Friday, February 25, 2011

Book Review

The Facebook Effect
by: David Kirkpatrick

After watching The Social Network, I was interested in learning more about the story behind the beginnings of  Facebook. I remember when I set up my profile in my sophomore year of college, and I have been loving it ever since. I heard that the book by David Kirkpatrick was a more accurate account of the story behind Facebook than The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich which is the book from which the movie is actually based so I choose to read The Facebook Effect.

The inside story of Facebook, told with the full, exclusive cooperation of founder Mark Zuckerberg and the company's other leaders.
IN LITTLE MORE THAN HALF A DECADE, Facebook has gone from a dorm-room novelty to a company with 500 million users. It is one of the fastest growing companies in history, an essential part of the social life not only of teenagers but hundreds of millions of adults worldwide. As Facebook spreads around the globe, it creates surprising effects even becoming instrumental in political protests from Colombia to Iran.
Veteran technology reporter David Kirkpatrick had the full cooperation of Facebook s key executives in researching this fascinating history of the company and its impact on our lives. Kirkpatrick tells us how Facebook was created, why it has flourished, and where it is going next. He chronicles its successes and missteps, and gives readers the most complete assessment anywhere of founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the central figure in the company s remarkable ascent. This is the Facebook story that can be found nowhere else.
How did a nineteen-year-old Harvard student create a company that has transformed the Internet and how did he grow it to its current enormous size? Kirkpatrick shows how Zuckerberg steadfastly refused to compromise his vision, insistently focusing on growth over profits and preaching that Facebook must dominate (his word) communication on the Internet. In the process, he and a small group of key executives have created a company that has changed social life in the United States and elsewhere, a company that has become a ubiquitous presence in marketing, altering politics, business, and even our sense of our own identity. This is the Facebook Effect.

My Review:

I enjoyed digging deeper into the business behind one of the most popular sites on the internet today. Facebook is closely associated with college for me and a way that I am able to keep up with friends who have moved away. I also love learning more about the behind the scenes of things I am interested in. This book delved into the way that Facebook was started in the Harvard dorm and how it moved out to California and grew. Learning about the decisions that Mark Zukerberg made in the course of the business as an accidental CEO helped me understand the changes that Facebook as gone through over the years and took me down memory lane. If not for the personal relation to this story, this would not be a book I would have typically enjoyed because it is focused much more on the business aspects of the company than on the changes that occurred to the site or the personal feelings of Mark Zuckerberg.

Overall, I recommend this book if you are into business or if you, like me, want to learn more of how Facebook came to be. Don't expect this to be a more detailed account of the movie.

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