Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook” as Want to Read:
The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook

3.49  ·  Rating Details ·  11,171 Ratings  ·  1,415 Reviews


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

Kindle Edition, 274 pages
Published July 14th 2009 by Anchor (first published January 1st 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Accidental Billionaires, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Accidental Billionaires

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Aug 16, 2009 Scott rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Piece of f***ing crap
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
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
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
Feb 28, 2011 Elaine rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Apr 29, 2010 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 26, 2010 Melissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 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
“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
Vivian Valvano
Oct 24, 2010 Vivian Valvano rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 07, 2010 D.w. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
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
Dec 23, 2010 Tom rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 04, 2011 Juliana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fatos-reais, cinema
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
Scribble Orca
Jan 23, 2011 Scribble Orca rated it liked it  ·  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 w
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
Apr 07, 2011 jess rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook-d, 2011
We listened to this audio book as a family on a drive from Olympia to San Francisco (Spring Break Whoo!) which was, first of all, no small feat of a drive because 1. one of us is fourteen 2. one of us had not slept more than 3 consecutive hours in several days 3. one of us (the primary driver) is neither a confident stick shift driver or very tolerant of being interrupted in the middle of audio book reading.

Somehow, though, the stupid facebook book managed to suck us all in and provided a fasci
Petra X
May 05, 2015 Petra X rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
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
Carol Storm
May 27, 2011 Carol Storm rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 14, 2011 Caitlin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
After watching "The Social Network" and finding myself really obsessed with the movie, I decided to pick up the book that started it all. And, I wasn't disappointed one bit. A fascinating look at these real-life people, Mezrich gives a more equitable look than the movie does. Reading it, I found it harder to pinpoint a villain or hero in the story. They were just people -- people who made decisions, who created and destroyed relationships, who wanted to be a part of something bigger than themsel ...more
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
Aug 04, 2012 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
An interesting history of the origins of Facebook by a creative Harvard undergraduate interested in facilitating the process of dating. That the social networking software now used by 500 million plus users was invented by a socially inept and ethically handicapped nerd has a certain fable-like quality. The author unfortunately makes extensive use of dubious constructed dialog, which the author based on interviews with one-time friends and early partners who eventually were left in the dust of t ...more
Lili Manolache
Apr 08, 2013 Lili Manolache rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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
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
Audio Book Review Number 2.

I feel like my audio book choices are sort of bonuses to my reading list. They haven't exactly been books I would probably choose to read, but I have at least a slight curiosity about them. I still don’t love this format and I can’t see myself sitting down and listening to an audio book, or listening to one while commuting (although it could be a way to speed up my reading, I’d have to test to see if listening to a book at one and a half times the normal speed is faste
Aug 16, 2016 Randy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hoping to keep a wary eye on the online exploits of my 13 year old daughter, I asked her if she would "friend" me on Instagram. She looked at me skeptically and said, "you should get Facebook - that's for old people." Ouch. This book by Ben Mezrich is theoretically about the founding of Facebook in 2004 on the campus of Harvard University, but mostly it's about how co-founder Mark Zuckerberg screwed over everyone involved in the company, and maybe everyone he ever met (allegedly). Wait, you're s ...more
Hannah Lei
Jan 12, 2016 Hannah Lei rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Trey Felts
Jan 13, 2016 Trey Felts rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Trey Felts-7th
Mrs. Carden
PAP English II
January 12, 2016
A Book Review: The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook
A young college sophomore by the name of Mark Zuckerberg is trying to find his way through college life at Harvard University. Eduardo Saverin is a college junior who cares about two things: business and social skill. Eduardo is trying to get into one of the Final Clubs at Harvard: The Phoenix. At a party initiation for this club is where the computer genius and young busin
Luis M
May 13, 2016 Luis M rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When was the last time you posted a status update or sent a picture through social media? For many people posting on social media is like eating or walking. In the book Accidental Billionaires it explains how the very popular social media site Facebook got started. The site which was suppose to be a dating site for student at Harvard grew into the social media king it is today by Mark Zuckerberg. Mark seemed to have no ambition outside of working on computers, so when he was rejected by a girl o ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Huntsville-Madiso...: Staff Pick -- The Accidental Billionaires 1 6 Nov 16, 2012 06:07AM  
  • Facebook and Philosophy: What's on Your Mind?
  • Stealing MySpace: The Battle to Control the Most Popular Website in America
  • Bourgeois Equality: How Ideas, Not Capital or Institutions, Enriched the World
  • Once You're Lucky, Twice You're Good: The Rebirth of Silicon Valley and the Rise of Web 2.0
  • The Zen of Social Media Marketing: An Easier Way to Build Credibility, Generate Buzz, and Increase Revenue
  • The Twitter Book
  • Return to the Little Kingdom: Steve Jobs, the Creation of Apple, and How It Changed the World
  • Twitter Wit: Brilliance in 140 Characters or Less
  • Not Impossible: How a Paralyzed Artist and a Team of Mad Scientists Taught Me How to Change the World
  • Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection
  • A Social Strategy: How We Profit from Social Media
  • It's Not the Big That Eat the Small...It's the Fast That Eat the Slow: How to Use Speed as a Competitive Tool in Business
  • Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization
  • The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That is Connecting the World
  • The Google Story: Inside the Hottest Business, Media, and Technology Success of Our Time
  • The Click Moment: Seizing Opportunity in an Unpredictable World
  • Googled: The End of the World as We Know It
  • Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge
Ben Mezrich has created his own highly addictive genre of nonfiction, chronicling the amazing stories of young geniuses making tons of money on the edge of impossibility, ethics, and morality.

With his newest non-fiction book, Once Upon a Time in Russia, Mezrich tells his most incredible story yet: A true drama of obscene wealth, crime, rivalry, and betrayal from deep inside the world of billionair
More about Ben Mezrich...

Share This Book

“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.” 5 likes
“occurred. But there was no denying it now, the evidence was all over him. The pleasantly warm flush to his normally sallow cheeks; the relaxed, almost rubbery way he leaned against the window—a stark contrast to his usual calcified, if slightly hunched posture; and most important” 0 likes
More quotes…