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The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of…
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The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex,…

by Ben Mezrich

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I really enjoyed this book on one of the most revolutionary businesses of our time: Facebook. What got me intrigued was watching the movie, "The Social Network". I actually saw the movie first before reading the book.

In comparison, I must admit that many of the "dramatic" scenes and heated confrontations in the movie were left out of the book, which leads me to wonder about the accuracy of the movie.
Nevertheless, I found this book to be a great and enjoyable read. I also find it very diplomatic and fair to all sides. When analyzing the book, one can make strong cases for all sides of the dispute including Mark Zuckerberg.

My only issue is that I wish the author could have focused more on the business and growth aspects instead on the gossip and tabloid stuff. It would have been great to get a better look at Facebook the company over the first couple years, instead of Facebook, the dorm room prank-turn-business.

Overall, this book is an enjoyable and easy read and I highly recommend it. ( )
  Bipin_Banavalikar | Jan 22, 2016 |
Facebook has made a tremendous impact on the world, and this book attempts to tell the story of how it came to be. I must admit, I understand Facebook a bit better after knowing a bit about it's history (including where the infamous "poke" button came from). I'm not sure about the veracity of all this, as the memories of those involved back in the wild, hazy days of college probably vary wildly. Still the approach seemed pretty balanced between the various people involved and fairly well researched, as much as it could be since I'm sure some of the principle players (like Zuckerberg) will not talk much about it. It's very readable, as the reader follows the various young men who were involved the events that lead to the Facebook explosion are set in a context that makes one wonder about how much of it was talent and hard work and how much of it was the luck of being in the right place at the right time--with an idea that many other people were starting to have at the same time but these blokes just seemed to have executed it in the best and most well timed way. An intriguing read for those involved in the digital age and interested in recent history. ( )
  debs4jc | Dec 11, 2015 |
The story of Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin, creators of Facebook. I believe this book was the basis for the movie “The Social Network” (which I have not seen). Mark and Eduardo are portrayed as socially inept, Harvard social outcasts and computer/markting geniuses. One night, as almost a form of revenge for being spurned yet again, Mark sits down and writes a program for a social networking site for the students of Harvard. Not a total success, it gets him into trouble at the school, but does plant the seed for his future success. Mark is not portrayed as a likeable sort; stealing his final idea for Facebook from fellow students and shunning his friends in his rise to success. Interestingly enough Mr. Zuckerberg was not in any way involved in the writing of this book. Does the reader thereby need to take everything written with a grain of salt?

The book is an interesting back-story to the Facebook phenom taking hold, and I was immensely grateful that it did not include highly technical information about programming (which I probably would not have understood anyway), this book did not read as well as Mr. Mezrich’s “Bringing Down the House”.
( )
  ChristineEllei | Jul 14, 2015 |
What a great whiz-bang energetic book. Two things make this one stand out: 1) Mezrich focuses on important events, describing them in the here-and-now while leaving leading-up events as reflected on memories. 2) The narrative of each character reflects the character himself. When discussing Saverin, the reading becomes thoughtful and pensive, when discussing Zuckerberg it moves along at a brisk pace, and when Sean Parker is in the picture, the book sails along with manic, frenetic energy. Quite a nuanced achievement in that regard. A fun, excellent read.
  MartinBodek | Jun 11, 2015 |
A quick read. I picked this up after I finally got around to seeing "The Social Network" because I wanted to see if the book offered more information (it turns out that the movie is actually pretty faithful to the spirit of the book). "Facebook's Founding According to Eduardo Saverin" would probably be the most accurate (if not particularly catchy) title for both book and movie. Although Mark Zuckerberg's lack of cooperation with the project makes any account of his personal recollections conjecture, his silence certainly didn't impede the narrative. It's actually quite amazing how much material was obviously accessible, not just from interviews with Harvard classmates, but from court documents and sources like The Harvard Crimson. I wasn't terribly impressed with the book itself; it's poorly written, rather juvenile and frequently quite obnoxious in tone. ( )
  LizHD | Mar 25, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
There’s a fascinating book in Facebook’s origins, no doubt—one that explores the near-instantaneous transformation of undergraduates to captains of industry and helps us understand why the world was ready for the kind of social networking Facebook was designed to facilitate. But Mezrich doesn’t want to write it. He wants to start every chapter with an overbaked recreation and spice up the saga of stock options with metaphors right out of Creative Writing 101.
added by Shortride | editA. V. Club, Donna Bowman (Aug 20, 2009)
 
[W]hile Mr Mezrich spins a colourful tale... his take on the internal battles at Facebook is flawed. Mr Zuckerberg refused to be interviewed for the book, so the narrative is missing a crucial perspective. And Mr Mezrich appears to have relied heavily on sources with large axes to grind against Facebook’s boss.
added by Shortride | editThe Economist (pay site) (Aug 6, 2009)
 
Has Mr. Mezrich done anything wrong in grossly embellishing, exaggerating and tarting up his material as if he were writing a screenplay? Should the tactics of a script or roman à clef be used for a purportedly nonfiction chronicle?
 
It's a sexy idea, one that promises either a juicy tell-all or a hard-hitting exposé. The Accidental Billionaires is neither.
 
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0307740986, Paperback)

Amazon Exclusive: Kevin Spacey on The Accidental Billionaires

Kevin Spacey’s films include Superman Returns, Beyond the Sea, The Usual Suspects, American Beauty, Swimming with Sharks, Seven, L.A. Confidential, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Negotiator, Hurlyburly, K-Pax, and The Shipping News. He will next be seen in Men Who Stare at Goats opposite George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, and Jeff Bridges, as well as Nick Moran’s film Telstar opposite Colm O’Neil and Pam Ferris. Read his exclusive Amazon guest review of The Accidental Billionaires:

I first met Ben Mezrich when I produced and starred in 21, the film adaptation of his great bestseller Bringing Down the House. Ben has a gift for finding high-energy, strange-but-true tales and The Accidental Billionaires is no exception.

You may think you know the story of the Facebook phenomenon, but you haven’t heard the whole story and never like this. Recreating the unbelievable rise of the world's biggest social network—not to mention the planet's youngest billionaire, Mark Zuckerberg—Ben tells a captivating story of betrayal, vast amounts of cash, and two friends who revolutionized the way humans connect to one another—only to have an enormous falling out and never speak again.

Eduardo Saverin and Mark Zuckerberg were two geeky, socially awkward Harvard undergrads who wanted nothing more than to be cool. While Eduardo chose the more straightforward path of trying to gain acceptance into one of the school's ultra-posh, semi-secret Final Clubs, Mark used his computer skills by hacking into Harvard's computers, pulling up all the pictures of every girl on campus to create a sort of "hot-or-not" site exclusive to Harvard. Though the prank nearly got Mark kicked out of college, he and Eduardo realized that they were on to something big. Thus, the initial concept of Facebook was born; what happened next, however, was right out of a Hollywood thriller.

The Accidental Billionaires is the perfect pairing of author and subject. It's pure summer fun—a juicy, fast-paced, unputdownable Mezrich tale that adds to his canon of lad lit. And Hollywood has come calling again: I'm currently working with Dana Brunetti, Scott Rudin, Mike Deluca, and Aaron Sorkin on the movie adaptation of The Accidental Billionaires. If the book is any indication, the film is going to be a must see.—Kevin Spacey

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:28 -0400)

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Relates the story behind the founding of Facebook by Harvard University undergraduates, and describes how conflicting ideas for the future of the site destroyed the friendship of co-founders Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin.

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