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

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4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,194 Ratings  ·  685 Reviews
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
...more
Hardcover, 299 pages
Published November 5th 2013 by Portfolio Hardcover
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Eklein
Dec 04, 2013 Eklein rated it liked it
This book, in less than 140 characters: Nick Bilton really, really hates Jack Dorsey.

Hatching Twitter ultimately has a lopping, meta-quality to it: It's about the fight between the four founders for control of both the company and the origin story. But it is, itself, part of the fight between the four founders for control of both the company and the origin story. This is a fight that Biz, Noah, and Ev win even as it's a fight that they've more or less lost in real life.

But their victory in the
...more
Andy
Nov 05, 2013 Andy rated it it was amazing
A stunning modern day story of a company trying to find it's identity in a medium, social media, that barely knows what it is. Zuckerberg may have been an a-hole, but at least he isn't Jack Dorsey.
Nathan
Dec 14, 2013 Nathan rated it really liked it
Shelves: popcomp, business
It's bizarre to read a True Life Story about people you know. Writing any kind of history is a fraught project, because the nature of the beast is that the people who talk to the author are the ones who get their side of the story preserved. It's clear from reading it who had Bilton's ear, and who didn't. Bill Campbell, advisor to the CEO, in particular comes across as a very loose unit, a testosterone-crazed shoot-first wingnut.

That aside, taking the version of history presented at face value,
...more
Jonathan Kroopf
Jan 04, 2014 Jonathan Kroopf rated it it was ok
This book is written like a bad valleywag or pando blog post. I knew very little going in and did learn a lot . Had no idea Dorsey was pushed out of the company and was at odds with the former founders. I had also never heard of Noah Glass, who was written out the
company's history despite being on the founding team and coining the name Twitter.

My problem was not with the facts, but how they were presented. The author pits Dorsey vs Williams and makes no attempt to hide that he is so clearly in f
...more
Marilee Turscak
Nov 05, 2013 Marilee Turscak rated it it was amazing
A thrilling and vivid narration of the formation of Twitter. It contains fascinating stories of the drama surrounding the history of founders Jack, Evan, Biz, and Noah. The journalism is incredibly detailed and thorough, and the story is a consistent page-turner. Author Nick Bilton compiles hundreds of interviews with Twitter employees and documents secrets never before revealed. It is much more interesting than the history of Facebook, and also far more controversial. A group of young, brillian ...more
Troy Blackford
Jan 08, 2014 Troy Blackford rated it it was amazing
A fascinating and in-depth account of Twitter's creation and rise, from the conditions that led to its founders meeting to the shady and shabby way that the current power structure shook out.

This is a seriously intense story! As people involved in the creation of the site have pointed out, it's a shame that it didn't delve more into the technical aspects of the site's creation more, as that would have been interesting to hear about. But the personal intrigues and difficulties are more than worth
...more
Thor
Nov 21, 2013 Thor rated it really liked it
Having observed this true story from close quarters I can say that Bilton captures the essence of it, at least from a human interest standpoint. One could quibble over details that don't really matter, but he distills something essential of the startup experience--that it's ultimately about human relationships and trust, and that these are hard won but easily lost.
Benjamin
Jan 09, 2014 Benjamin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not only was Hatching Twitter informative about the history of Twitter, but after reading it I notice that Bilton was definitely much less biased towards one side (or any of the three other sides) when reporting on the events that transpired in Twitter's extremely volatile history. In Hatching Twitter Bilton does not shine an extremely positive, they-can-do-no-wrong light on all of the original cofounders of Twitter, which is the opposite of the prevalent theme in Kirkpatrick's descriptions of Z ...more
Kelly
Apr 01, 2014 Kelly rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Pretty fascinating to read about the serendipitous nature of how the founders of Twitter got together...and how they came up with the idea and even the name. For example, Evan Williams was in a magazine photo (before Twitter was even a thought in his head) and his neighbor (Noah Glass) saw the picture, recognized the kitchen Evan was in, turned toward his window and realized the picture was taken in the apartment he was seeing from his window. He introduced himself to Ev...and the rest is histor ...more
Rick
Nov 11, 2013 Rick rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Abbey
Sep 23, 2015 Abbey rated it it was amazing
I know this is a true story but I was still so disappointed by the ending! Hah. Such a great read- I flew through it. So interesting to hear the background of Twitter from all the different sides of the story.
Sasha
Nov 19, 2013 Sasha rated it really liked it
I guess I am in the minority with only four stars, but he lost a star for his writing style. I thought it was choppy, with more grammatical/typographical errors than I would have expected, and it was poorly divided up. For example, after a chapter/section heading of "#Jack" it would start with a story about Jack and then flip backwards to stories about Biz, or Bijan, or Ev. Which is fine it just didn't flow. It is clear that he is a journalist, and not a novelist.

That being said, he put togethe
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Phil Simon
Nov 06, 2013 Phil Simon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
Bilton's book rivals The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon in its scope and unflinching honesty. Through copious research and interviews, Bilton weaves together the heretofore untold story of one of the most influential companies of our times.

In a word, Twitter was a complete mess--both in terms of technology, strategy, and management. It's amazing that the company is purported to be worth nearly $10B.

I like that fact that Bilton pulls no punches, calling out self-anointed Steve
...more
Yoly
Aug 09, 2014 Yoly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With more drama than a Mexican telenovela, this book tells the story of twitter.
This book gives you the background of each of the founders and how they came together to create what we today call twitter. I was a big fan of Jack Dorsey but sadly this book took that away :)

At first I was a little put off with the author's style. To me it seemed a bit pretentious because he started on an overly dramatic tone and you would think the author thought he was writing a novel. After I got further into the
...more
Ana
O título em inglês (Hatching Twitter) é muito mais interessante. Em português parece uma coisa bastante sensacionalista, mas não é assim tanto. Trata-se de uma visão romanceada da história, acho incrível a quantidade de pormenores, que a serem verdade, denotam o detalhe com que se consegue reconstituir a vida de uma pessoa através das suas pegadas online. Mas isso não é o mais impressionante, também fiquei impressionada com a rapidez a a atualidade dos acontecimentos, estamos a falar sobre a últ ...more
Patrick
Aug 31, 2014 Patrick rated it really liked it
Compelling narrative peels back layers of hype about Twitter. It is a rather sad story in many ways that might change your opinion about some people involved in the company. The book is particularly entertaining if you were using Twitter since the Fail Whale days. Good job by @NickBilton mining the social media record from a time when people were not as aware they were writing their own histories 140 characters at a time.
Brian
Nov 12, 2013 Brian rated it liked it
It was a fast-paced read, and quite interesting for someone who remembers all of the growing pains. Had the company been managed more pragmatically, would we have been so familiar with the fail whale? The best sections were the early ones, while the last section seemed to just be an excuse to tell the Snoop anecdote. It's a good story, but that section covers years in a matter of pages. Biz is really the only one who comes out not looking like an asshole in the end. Bilton adds unnecessary color ...more
Bogdan Iordache
Dec 31, 2015 Bogdan Iordache rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nikolay
Mar 23, 2014 Nikolay rated it it was amazing
If anybody wrote fiction startup drama novels, they would surely be less dramatic than Twitter’s early history.

Morals for me:
* avoid working with your best friends
* egos and power are more important than money – you can repay money, but revenge leads to more aggression
* when stakes are high it’s “hunt or be hunted” situation
* you can change the world
* avoid drama.
Peter
Feb 06, 2014 Peter rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-english
Like Niels said earlier, this is the story of the four founders of Twitter, more so than a story of Twitter itself. So, for instance: nothing on how the concept of retweeting came to be and very little about how the 'mentions' made it way into the service, or the design choices for the sites and apps they were making.

This is about the four guys who, essentially, did a game of musical chairs. At stake were the highest positions at the company and the right to call oneself 'inventor' of this vastl
...more
Risto Kärkkäinen
Hatching Twitter is a great story and Nick have brought it to the masses almost perfectly.
Why read fiction if non-fiction can be this entertaining?
Scott Holstad
Apr 03, 2015 Scott Holstad rated it really liked it
I've never read about such a group of immature, whiny, backstabbing losers in my life! To think that some reviewers consider them brilliant is really pretty funny. They were mediocre thinkers with mediocre talent who couldn't cut it in real places, like Xerox PARC or Google, so they wind up at a start up, broke and desperate. The one who has had success, Ev, is good for the seed money. He at least founded Blogger, so he actually had done something, which was sold to Google for millions, making h ...more
ddri
Dec 20, 2013 ddri rated it it was amazing
Also known as "how to write a fast, engaging and sufficiently researched business narrative".

Bilton suffers the same critics as adventure journalist Jon Krakauer, with complaints of flavouring a story or overlooking deeper themes for the sake of readability. What's masterful about their writing is to build a consistent narrative in the first place, performing the magic trick of condensing fearsome amounts of research and interviews into a series of pages that a reader wants to turn. Hatching Tw
...more
Anastasia
May 29, 2016 Anastasia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: twitbookclub
Reads a bit like a novel, which makes it more enjoyable than your typical 'true story account of X Y Z' books. Enjoyable read overall, with a few lessons to take away.

Bolton makes Jack out to be a self-centred douche, whether that's true, isn't really up to any of us to decide (unless you happen to meet him in person and see for yourself). That said, if Bill Campbell is a top notch CEO coach, I would really hate to see a coach who's terrible. His behaviour of telling Evan he's doing a great job
...more
陈滢桐
Nov 04, 2014 陈滢桐 rated it liked it
Like many modern books, the language of this book is quite comprehensible and precise. The deepest feeling I felt when I read this book is the biaseness of the author. I do not think the book is written in an objective way. It is quite subjective. From the language used, the description of each character, it is clearly that the author does not like Jack but favours Ev and Noah. He thinks Jack did not do much but brags a lot. Ev was a good, caring and responsible leader and friends, though he is ...more
Sheila DeChantal
Sep 29, 2014 Sheila DeChantal rated it really liked it
I adored the movie Social Network. I did. It is the story of the making of Facebook and I ate up every minute of the story of the young creator who took an idea that was meant to be a college meet up site to a place where people f all ages share their lives, relationships… and yes, even whats for dinner. *Guilty*

When I came across this audio of Twitter I was excited to learn of its climb to status and the audio was every bit as interesting as I hoped it would be.

With information of the start-up
...more
Casey
Aug 09, 2014 Casey rated it really liked it
I don't really use Twitter. This isn't out of ignorance or confusion: I've been pretty well informed about Twitter since the beginning, given the amount of press it got in places like Lifehacker, and I've definitely signed up for the service more than twice. The issue for me has always been that it's fundamental purpose has never seemed clearly defined: is it for personal status updates to let friends and family know what you're doing? Should you use it as a promotional tool to direct people fro ...more
Alessandra
Feb 17, 2014 Alessandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Twitter ha cambiato il modo di diffondere e comunicare le notizie. E’ di certo un social network rivoluzionario, ma anche un’azienda che è passata da essere un progetto secondario di una start up fallita a un colosso da miliardi di dollari.

Va da sé che qualche coltellata alle spalle possa essere volata tra i 4 fondatori.

E di quest’ ascesa stellare ci racconta Nick Bilton, che è un giornalista del NY Times e si vede (o meglio, si legge): unisce un’ottima capacità descrittiva ed esplicativa e una
...more
Jason Kirk
Nov 01, 2013 Jason Kirk rated it really liked it
Amazon Best of the Month Review: Spoiler alert: The subtitle sorta says it all. That is, Nick Bilton's Hatching Twitter delivers "A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal," though not necessarily in that order. The book's four central players--Ev, Jack, Biz, and Noah--conceived of Twitter while working on Odeo, an ultimately doomed attempt to revolutionize podcasting. As their little chick grew, the four men's personal and ideological differences led to a power struggle that even ...more
Karly
Nov 24, 2013 Karly rated it it was amazing
I am a huge admirer of the written word I all formats, but to me the hardest to write has to be the non-fiction novel. But Bilton completely nailed it with Hatching Twitter. I haven't read a non-Fiicton novel that I liked this much since Capote's In Cold Blood. From the opening scene with Ev throwing up in a trash can as he is about to be forced out as Twitter CEO, I was hooked. The novel then goes back in time slowly building to the opening scene, and even though I knew what was gown to happen, ...more
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TwitBookClub: June 2016 - 'Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money....' by Nick Bilton 1 1 Jun 18, 2016 10:44AM  
A preview in Times Magazine 3 26 Dec 19, 2013 06:29AM  
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Nick Bilton is a columnist and reporter for The New York Times, covering technology, business, privacy, design and culture. He is the author the critically acclaimed book "Hatching Twitter," and currently lives in San Francisco with his dog, Pixel.
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“People don’t invent things on the Internet. They simply expand on an idea that already exists.” 3 likes
“The press pass and the a title of “journalist” had been replaced by a smart phone and a Twitter account.” 2 likes
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