Hatching Twitter Paperback – 10 Jul 2014
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Any book that starts with a description of a chief executive on his knees, throwing up into a bin after being betrayed by friends and investors is unlikely to be a traditional founder's tale.... This well-timed book successfully mines a story so rich it is destined to be told and retold. (Financial Times)
This exceptionally well-told story captures the Sillicon valley start-up culture in all its pioneering, hubristic glory. (Irish Times)
A tale of Machiavellian plots and coups d'etat, it's just all so gripping. I'm supposed to read all our research for our guests tomorrow but I've got terrible feeling I'm going to finish at 9:30 and just read that. (Chris Evans, BBC Radio 2)
Backstabbing, power struggles and profanity laid bare . . . It is breathless storytelling (The Times)
A made-for-the-movies account. (Economist, Books of the Year)
For fans of juicy business bestsellers TOO BIG TO FAIL, THE ACCIDENTAL BILLIONAIRES and BARBARIANS AT THE GATE: the first insider's account of Twitter.See all Product description
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In summary, a great read, had me gripped, but has left me wanting to get another perspective and learn more about the company.
What made celebrities for example want to spend their time tweeting what they were doing to millions of fans so that they were constantly " on call" to them. So I hoped this book would give me an insight into what this phenomenon was all about. And to a degree it did. It explained how a group of geeks got together to think up this idea. It explained how the idea caught on and how the idea developed into a world wide sensation
It explained what it was about Twitter that made it such a valuable source of information as people used it to report on what they saw around them. The power of a crowd of people to Tweet at public events and let them be understood and exposed to a world wide audience. It also gave the reader an understanding of the social side of Tweeting and the way it could allow people to share their likes and dislikes
Finally it gave what to me was a completely unknown story about the board room shenanigans that engulfed Twitter and the bitter disputes between those who were its founders. We all know about Mark Zuckerberg and the disputes he had both with his original partner and the Winklevoss twins but that was a tea party compared to the divisions that engulfed Twitter and possibly still cause problems today according to this book.
If I had a complaint it was that it did not really explain the technology behind Twitter. I would have liked to have understood how it actually works and what level of infrastructure is needed to allow it to operate.
But that is a small quibble against what was an interesting read on one of the key developments since 2000 that are transforming the landscape in which we all operate on a word wide basis
The book tells the surprisingly tumultuous story about the inception of Twitter and the internal power struggles between the various invent... err, co-founders of the company. It takes the reader through the key characters of the company in its humble beginnings and attempts to give insight into the minds of Ev, Jack, Biz, Noah and everyone else as they adapt to the increasing maturity of the Twitter.
- It's a great story about egos, emotions, and the birth of a disruptive technology out of a side project. It genuinely inspires budding technology entrepreneurs who think they need the killer idea up front. My favourite quote of the book is the sign hanging in their office saying "Let's make better mistakes tomorrow".
- Cameos from Mark Zuckerberg, President Medvedev and Snoop Dogg are very entertaining and give an insight into the rollercoaster early days of the company
- Nick Bilton seems to have been given great access to current and former Twitter employees, founders, board of directors etc. to be able to give such an in-depth account of movements in an organisation.
- It's entirely a matter of personal taste, but I personally found the language to, at times, start sounding like fiction which threw me off a couple of times. The scene is set with such description that I wonder whether this is artistic license or a description given by an interviewee.
Example "It was dark outside as the rain pelted Dick Costolo's car relentlessly. He gripped the steering wheel with both hands trying to concentrate on the dark road. He was exhausted after the long flight from Indianapolis, where he had been speaking at a conference about Twitter. A few more miles, he thought, and I'll be home, out of these wet clothes"
Personally, I like non-fiction books that are detailed, but very matter-of-fact. This book has a different perspective which some people may find enjoyable.
Overall - Very enjoyable book, which I am pleased is being turned into a movie so people who may not be reading it, can still enjoy the story of Twitter.