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The Accidental Billionaires: Sex, Money, Betrayal and the Founding of Facebook

The Accidental Billionaires: Sex, Money, Betrayal and the Founding of Facebook

3.7 478
by Ben Mezrich

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The high-energy tale of how two socially awkward Ivy Leaguers, trying to increase their chances with the opposite sex, ended up creating Facebook.

Eduardo Saverin and Mark Zuckerberg were Harvard undergraduates and best friends–outsiders at a school filled with polished prep-school grads and long-time legacies. They shared both academic


The high-energy tale of how two socially awkward Ivy Leaguers, trying to increase their chances with the opposite sex, ended up creating Facebook.

Eduardo Saverin and Mark Zuckerberg were Harvard undergraduates and best friends–outsiders at a school filled with polished prep-school grads and long-time legacies. They shared both academic brilliance in math and a geeky awkwardness with women.

Eduardo figured their ticket to social acceptance–and sexual success–was getting invited to join one of the university’s Final Clubs, a constellation of elite societies that had groomed generations of the most powerful men in the world and ranked on top of the inflexible hierarchy at Harvard. Mark, with less of an interest in what the campus alpha males thought of him, happened to be a computer genius of the first order.

Which he used to find a more direct route to social stardom: one lonely night, Mark hacked into the university's computer system, creating a ratable database of all the female students on campus–and subsequently crashing the university's servers and nearly getting himself kicked out of school. In that moment, in his Harvard dorm room, the framework for Facebook was born.

What followed–a real-life adventure filled with slick venture capitalists, stunning women, and six-foot-five-inch identical-twin Olympic rowers–makes for one of the most entertaining and compelling books of the year. Before long, Eduardo’s and Mark’s different ideas about Facebook created in their relationship faint cracks, which soon spiraled into out-and-out warfare. The collegiate exuberance that marked theircollaboration fell prey to the adult world of lawyers and money. The great irony is that while Facebook succeeded by bringing people together, its very success tore two best friends apart.

The Accidental Billionaires is a compulsively readable story of innocence lost–and of the unusual creation of a company that has revolutionized the way hundreds of millions of people relate to one another.

Ben Mezrich, a Harvard graduate, has published ten books, including the New York Times bestseller Bringing Down the House. He is a columnist for Boston Common and a contributor for Flush magazine. Ben lives in Boston with his wife, Tonya.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

Arrow Books, Limited
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Ben Mezrich graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in 1991. Since then he has published twelve books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Accidental Billionaires, which was adapted into the Academy Award-winning film The Social Network, and Bringing Down the House, which has sold more than 1.5 million copies in twelve languages and became the basis for the Kevin Spacey movie 21. Mezrich has also published the national bestsellers Sex on the Moon, Ugly Americans, Rigged, and Busting Vegas.

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Accidental Billionaires 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 478 reviews.
McAusland More than 1 year ago
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.
TheReadingWriter More than 1 year ago
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?
Drew_Fairbanks-No_GDIs More than 1 year ago
In the book Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich, the motif of greed is both an obstacle and a necessity for Mark Zuckerburg on his summit to the top of success mountain. The summary of Accidental Billionaires is all centered on Zuckerburg’s often “bratty” attitude and relentless love for the world of computers and hacking into the forbidden treasures that many would possess. Zuckerburg got his reputation of a “jerk” when he made a website all by himself to help rate girls on their attractive qualities. He forwarded the link and what used to be the “hot or not” website rapidly transgressed into what is now known as Facebook. This novel emphasizes the troubles and obstacles that got into Zuckerburg’s way. The most crucial hindrance that Zuckerburg encountered was the problem of his best friend and how he betrayed him to achieve maximum profit and success. In Accidental Billionaires, Mezrich’s diction helps paint a picture for the reader to invasion the event-filled road for Zuckerburg to get where he is today. Not only does diction assist the reader in imagery, it also helps Mezrich get his point and story across in a fluid way. By looking through Eduardo Saverin’s perspective, Zuckerburg’s best friend during college, the reader can really get a grip on the life and personalities Zuckerburg would preform everyday. Through the vivid imagery of Mezrich, the reader benefits heavily from it and can achieve the upmost happiness during the reading. This book has gotten the reputation as a “false” told story but it still falls under the umbrella as a non-fiction novel. Although this book helped establish the foundations for the major motion picture about Zuckerburg and Facebook, I would state how this book is very confusing and often hard to follow completely. There are many characters in this novel and the majority of the time the reader has no idea who is speaking. Mezrich does do a phenomenal job at multiple variations of syntax, which helps personify the speech and jargon of the students and everyone else involved. Alternating the short and complex sentence structure is significant in really understanding the complexity of Zuckerburg’s mind. Overall, Accidental Billionaires is a book that I would recommend; however, this novel does have parts that may be confusing and language and imagery that may not be suitable for the whole community. The motifs and diction make this book unique and a must-read for any person who loves to be relished with the mysteries behind what Facebook has become today.
Pizeme More than 1 year ago
Although it does not cover all the aspects of how social network makes their money, it gives the user an insight of how we are making ourselves and all of our networks available for sale. The book is an exquisite insight on how Facebook began but it fails to give concrete formula on Facebook business model. And this is true for most books that talk about how any particular company makes money. Since most authors do not have access to the inside day-to-day economic activities of the companies. As well most of this book assertions are based on speculations, which makes it hard to be used as a valid source. Otherwise the book is an interesting read about the development of Facebook as company. If one is looking to learn about how Zukerberg developed his business model I will recommend looking somewhere else. At the end it remains an exciting read and just like the title indicates, the moneymaking part seems more accidental than from an invention of a visionary business model.
BrownskinsCD More than 1 year ago
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.
Steve Rakouskas More than 1 year ago
Entertaining and interesting to see how this company began
Jon Gabert More than 1 year ago
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.
Xnewspapereditor More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book sounds quite promising,until you read the first word. Worst book ever. End of story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We accept most cats who are approved by Quickstar, our leader. We are at wuthering heights second result.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AshClan! I want it to win August 29th.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gergokit becomes a apprentice then gergotail then deputy then leader
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Chris if u r my friend that i now plz tell me im not trying to get w u i just wanna know
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wanna chat
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I this a power clan?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Okay then.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great easy and quick read!