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The Facebook Effect: The Real Inside Story of Mark Zuckerberg and the World's Fastest Growing Company Paperback – 10 Feb 2011
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"David Kirkpatrick was handed the keys to the Facebook kingdom - the result is the definitive account of its phenomenal rise" (Observer)
"Leaves you with a deep understanding of Facebook, its philosophies and, most startlingly, its power. You come away with a creepy new awareness of how a directory of college students is fast becoming a directory of all humanity" (Scotsman)
"A well-reported account of the first six years of one of the most important companies on earth" (Financial Times)
"Mr. Kirkpatrick provides some intriguing insights into the psyche of Mr. Zuckerberg" (The Economist)
"A compelling account of the origins and prospects of the social networking giant" (The Week)
'David Kirkpatrick was handed the keys to the Facebook kingdom - the result is the definitive account of its phenomenal rise' ObserverSee all Product description
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I ordered the book second-hand and didn't actually pick it up for some time because it's a substantial paperback and the typescript is very small. In other words, there was a lot there to read and again, I'm not really into that sort of literature.
When I did start reading this book I was very pleasantly surprised and found it hard to put down. Not only is the story behind Facebook very interesting and fast-paced, but the author of this book has a most enjoyable style of writing. He managed to put together a most readable, engaging and at times even entertaining account of the conception and development of Facebook. The author did have amazing access to people that mattered, people on the "front line", but - in my opinion - painted a fair and not uncritical picture of the company and the people behind it.
If you're in any way interested in social media, you could do a lot worse than to pick up this book. I still won't open a Facebook account though, now even less so than before as I have learnt so much more about the privacy issues connected with it.
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.
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.
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.