Tag Archives: building facebook

Mental Monday: The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich

Good Evening, Social Rabbit here with your guide to the world of social media.

Today is mental Monday, when this Rabbit reviews a book, today’s is The Accidental Billionaires: Sex, Money, Betrayal and the Founding of Facebook by Ben Mezrich.

The story starts in October 2003 and ends in May 2008 with a where are they now in 2009.  It follows Mark Zuckerberg’s progress of building what was initially called “The Facebook” through Harvard and into the business world.  My key take outs from this book were:

  • Mark is a VERY VERY focused guy who will get whatever he wants eventually – regardless of who he has to step on to get it
  • Mark had a very clear vision and nothing stopped him from achieving that vision
  • You need to be passionate about what you are doing to achieve your goals
  • Don’t care what other people think of you, eg Mark attended a meeting with potential investors in his pajamas
  • If you can play the game you can win, eg the pajamas meeting was to make the investors feel that they could control him in business, because obviously he had no idea

Obviously it is hard to know when reading this book how much is fact and how much the author embellished.  I wonder if Mark actually contributed to the book, it seems very very unlikely.  It is far more likely that his first business partner Eduardo Saverin contributed, there is a lot of info in the book about how Mark basically took advantage of him in the early days and was then “persuaded” to devalue Eduardo’s shares to nothing.

Regardless of this, the book is all about power, people who want power, people who want to be seen, to be recognised and use their IT skills to stand out where normally they would be labeled “geeks”.  Mark is portrayed as someone who is so focused he will stop at nothing to keep his beloved “Facebook” growing, and yet when people who work with him have fulfilled their usefulness they seem to “disappear”, not in the killing them off sense, but that they are no longer part of Facebook.  The reasons seem to be that they are a liability, or have exhausted their usefulness.

This is a very easy read, and even it is not 100% true, it is a very interesting story that makes you want to find out what happened to the players in the end, although of course we all know that Facebook survived.

The main points that I got were that the vision and focus above all else will help you to achieve your goals no matter how big.  This is because you don’t worry about what others think, you don’t worry about upsetting people, you just worry about “your baby” working, growing and succeeding.  Plus if you put in a lot of hard work you will succeed, there are many times in the book when the Facebook team are coding for 4 days straight with no sleep, that is how passionate and driven they are to achieving the results.

So this weeks book, was perhaps rather frivolous, versa others that have been reviewed, but as in Crush It! it is all about the hard work and dedication that get results.  If you’ve read it tell me what you think in the comments below or on the Social Rabbit Facebook page.

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