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

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  9,099 Ratings  ·  771 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
Hardcover, 299 pages
Published November 5th 2013 by Portfolio Hardcover
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Nov 23, 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
Dino-Jess ✮ The Book Eating Dinosaur ✮



This book made my heart hurt, a lot. I know they say never do business with friends and all that, but the ruthlessness with which the start up businesses in Silicon Valley treat their founders and engineers was positively shocking.

There are so many truth bombs in here - the social commentary on today's trends that were shaped BECAUSE OF the creation of Twitter and other new and emerging technologies was absolutely fan
Oct 23, 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.
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,
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
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
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.
Sep 12, 2013 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
Mar 14, 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
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.
Jean Poulos
Aug 02, 2016 Jean Poulos rated it really liked it
This is the story of the founders of Twitter. I have heard about Twitter but have never used it or been on its site so all this information is new to me. I knew nothing about Twitter until reading this book. I did not even know it was a local San Francisco company.

Bilton tells the story of Evan Williams, Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass and Christopher Stone the four founders of the company. The four men were working at a startup company called Odeo. Apparently at a brain storming session, they decided t
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
Phil Simon
Oct 14, 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
Sep 20, 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.
Dec 21, 2013 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
Dec 17, 2013 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.
Oct 31, 2013 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.
Aditya Hadi
Jan 06, 2017 Aditya Hadi rated it really liked it
Kisah ini belum selesai ... !!

Hal inilah yang terlintas di benak saya ketika menyelesaikan buku ini. Nick Bilton hanya sempat menceritakan kisah di balik layar yang penuh intrik dan pengkhianatan dari Twitter, hingga Dick Costolo menjadi CEO. Saya rasa Nick masih bisa membuat buku selanjutnya yang bercerita tentang kisah ketika Jack kembali menjadi CEO, seperti saat ini.

Buku ini menceritakan dengan sisi pandang orang ketiga yang seolah mengetahui segala hal di balik Twitter. Mulai dari keberhasi
Natalia Avdeeva
Feb 24, 2017 Natalia Avdeeva rated it it was amazing
Dramatic and entertaining! (except for the last chapter)
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
Nov 10, 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
Dec 02, 2013 Karen rated it liked it
Reads like a high-tech soap opera but interesting nonetheless. What sticks for me is not the story of the company but the tale of how people who claim to be friends can be such schmucks to each other.
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?
Alex Keats
May 20, 2017 Alex Keats rated it really liked it
A fantastically well written non-fiction, detailing what really happened behind the scenes at Twitter. Nick Bolton does a surprisingly great job of retelling history as if it were a piece of fiction, complete with dynamic characters, plenty of conflict and a constantly evolving plot. The only element holding it back from being perfect was the fact that there was no character to love or cheer for, but hey you can't change history.
Willem Spruijt
Jun 10, 2017 Willem Spruijt rated it really liked it
Great storytelling by Nick Bilton. It's interesting to have an insight look in the company I have been following (and using) for a long time. Also, some great tips on how to not run a company.
Thijs Niks
Feb 06, 2017 Thijs Niks rated it it was amazing
This book truly tells the story of the Twitter “clown car”
Scott Holstad
Mar 05, 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
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
Kressel Housman
Nov 05, 2013 Kressel Housman rated it really liked it
About fifteen years ago during the dot com boom, my friend’s husband, a computer programmer whose office had been bought by some corporation or other, said that people can be divided into two categories: techs and corps. More than just computer progammers, techs are creative people who figure out innovative uses for the tools at hand. Corps, on the other hand, are people with tunnel vision who subsume all creativity under that vision. Now, I don’t entirely agree – there must be some tech-iness t ...more
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TwitBookClub: June 2016 - 'Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money....' by Nick Bilton 1 2 Jun 18, 2016 10:44AM  
A preview in Times Magazine 3 27 Dec 19, 2013 06:29AM  
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Nick Bilton is a Special Correspondent for Vanity Fair, where he writes about technology, politics, business and culture. He is also a contributor to CNBC, and a former columnist and reporter for The New York Times.

He has written three books, including The New York Times bestseller, “Hatching Twitter,” which chronicled the turmoil and chaos inside Twitter as it grew from a fledgling startup to a m
More about Nick Bilton...

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“The press pass and the a title of “journalist” had been replaced by a smart phone and a Twitter account.” 3 likes
“Some people are destined for greatness; others fall up a hill to get there.” 2 likes
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