Ivy's Reviews > The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook

The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich
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May 29, 12

bookshelves: history-biography-memoirs-nonfictio
Read from May 22 to 25, 2012

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 problem with him describing situations which only Mark was witness to. Mezrich could only make suppositions about how a certain situation might have unfolded, but he could never know for sure. Yet he has no problems creating a fictitious account for his readers to believe.

Eduardo Severin's account of how he was basically shafted by Zuckerberg really did win my sympathy. Of all the people surrounding Zuckerberg, Eduardo was the one who was a genuine friend. He seemed the one who best understood the timid genius and accepted him warts and all. Severin even put up his own money to initially launch Facebook, but when Severin chose to stay in school and finish his education instead of giving himself body and soul to the company he'd helped create, he is pushed out.

Mezrich goes on to describe the wild parties, drinking orgies, and promiscuous behavior involved in gathering new investors to make Facebook even bigger. The geeks were now bagging Victoria's Secret models, where in college they were basically ignored. To sum it up, this book leaves a bad taste in my mouth---one that makes me want to delete my Facebook account. But I won't because I am far too addicted. This becomes the recipe for Mark Zuckerberg's success. Like a drug dealer he knows just what his customers want and he gives it to them until they're addicted. Then he'll start charging higher prices. Talk about making some of FB's features "pay-only" is now circulating. Will we give in and pay or will we have the strength to say 'no' and walk away?
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