Monday, January 12, 2015

The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook by Ben Mezrich

by Brendan Garfinkel

The Accidental Billionaires turned out to be a great read. Through the depth of analysis explained through the book, I was able to tell that the author, Ben Mezrich, put much research into the telling of the founding of Facebook. This research clearly pays off as Mezrich describes the beginning and growth of the most popular social networking site on the Internet today.

Mezrich paints a clear picture of founder Mark Zuckerberg's relationships on both a business and personal level. He gives great detail of the setting in which the story takes place, and living in Massachusetts and having been to many of the places around Harvard he writes about, I could visualize many of the scenes in my head. Also I row crew for the school team and really enjoyed Mezrich’s unique detail as he describes the Winklevoss twins practicing for rowing and actually competing in a race. I could clearly pan out each rowing scene in my head as well. The book is a fairly easy read as the realistic writing style can be quickly read through and understood.

I have not read any other books about the startup of popular companies or popular businesses so it does not really remind me of any other books that I have enjoyed.

Although Mezrich tells the story through the point of views of people he has interviewed (Eduardo Saverin, Cameron/Tyler Winklevoss, Sean Parker), the book can be categorized as both nonfiction and fiction. Mark Zuckerberg declined to be interviewed by Mezrich while writing this book. The book can be classified as both nonfiction and fiction because while some of the events did indeed occur, some of them were only told through one person’s point of view and not two, so the full story can never be told, the reader is limited to one point of view, depending on the character and scene. 

If you are a fan of nonfiction like me, you will enjoy the content of the book, and maybe not the realistic writing style. If you are into rowing, Facebook, or entrepreneurship I also recommend this book to you. The book clearly reflects the start and growth of Facebook in a compelling way, and also shows the struggles of becoming an entrepreneur and the risks it takes personally and professionally to start a business. If you are an everyday Facebook user, this book clearly explains the start of the social networking tool you use everyday. If you saw the movie, it has some similarities, but I would say that the book is much better, as the movie stretches out the truth in some scenes unlike the book which goes into much more depth.

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