Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal

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Overview

Twitter seems like a perfect start-up success story. In barely six years, a small group of young, ambitious programmers in Silicon Valley built an $11.5 billion business out of the ashes of a failed podcasting company. Today Twitter boasts more than 200 million active users and has affected business, politics, media, and other fields in innumerable ways.

Now Nick Bilton of the New York Times takes readers behind the scenes with a narrative that shows what happened inside Twitter...

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Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal

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Overview

Twitter seems like a perfect start-up success story. In barely six years, a small group of young, ambitious programmers in Silicon Valley built an $11.5 billion business out of the ashes of a failed podcasting company. Today Twitter boasts more than 200 million active users and has affected business, politics, media, and other fields in innumerable ways.

Now Nick Bilton of the New York Times takes readers behind the scenes with a narrative that shows what happened inside Twitter as it grew at exponential speeds. This is a tale of betrayed friendships and high-stakes power struggles as the four founders—Biz Stone, Evan Williams, Jack Dorsey, and Noah Glass—went from everyday engineers to wealthy celebrities, featured on magazine covers, Oprah, The Daily Show, and Time's list of the world's most influential people.

Bilton's exclusive access and exhaustive investigative reporting—drawing on hundreds of sources, documents, and internal e-mails—have enabled him to write an intimate portrait of fame, influence, and power. He also captures the zeitgeist and global influence of Twitter, which has been used to help overthrow governments in the Middle East and disrupt the very fabric of the way people communicate.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Maud Newton
…fast-paced and perceptive…Bilton sketches the founders' backgrounds and personalities in quick, skillful strokes…he contextualizes the founders' disagreements about the fundamental nature of Twitter with a light, easy touch and unpretentious insight.
Kirkus Reviews
2013-10-30
Novelistic rendition of Twitter's contentious origins in the techie subculture of San Francisco. New York Times Bits Blog columnist Bilton (I Live in the Future & Here's How It Works: Why Your World, Work, and Brain Are Being Creatively Disrupted, 2010) reconstructed this history from interviews and the digital trails (i.e., emails and Twitter timelines) of his four principals: blogger, founder and chief investor Evan "Ev" Williams and his friends and employees Noah Glass, Christopher "Biz" Stone and Jack Dorsey. Each contributed an important share in the invention of the platform that, unbeknown to them at the time, would revolutionize the way the world communicates and interrelates. Williams provided the funds and the space for his colleagues to brainstorm startup and application ideas. Dorsey came up with the idea for a simple "status updater." Glass pulled the company name, which suggests the vibrating sound a phone might make when it receives an update, from the dictionary. Stone pushed for the company's light-touch, user-centric ethical and moral dimensions. Almost immediately, Bilton reports, there was tension among the co-founders. Within months, Glass would be pushed out of the circle, denied any glory or much fortune from the company's future success, and Dorsey, the company's tentative and inexperienced first CEO, was ousted in a coup just as Twitter was becoming a phenomenon following successful exposure at the 2007 South by Southwest festival. Neither man took these turns well, but whereas Glass eventually made peace with his fate, according to Bilton, Dorsey plotted revenge. The narrative sometimes gets so inside the heads of its subjects, it can seem to blur the line between reporting and fiction, but Bilton insists every thought in the book is based on interviews and "not assumed." A captivating study of male camaraderie and competition, more like the story of an indie rock band than one of the world's most ubiquitous corporations.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780698155985
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 11/5/2013
  • Format: MP3
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Sales rank: 1,258,409
  • Ships to U.S.and APO/FPO addresses only.

Meet the Author

Nick Bilton is a columnist and reporter for The New York Times, based in Silicon Valley. He is also the lead writer for the paper’s popular Bits Blog, about technology. He is a regular guest on TV and radio and speaks at conferences around the world.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2014

    Fast-paced, and easy to read. And interesting! Jack Dorsey proba

    Fast-paced, and easy to read. And interesting! Jack Dorsey probably doesn't love this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2013

    The real deal!

    An amazing look into the nitty gritty of Silicon Valley and the startups that thrive there!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2013

    Hi

    This book was ......... GREAT

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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