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The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Great insight to a pivotal company

As you've come to expect from Ben Mezrich, this is a great window into a world that not everyone knows about. Whether Mark stole the ideas or enhanced his own will always be an issue but Ben puts all the cards on the table and lets you decide. Great unknown facts abou...
As you've come to expect from Ben Mezrich, this is a great window into a world that not everyone knows about. Whether Mark stole the ideas or enhanced his own will always be an issue but Ben puts all the cards on the table and lets you decide. Great unknown facts about Facebook and another well written book.

posted by McAusland on July 15, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

It must've been a disappointment to Mezrich, not talking to Zuckerberg...

I hadn't read any of Mezrich's earlier books, though they are extremely popular in Boston, due to the MIT angle for Bringing Down the House. I expect that some of his earlier work was easier to complete, since he had the cooperation of the people he was profiling. In th...
I hadn't read any of Mezrich's earlier books, though they are extremely popular in Boston, due to the MIT angle for Bringing Down the House. I expect that some of his earlier work was easier to complete, since he had the cooperation of the people he was profiling. In the case of this book, Mezrich could not get Mark Zuckerberg to go on record. Since the book is about Zuckerberg's (and others') accomplishments in establishing Facebook, I'd have to say that must have been a big disappointment to Mezrich, since it gave his story a one-sided feel.

The bulk of the story rested on the testimony, I guess you could call it, of Eduardo Saverin, Zuckerberg's initial financier, sounding board, and moral support while Zuckerberg was at Harvard. Zuckerberg subsequently found ways to ditch people he felt were feeding off his creation, including Saverin. I guess what struck me most was the juvenility of everyone involved in the whole process. They were only college kids after all, but somehow one hopes that those with exquisite gifts also have exquisite sense. Unfortunately, we all know that is not true--witness Tiger Woods. If you ever wondered if sex makes the world go round, look no further than this book.

When I was first exposed to Facebook, I must admit I was awed at its reach. But this story of its founding makes me uneasy. Not that I think Zuckerberg stole anybody's idea. After all, he not only had unique ideas, he could do the programming himself, something many others could not do. But he doesn't sound like the kind of person anyone wants to have as a friend. Zuckerberg's reluctance to speak for himself could be just a desire to let his creation speak for him, a shrug at what readers think of him, a fear that the writer would not give him a fair shake. Whatever it is, he probably doesn't feel like he needs to justify himself. Shrug. He certainly doesn't care what I think, and how lonely can a billionaire be?

posted by TheReadingWriter on April 18, 2010

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  • Posted July 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great insight to a pivotal company

    As you've come to expect from Ben Mezrich, this is a great window into a world that not everyone knows about. Whether Mark stole the ideas or enhanced his own will always be an issue but Ben puts all the cards on the table and lets you decide. Great unknown facts about Facebook and another well written book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 20, 2011

    Engaging writing style based on speculation

    This is a great book that is easy to read in a day or two. It is definitely based on impressions and speculations, so not exactly a good reference book. However, the way the book is written allows the reader to be there at the time and the place where the idea came into fruition, and the book tags the reader along the various stages of the development of FB. It is inspiring to all idea-creators and motivating for all entrepreneurs. Truly, there is a world out there that is willing to embrace new ideas that are meant to make our life experience a better one. I haven't seen Social Connection and I don't think one needs to - this books alone is very entertaining and very well-written. Recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 14, 2011

    not as good as the movie but...

    if you can seperate the film from the book then this is an enjoyable read which gives an interesting view into the creation of an internet behemoth.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 20, 2009

    Fun read

    Fascinating, well-researched story - from the "accidental" initiative to the seemingly not-so-accidental duplicity. A must read in particular for any college student - including those that I teach - lamenting the decline of the media given the new potential for opportunities. Couldn't put it down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2012

    QUICK READ

    Great easy and quick read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2012

    Recomendable

    It was interesting to read it, the author uses strategies that just get you into the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2012

    Dog eat dog world

    Interesting how Facebook evolved and what has become of the people that were first associated with the social site. Looks like Mark is the lasting survior and rightfully so.

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  • Posted March 20, 2011

    Great Book - I couldn't stop reading it!!

    I just recently saw The Social Network and was instantly fascinated by how the founding of Facebook came about. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, yet I still wanted to know more. I wanted to get a further insight into the dynamics of each character so i could get a true understanding of why things turned out the way they did. Because the movie is based off of The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich, I immediately turned to this book; luckily it was the right direction to turn. For those of you who have not seen the Social Network or know nothing about the founding of Facebook, I would definitely suggest reading about this remarkable story. Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin are two nerdy friends at Harvard who are both fairly low on the social ladder. Out of the two, Mark is significantly more socially challenged, yet he is completely brilliant and a computer whiz! When Mark comes up with his latest idea for a website, he turns to Eduardo for help. The two friends become cofounders of the new social network that they call "thefacebook." The website was originally just meant for Harvard students, but it becomes so increasingly popular that they decide to expand it to many other colleges around the country. When word of this innovative website spreads, the two boys eventually find themselves involved in the capitalistic business world. Sadly Eduardo has to find out the hard way that the business world is truly a dog-eat-dog world. Ben Mezrich does a wonderful job of providing an exciting account of this interesting story. He not only captivated my attention in the beginning, but was also able to hold my attention throughout the entire book. He tells a great story while also adding in appealing extra details about things like college life at Harvard and the capitalistic world of Silicon Valley. He was truly able to capture the essence of each character in his writing. He leaves me feeling as if I personally know Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin. I applaud Mezrich on his stimulating book of how two very unsocial students ironically became heads of the Social Network.

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  • Posted March 15, 2011

    The Founding of Facebook

    This was a fast and fascinating read!

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  • Posted March 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting read

    A quick read. Unfortunately, I saw the movie first which ruined the book a bit.
    A nice glimpse behind the scenes at the start of Facebook. Painful narrative for those who fell, success story of those who rose.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2011

    Its amazing how these two books are alike!

    This book and "The 50 Laws of Control: The music industry edition", are amazingly similar if read with depth!... The schemes used to control people and manipulate a industry (internet/music) are similar. It is funny to me that a computer hacker develops a site to where you must give him all of your personal information and photos in order to fully participate. "The 50 Laws of Control" is a MUST READ!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2011

    Nice Book

    Superb book ....nice...<<<...>>>>...&&&&&....""""""....

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  • Posted February 26, 2011

    Kritters Ramblings

    From the true story in the news to the movie - I have seen and heard everything about the history of how Facebook was started and the person Mark Zuckerberg is. The news covered everything from a very logical side where everyone's opinions were shared. The movie definitely did not side with Zuckerberg.

    The book - a whole different story (pun intended). Seeing as some of the people involved decided not to partake in the interviews, I felt that this book was very one-sided. I think it should have be renamed - Eduardo's story because the author definitely interviewed him and the story was really based on him and his adventures. A co-founder of facebook and its first investor - he is also on the list of people who Mark screwed over on his way to becoming the youngest billionaire.

    I would pass this book onto those who are interested in the facebook story and want to hear something different from what was told in the movie and in the news. A great read with an interesting take on the story of facebook

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  • Posted February 24, 2011

    Good Book

    Nice book...<<<...>>>..."""...&&&...

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  • Posted February 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Very Interesting Story

    This book is what the movie "Social Network" is based on. A very intresting story of young men who became billionaires. It is a good book and if it was fiction you would say it isn't realistic, but it is real. Facebook has become a part of everybody's daily life and this tells how it came about and the people who got hurt along the way. Just like the big boys play.

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  • Posted November 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Thoroughly enjoyed this book

    Action filled, took 24 hours to read, probably a personal best. Not a tremendous Facebook fan, but writing style kept me engaged. Mezrich and team does a great job telling a story..

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  • Posted October 7, 2010

    How to Make a Billion Dollars

    If you wanted to know how to make a billion dollars, and quick, reading the book The Accidental Billionares would be a good start. This novel covers the true stories of two best friends that created the multi-billionaire company we all probably use every day. Like every great story in life, it is a rollercoaster and that is exactly what happened in this story with success and betrayal. Eduardo Saverin and Mark Zuckerberg were in their junior year of college when they decided to make a social networking site to intentionally meet girls, and are now what we know as the website Facebook. Along the way to becoming the youngest billionaire in the world, Zuckerberg lost his best friend, law suites, and respect of many people.
    The incredibly talented author of this business story is Ben Mezrich, who has also written Bringing Down the House, stayed mainly true to the real life facts but also added more life to the story. The major theme that was portrayed throughout this book was overcoming adversity, showing the struggle both Saverin and Zuckerberg came over with creating the website. There were many things that I liked about the book, I have been a fan of Mezrich's work and I thought this book really justified his career even more. Every single person in this story was portayed very fair and the audience reading this was given the chance to see everyone's view of what has happened since 2003. While the fundamental information was a wonderful read, I found the book lacking as it was missing an entire story since Mark Zuckerberg was never talked to be Merzich. Still though, there was so many people involved in this amazing story that you could assume Zuckerberg side.
    I would suggest people to go out of their norm, and read this book. Mezrich's writing will keep you locked in and wanting to keep reading through the entire night. Even when I knew what the outcome was, I still found myself surprised and shocked of what was happening in their lives. This book was an overall great read, and like his other great novel, Bringing Down the House, it shows reality can be the best if you make it.

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  • Posted November 22, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A good read on an interesting topic

    As a university student a big user of Facebook I found this book very enjoyable, but I was hoping it would have consisted of an Interview from Mark Zuckerberg, which is doesnt, so that was a bit disapointing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2009

    Enjoyable read

    Kept me entertained. Characters were interesting.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    So You Think Creating A Viral Website Is Easy?

    The Accidental Billionaires is a story of the founding of Facebook - and from the story told, this creation was anything but easy. The good, bad, and ugly of human nature are aired for all to see and is provided from the viewpoint of others, not including the key player, Mark Zuckerberg. This book is a quick and easy read, and well worth your time if you are interested in Facebook and the dirty details behind the site's founding and life at Harvard. The Accidental Billionaires did seem a bit incomplete by not having Mark Zuckerberg's perspective - perhaps another book by that founding member?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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