Book Review: “The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal” by Ben Mezrich

This book is about the rise of Facebook founded by two Harvard students one with an extraordinary programming skill, Mark Zuckerberg and his business-savvy buddie Eduardo Saverin. The author painted a competitive Mark Zuckerberg, whose desire to win surpasses his need to please people. He blew off the Winklevoss Twins, who were nothing but winers and still unsatisfied after settling a lawsuit that got them $68 millions. It goes to tell you that how greedy people would get when they saw other people prospering from their supposedly “own” ideas. The truth is that ideas are dimes and dozens. It’s the execution that makes the difference. As far as the severing the tie with Eduardo, the early Facebook founder, Mark appeared to have betrayed his friend. But in this competitive scenery, I wouldn’t fault Mark or anyone to abandon a relationship when a relationship no longer keep pace with the growth of each other. In a sense, Mark outgrew the relationship and he needed a different person to get Facebook to the next stage. Sean Parker, the Napter guy, is an interesting character. With his help, Facebook was able to connect with VC so quickly so he got a small cut from his involvement. But he was eventually outgrown because of his reckless behavior.

The author appears to glamorize the geeks’ digital life of party and programming. This might be what’s needed to get a fast-growth internet company to the stratosphere. Honestly, this is probably something that can be done when you’re still young in your 20’s. You get burned out fast with that kind of lifestyle.

It’s amazing the VC’s were throwing money at any startup company with great potential like Facebook but they could be vicious to kick anyone like Sean Park who got in the way.

The rise of the internet company is simply incredible nowadays: from nothing to over $50B within less than 10 years for Facebook. Even Google took a little longer than that. After reading this book, I felt a sense of loss for not participating in any of the Internet fever including the semiconductor, dot com, and the recent social networking fever. I admire those people who took the plunge. You can get bruised along the way but the reward is awesome.

Most of the data seems to have come from the angles of Eduardo and Sean Parker. Overall, it’s a good read. The author threw in enough embellishment to keep the story interesting while informing the readers sufficiently well.