The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook
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The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook

3.44 of 5 stars 3.44  ·  rating details  ·  8,289 ratings  ·  1,265 reviews

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

The Social Network, the much anticipated movie…adapted from Ben Mezrich’s book The Accidental Billionaires.” —The New York Times

Best friends Eduardo Saverin and Mark Zuckerberg had spent many lonely nights looking for a way to stand out among Harvard University’s elite, comptetitive, and accomplished student body. Then, in 2003, Zuckerberg hacked into H

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Kindle Edition, 274 pages
Published July 14th 2009 by Anchor (first published January 1st 2009)
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Ms Bubbles SockieP
When I read a book that has a great deal of biographical detail and where the subject refuses to co-operate and where there are too many phrases like, 'he must have thought', 'he could have surmised', 'maybe he felt', I think that even if the author is as well-respected as Mezrich, this is probably a load of balls.

Modern society, the media, cannot stand those who refuse to have a publicist, give interviews, employ a stylist and have a dozen employees referred to as 'my people'. It can't stand p...more
Elaine
Listening to audiobook, I could tell from the outset that it was going to be terrible. Normally, I'd have quit, but I decided to stick with it for the story. Soon I realized that I was listening to it for the entertainment value of its badness. The book, seemingly untouched by an editor's hand, is dense with stereotypes, cliches, hyperbole, adolescent fantasies (which seem to be the author's more than those of the main characters), mixed metaphors, inappropriate comparisons, and comical malaprop...more
Grace
If I could find a way to delete my Facebook account and still remain in contact with my family and close friends, I'd do it after reading this book.

I'll start with the story itself. I call it a story because author Ben Mezrich admits that he fictionalized scenes based on eye witness accounts and made up others to fill in gaps. Mezrich was also unable to secure an interview with Mark Zuckerberg, the mastermind behind Facebook. How do you write the story of the founding of Facebook without the fo...more
Lili Manolache
"The Accidental Billionaires" by Ben Mezrich is a great book that I recommend to all young people today and all those who aspire to start their own business and change the world.

The ideology of the new generation includes without any doubt the giant Facebook. It has become part of the social evolution of our century and it has reached even the basic unit of society: family and individual. In my opinion, Facebook is the tool we use nowadays for both personal and business activities. Today’s gener...more
Tom
Here is one of the rare cases where I say the film ("The Social Contract") is better than the book. Mezrich's version of Facebook's founding is a fast read but one told primarily through the eyes and voice of Eduardo Saverin, the partner who has claimed he was cheated and misled by Facebook originator Mark Zuckerberg. As such, it is just one-half of the usual "he said/she said" story. Since the book was published in early 2010, we don't know yet the final outcome of Saverin's litigation against...more
Vivian Valvano
First, let me note that I liked the film "The Social Network" written by Aaron Sorkin, directed by David Fincher: beautiful craftsmanship, excellent acting, terrific writing, good direction ... BUT I worried when I saw it. I knew that it was not a bio-pic in any way, shape, or form. I knew that it could not be taken as documentary in any way, shape, or form, and that Mark Zuckerberg had nothing to do with it. After viewing it, I felt it should carry a disclaimer clearly stating that it was SUGGE...more
Scribble Orca
Jan 23, 2011 Scribble Orca rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: If you aren't going to watch the film
This is not a high energy book!

You'll have a much better time watching the movie The Social Network (I did, on the plane, from Munich to Singapore), you might even come away with a sense of who was nasty and who was nice, but reading the book is like eating white toast bread. Tasteless. And disappointing. Being a firm believe of the old cliche that the book is better than the film, I was expecting to come away with some tangible insights. I didn't.

It's nothing to do with Mezrich's skill as a wr...more
Melissa
A big "eh." For the first few chapters, I was really thrown off by Mezrich's writing style. He just tries too hard. I kept thinking he was trying to be a writer instead of actually being one ("the white and blue-colored crepe paper....one of the bowing so low that its taffeta-like curls threatened to overwhelmt he oversize punch bowl perched below"..." is a tame example). I was interested to see I wasn't the only reader annoyed by this. Admittedly in later chapters, I found myself wanting to fin...more
Jsnyder02
Why do people like Ben Mezrich? This story itself, about Facebook, was fascinating and kept me reading. The author, however, made me want to vomit. His writing style is AWFUL. He made it clear he knew nothing about the subject matter, by describing technological aspects of the story in ways that didn't make any sense (no, he doesn't need to be a website creator himself, but he has to develop enough basic vocabulary to write intelligently). Also, he wrote this book without being able to get an in...more
Eric_W
If you have seen the movie, The Social Network, you already know the plot. Filled with the purported conversations of college students from years ago, one must remain somewhat skeptical. However, I get really nervous when the author describes taking a flight from New York to San Francisco on a 757 “wide-body.” (It’s a narrow-body.)

Mezrich, himself, says several of the characters are composites (more red flags,) and some reviewers have complained the book was too long and boring. I listened to it...more
David
quick, sometimes amusing, read about the creation of Facebook. As possibly the last person in America not on Facebook, I was unfamiliar with the back story. As might have been predicted, the college students who started it weren't prepared to handle the skyrocketing success, and friendships imploded in multiple lawsuits about who created what when and who was cheating whom on the money.

Unfortunately, the author was unable to get the single most central character, Mark Zuckerberg, to be interview...more
Carol Storm
My God this SUCKS!!!!!!!!

It's not shocking that this book is so bad. Mark Zuckerberg has so much money and so much power that no one can force him to spill his guts. Lots of people resent that. But even assuming that the worst is true, about Mark and his empire, was Ben Mezrich the BEST author they could find to trash this guy?

Ben Mezrich doesn't write like someone who loves books, or who enjoys reading. He writes like he is blind drunk in a frat house at 3 AM, and trying to impress the other gu...more
Ivy
Although much of Ben Mezrich's information is sketchy at best, he writes a very engaging story of how much blood, sweat and tears were shed in the founding of Facebook. Though he no doubt interviewed some of the key players in this drama, the most important point of view is missing---Mark Zuckerberg's. The drama, ironically, revolves around Zuckerberg yet the author felt he had enough information from other sources to write a book about him. That might be fine for some people, but I had a proble...more
Himal Kotelawala
It's easy to see why so many people seem to dismiss this book as a glorified beach read. At first glance, it's poorly written - and worse - hurriedly edited. Admittedly, it is no masterpiece in terms of writing; but, ultimately, The Accidental Billionaires more than manages to accomplish what it sets out to: to tell an entertaining story as accurately as possible about a bunch of living, breathing multi-billionaires, without its author having to face a lawsuit, or worse.

From Page 1 onwards, you...more
Juliana
The author's way of writing a real story had already captured me on the other book about the MIT boys and Las Vegas. This time was no different. His storytelling is catchy and you won't stop reading so soon. I finished it in one day, after 200 pages.
Don't be fooled, though. The real story behind the creation of Facebook can be found only with each founder. This book and the movie based on it are only a part of the story.
Also this was the basis for my course conclusion work on journalism, about b...more
Susan
This is a fast paced book detailing the meteoric rise of Facebook and it's founders. It is pretty amazing. What, however, amazes me even more are the young women, highly educated, mind you, who prostitute themselves willingly for sport with virtual strangers. It is somewhat understandable that women do this for love or money, but what has educating women done for them if they can't respect themselves? I realize that self respect is taught from birth at home, but education should turn on a light...more
Scott
Piece of f***ing crap
D.w.
This has the potential to have been a great insight into the founding of a company that is clearly having an impact of the early part of the 21st century. In the hands of a better writer I should imagine it would have done so. Anchor Books made a mistake in not seeing that a Michael Lewis caliber author was needed.

Two things cause this book to be glaring as a could have been.

The first is no Mark Zuckerberg. It may be understandable that when writing a biography about such a subject that the main...more
Trish
I hadn't read any of Mezrich's earlier books, though they are extremely popular in Boston, due to the MIT angle for Bringing Down the House. I expect that some of his earlier work was easier to complete, since he had the cooperation of the people he was profiling. In the case of this book, Mezrich could not get Mark Zuckerberg to go on record. Since the book is about Zuckerberg's (and others') accomplishments in establishing Facebook, I'd have to say that must have been a big disappointment to M...more
Tad
This is the definition of page-turner. A gripping, quick read that I just could not put down. Since I had seen the movie ("The Social Network"), I knew the story already but still found myself pulled in by this account. As to how much of this book is true, it's hard to say. I would guess that there's more truth in here than Mark Zuckerberg would like us to believe. Admittedly, I would like to hear his side of the story but since he refuses to talk, we are left to speculate. Facebook has complete...more
Julie H.
This book is positively fascinating! On the most basic level it's interesting given the ubiquity of Facebook. When you actually dive in, however, it becomes a sort of mini-ethnography of entitlement, competitiveness, and disregard for other people's hard labor and intellectual capital. The Accidental Billionaires... not only provides the backstory to Facebook's (or should I say theFacebook or, earlier still, Facemash?) creation, but places it in a wider context of similar--and considerably less...more
Steven Scaffardi
It is hard to imagine a time before Google, before YouTube, before Twitter. They have become so ingrained in our psyche. But the one social platform that has become entwined into a normal everyday life more than any is Facebook.

A staggering 71% of the British public log in to Facebook every day, over 1 billion users worldwide have signed up, and it is worth an estimated $15m. That's a lot of people looking at a lot of ex's! Quite impressive for a company that launched in 2005.

But the most impres...more
Jim
This was really entertaining, despite the whole account listing badly to one side because the author could not get even a snatched conversation with Mark Zuckerberg - the founder and driving force behind Facebook. Resultantly he has to rely on what seems to be the view of a spurned partner, Eduardo somebody, who, as far as I could see, put up the money to get the site off the ground and precious little else. He was a friend of Zuckerberg, if the latter could conceive of what that was. It is a bi...more
Jennifer
Feb 13, 2011 Jennifer marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
There are a lot of things that fascinate me. The Ins of Harvard is one, Facebook is another.

Majoring in Computer Science I've interacted with more than my fare share of Zuk'rburg types. None of which share his level of intelligence but I am confident in saying that the minds behind the creation of the culture-beast that is facebook share a certain geek trait that I first encountered in undergrad and still fascinates me to this day.

You see the fascinating thing about a praised engineer is they p...more
Kathy Hiester
Accidental Billionaires is about the founding of Facebook. This book is based on interviews done by the author. Most of the book reads pretty easy anyone who has a Facebook account should definitely give it a go.

Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin, students at Harvard, both geeks who lack much of a social life. Eduardo is more interested in social activities than Mark and tries to join the Phoenix Harvard club. Mark, out of frustration, creates Facemash a site for rating girls which almost gets...more
Alexandra Robbins
I'm reading this because I was curious how much of the movie followed the book. I was surprised, though, at the author's note, which essentially admits that he had to "imagine" some scenes. I've just finished reading a scene in which Mark Zuckerberg, whom the author did not interview, was alone. How could the author know what was going through Zuckerberg's head -- and what he did, precisely -- if Zuckerberg didn't tell him? (When I interview someone on what he was thinking during a moment, I pel...more
Eli
“The goal for me is to be an entertainer and a personality – Hunter S. Thompson, minus the drugs and the guns and the suicide… I write about kids living this high life, and I do it, too.” – Ben Mezrich

“He’s like the kid who can’t believe he got in.” – Kevin Spacey on Mezrich

“The book isn’t reportage. It’s big juicy fun.” – Todd Doughty (Publicist for The Accidental Billionaires)

Now I like big, juicy fun as much as the next guy, but I was hoping we might spend just a moment with the Author’s Note...more
Morgan
I could not put this book down. It was completely engrossing and must be even more so for readers who have not seen "The Social Network". I have to admit I was hesitant to read this after seeing the movie for a few reasons. Number one the movie was so good and I had heard that the book was just okay; number two I have trouble getting through non-fiction in a timely manner. To call the book non-fiction though is a stretch. This book is a strange hybrid of fiction and non-fiction, like a mash-up....more
Kristine Shahverdyan
When the Social Network came out, it seemed pretty interesting but I never watched it. When I saw this book, I decided on reading it. The book is basically the story of how facebook came about. Two best friends, Eduardo and Mark, were Harvard undergrads trying to stand out. One day Mark tried hacking into the schools computer and almost got expelled. This prank inspired him to create face book. However, the two best friends were torn apart. My favorite quote from the book is "Facebook wasn't a l...more
S J Blake
This is a fun story written a bit hastily and clumsily, but still worth a read. Because one of the two main protagonists, Mark Zuckerberg, the actual dude who created Facebook (his name used to appear at the bottom of every page, 'A Mark Zuckerberg Production'), refused to speak to Mezrich, he had to make do with second-hand and even third-hand sources. That makes for some silly turd-person passages - and a lot of journalistic hedging as he speculates on what so-and-so might have thought, or sai...more
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Huntsville-Madiso...: Staff Pick -- The Accidental Billionaires 1 4 Nov 16, 2012 06:07AM  
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Ben Mezrich is an American author from Boston, Massachusetts, who started out writing fiction but now has made his foray into non-fiction. He graduated magna-cum-laude from Harvard in 1991. He has since published eight books which have together sold over a million copies in nine different languages. Some of his books have been written under the pseudonym Holden Scott.

More about Ben Mezrich...
Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions Sex on the Moon: The Amazing Story Behind the Most Audacious Heist in History Ugly Americans: The True Story of the Ivy League Cowboys Who Raided the Asian Markets for Millions Rigged: The True Story of an Ivy League Kid Who Changed the World of Oil, from Wall Street to Dubai Busting Vegas: A True Story of Monumental Excess, Sex, Love, Violence, and Beating the Odds

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“To guys like Mark, time was another weapon of the establishment, like alphabetical order. The great engineers, hackers - they didn't function under the same time constraints as everyone else.” 4 likes
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