Monday, January 6, 2014

Hatching Twitter by Nick Bilton


I was at Tiong Bahru Plaza's Popular Bookstore just last Thursday to get some stationery for school when I chanced upon this book. If it were sentient, from the moment I held it, it would have probably felt that it had found a home. 

The twitter addict that I am coupled with the dormant entrepreneur within simply yearned to know the story of how this billion dollar company came to be. That, and the fact that I'd just finished 'The Accidental Billionaire' not too long ago made me curious to find out how the competitor of Facebook became such a force to be reckoned with.  

It's a fantastic read! The author's done interviews with all four co-founders of the company, the board members and many others to come up with this book. As a result, there was a short introduction of the various protagonists in the beginning followed by the chapters grouped by the various critical character as each point of the story unfolded. And so the Twitter story first introduces us to @Ev, @Noah, @Jack and @Biz and continued with the story with chapters titled #Noah followed by #Jack, #Ev and concluded with #Dick. I absolutely loved this layout!

This is a tale of how friendships are forged and destroyed in the cruel world of business. It is sobering to see how the person with the largest percentage in company stocks is able to oust others out of the company he has built. But what I also learnt was that as important as cultivating relationships are, leading a company well is also crucial to not getting booted out by the board. 

This is a pretty well written book, with the story moving along at a crisp pace and the setting laid out clearly. If the events happened the way they were narrated in the story, I suppose the author wouldn't have had to dramatize too much. 

I love how the book incorporated the icons tweeters are familiar with, @ and #, into the chapter titles. It adds to the overall experience. 

Well, I'd recommend this book to any twitter user who's interested in how the company came to be. Also, this is a good book for anyone interested in tech startups or in setting up one.

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