Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"The Accidental Billionaires"


The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich is a fictional narrative of the creation of Facebook. The story is told through the vantage point of Eduardo Saverin a close friend of the creator of Facebook, Mark Zuckerman, as well as a classmate Tyler Winklevoss and a key player in the success of the site Sean Parker. While most of the story is told about Mark Zuckerman and his trials in creating Facebook, his vantage point is never used. A limitation of the book is the lack of credence to the story. Facebook has released a statement saying the book " is not entirely truthful and neglects some of the people that were key to the success of Facebook". For example Mark's two roomate who were the first employees of Facebook and helped create the applications that make the site so easy to use.


The intended audience of this book are those people who are interested in the controversy of Facebook. While this was supposed to be a key selling point of the book it is not clearly expressed in the story. Other than the subtitle "The Founding of Facebook a tale of sex, money, genius and betrayal" there really is not much controversy or action in the book. Most tales of sex or betrayal are only hinted to have occurred. For instance Eduardo states "I wasn't sure but it looked like Mark went home with a Victoria Secret model". Clearly the uncertainty of all statements made in the book was done intentionally to protect the author from a lawsuit.

What Did I Get?

From this book I learned the interesting path an idea like Facebook took to its creation. I learned how some of the mistakes of Mark's previous sites helped in the success of Facebook. What I wished I would have learned is how the website monetized itself. Investments from venture capitalists were mentioned but there was no discussion on how their investments work. Overall I would recommend this book to those with an interest on the creation of Facebook. This book was not a good read if you were purely interested in the business model of social media sites.


  1. This is the book that I really wanted to read. After hearing and reading the review I would still like to read it even though it is a work of fiction. I think that it sounds very interesting.

  2. I was also surprised to learn that this is a fiction book. I still think it sounds really interesting, that is a business that is made by someone just like us in my opinion, it almost becomes a book of hope.

  3. I almost read this book. Very interesting soudning book.

  4. This book seemed really interesting to me after your presentation....seemed like you learned about the site in a not so text book or manual sort of way.