The Stories of Facebook, YouTube & MySpace: The people, the hype and the deals behind the giants of WEB 2.0 Hardcover – 5 Nov 2008
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Intimate, behind the scenes glimpses into Silicon Valley --Mark Horowitz, WIRED Lacy obviously spent a great deal of time with these celebrated entrepreneurs. Her descriptions of their business meetings come complete with snatches of you-are-there dialogue, a la Bob Woodward. --Katie Hafner - New York Times Book Review With the collapse of the Internet Bubble, the mainstream media wrote off Silicon Valley and the dot.com world as dead stories - and thus missed the birth of an even bigger and more far-reaching Web phenomenon: on-line communities and social networks, the so-called Web 2.0. Happily, one intrepid reporter, Sarah Lacy, stayed on - and she now has given us what will likely be the only real record of what happened during that remarkable era.
Her portrayals of the founders of companies such as Facebook and Twitter are dead-on, and her reporting will no doubt be a vital source on this amazing time for generations to come. --Michael S. Malone, author of Bill & Dave: How Hewlett and Packard Built the World's Greatest Company --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
To my immense disappointment, the amount of text on these two companies found in this book wouldn't even fit onto one page...literally. That is no exaggeration, there isn't a chapter about them, there isn't anything. Only Facebook gets a single chapter for itself, which skims the surface.
The book should actually be called "What happened to the people who made PayPal after they left", because actually that is the majority of what this book is about. If you want to know about that, then by it and you will be well informed. If you want to know about Facebook, Myspace and YouTube, buy something else.
The book gives a great insight into the people, companies and deals behind the biggest websites on the internet and, whilst there is nothing to really "learn" from it, it was a really interesting read - especially learning about the "PayPal Mafia".
If you're looking to build the next Facebook, this isn't what you need. If you're interested in the web and finding out about some of the players behind the biggest successes (and the fact you could count them on two hands!), you'll do worse than buy this book.
However...that was not the case, the book starts off with young student, Max Levichin, and his success with the creation of PayPal, an American online and worldwide payment system. Facebook has a small mention in chapter 7; The Mark Zuckerburg Phenomenon, which literally skims the surface in terms of details into the story of how Facebook came about – disappointing.
From the title, I was lead to believe that this book would be solely about the creation of this fantastic website, Mark Zuckerburgs life beforehand and in the lead up to the idea and some facts or information on the success of the website, instead I was reading about the creation of Paypal and the success of some other young billionaire.
Despite the misleading and ‘incorrect’ title, the book still gave me an insight into the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of the social networking world and the process to start up such a successful online business like Facebook, Paypal, Twitter and LinkedIn etc. at some points the read got rather boring and quite basic but at other times the knowledge and information you were able to draw from the book was amazing.
But I don't think that is a problem as what you get is an idea of how the idea of social networking sites evolved over the years. This includes the parallel development of open source software (e.g, Firefox) and peer to peer applications (e.g. BitTorrent) - whose origins were unknown to me. However, what I do find strange, and potentially disturbing, is that many of the key players would even describe themselves as being `socially awkward' and I hope the same does not go for the millions worldwide who are virtually addicted to logging on.
One thing that I did learn from this book is the concept of the `digitalisation of identity', where the aim is to know what you want before you even know yourself. This is a significant step on from the `recommendations' based on past purchases from sites such as Amazon and online supermarkets. If this is successful there are untold riches to be made in Silicon Valley whilst the vast majority of the `work' is done by the average punter. One quote from the book makes a salient point - "Once you had people's essences on your site, you could make your site into a hub of their work or social lives." (p171)
If you want to learn about Facebook use it. If you want to learn why Facebook this book might have some of the answers.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An slightly misleading title but still an interesting read giving some insights into some of the big players on the internet.Published on 3 Mar. 2010 by John Gunn
A very entertaining read that allowed me to get a look at the, 'behind the scenes' people who make these great new companies. Read morePublished on 24 Jan. 2010 by M. Ahmed