the right place at the right time. It also helped that he took his opportunities and pursued them relentlessly. But not ruthlessly; despite all the difficulties and mistakes, he kept a certain quiet integrity. He had experience of being a teenage coder. He took risks that often got him into trouble. He was scary smart and he was at Harvard, where everyone was scary smart. And some of his friends at Harvard had access to seed-money. Facebook was not the first social network but he could learn from the mistakes of the existing ones, and open source software tools such as PHP and MySQL were, literally, freely available.

The expansion of Facebook was carefully managed. At first it was exclusive to Harvard, then to the rest of the Ivy League, then to other colleges and high schools. The key was verification by e-mail domain names at each institution. MySpace allowed anonymous and unverified members. Zuckerberg did not want this. Expansion was kept in step with server capacity required for user demand. Friendstr has expanded too quickly, giving such a poor response that it threatened Friendstr's existence.

Zuckerberg always intended to keep control, so investors and venture capitalists were handled carefully and prevented from taking too high a stake. He always went for growth over revenue, figuring that in the long run revenue would follow size. Later chapters discuss how Facebook came to terms with advertising, which had always been subsidiary to growth for Zuckerberg. They tried to find a way to incorporate advertising into its social model, sometimes getting it wrong, but eventually re-inventing advertising. The last three chapters discuss the transformative nature of Facebook, the Facebook effect of the book's title, how it is rapidly evolving into a platform rather than a single system and its possible future. In this brave new world, Microsoft owns the desktop, Google owns the data and now Facebook owns the people.

This is a very competent book by an experienced business journalist specialising in the Internet and technology who had full co-operation with key executives at Facebook, yet it does not feel like a white-wash. It complements the excellent The Social Network, giving a broader, sequential and more detailed history than the film. However, this book may be too broad, too detailed and too business-like for some readers, particularly as it is over 300 pages. Personally, I found it fascinating.

This book has 333 pages, a 2 page "Further Reading" section, an index and 8 pages of black and white photographs. A chronology of events would have been useful as would a list of people mentioned with their short biographies.

The digerati may prefer the e-book version or they may want to first check out this book on Facebook at thefacebookeffect.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Facebook Effect, 9 Mar. 2011
This review is from: The Facebook Effect: The Real Inside Story of Mark Zuckerberg and the World's Fastest Growing Company (Paperback)
Facebook is one of the world's greatest companies. Along with Google and Apple they make up a triumvirate of modern technology companies that rely so much on customer interaction. The most amazing part of this is that Facebook hasn't reached its first decade of existence. 500 million of us (probably more by now) have joined up, and we use it to communicate with long lost friends, family on the other side of the world or to grow fictitious crops in a virtual world.

With the evolution of Facebook from its Friendster and Thefacebook.com history, David Kirkpatrick has written a very important book. `The Facebook Effect' catalogues and brings to life the genesis of possibly the most important social media company that the world has ever seen. The company access that he was provided with allowed him to write a book that is detailed enough to explain why the business is so successful, but also to write the whole story, warts and all.

Where thefacebook.com was originally set up to network college students at Harvard, Facebook has a whole world to conquer, and showing how Mark Zuckerberg and other have done this, leave you in no doubt that the first six years were merely the precursor to bigger and greater things.

This book provides an incredible insight into Facebook and its workings. It will be referred to over the years as it is updated, and will become the definitive history of Facebook. David Kirkpatrick has created a book that will stand the test of time.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A well written account, 12 Feb. 2012
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This review is from: The Facebook Effect: The Real Inside Story of Mark Zuckerberg and the World's Fastest Growing Company (Paperback)
A received this book within a couple days of ordering it and i found it an excellent read so far. I'm not a keeno reader but I managed to get through about 70 pages in one evening, so its great for those who have found a niche that they enjoy to read. The book does have very similar/disimilar references to The Social Network but with some obvious additions that don't bore you down with the details.

However, this book is not a quick read and if you are after those type of books then I suggest opting for 'Screw it Lets do it - Richard Branson'. From the first section it is a well balanced booked that doesn't get you into the emotions of each member of facebook but rather where they stood and what they brought to the team hence this book is focused on facebook corporation not Mark Z, etc. (I think it will be abit Premiership-football-player like to release a biograph at the mere age of 27! ha)

A potential downfall, not at fault of the author, is that facebook does not know what is yet and is has clearly not matured/declined. Therefore I predict the final parts of the book will be filled with open ended questions resulting in you begging to read the sequel - The rise & fall of Facebook.

But out of all books on fast growing & influential companies of the last 10 yrs, from what i expect this should be in your top 10.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I have ever read, 23 Feb. 2011
By 
Mr. J. Mellitas "Jmell" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Facebook Effect: The Real Inside Story of Mark Zuckerberg and the World's Fastest Growing Company (Paperback)
I work in the IT industry. I have read books to do with Amazon, Yahoo, Ebay, the Google Story and this is one of the best of the lot. I was intrigued about how Facebook could actually attract 500 million users. Something that still surprises me as the site offers nothing that special. This book is a perfect insight into the creation of the site and the the truth about how it all progressed and covers the entire Facebook story
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Facebook Effect: The real Inside Story of Mark Zuckerberg and the World's Fastest Growing Company, 8 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: The Facebook Effect: The Real Inside Story of Mark Zuckerberg and the World's Fastest Growing Company (Paperback)
A well written and researched book David K. Enjoy reading it but I doubt whether Facebook would become the world's fastest growing company looking at the much hyped initial public offering of its shares now worth 50% of its $38 per share offer. Glad I did not buy those shares knowing that it was a social network with no opportunity to attract would be advertisers as it is only an intangible product with limited benefits to the users worldwide. Nonetheless this book is worth reading this Christmas and beyond.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A must read if you use facebook for business, 29 July 2011
By 
Gem L Thompson (Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK) - See all my reviews
This book provides a fascinating insight into the ethos behind the company! As more and more of us are using facebook to connect and to grow our businesses it's really helpful to have this 'insider knowledge'.
It helps to know why facebook do the things they do and what they do and don't like us to do. We may all feel like we own facebook but we don't so it's good to keep on the right side of those who do!
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