The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World

The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World

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IN LITTLE MORE THAN HALF A DECADE, Facebook has gone from a dorm-room novelty to a company with 500 million users. It is one of the fastest growing companies in history, an essential part of the social life not only of teenagers but hundreds of millions of adults worldwide. As Facebook spreads around the globe, it creates surprising effects—even becoming instrumental in political protests from Colombia to Iran.

Veteran technology reporter David Kirkpatrick had the full cooperation of Facebook’s key executives in researching this fascinating history of the company and its impact on our lives. Kirkpatrick tells us how Facebook was created, why it has flourished, and where it is going next. He chronicles its successes and missteps, and gives readers the most complete assessment anywhere of founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the central figure in the company’s remarkable ascent. This is the Facebook story that can be found nowhere else.

How did a nineteen-year-old Harvard student create a company that has transformed the Internet and how did he grow it to its current enormous size? Kirkpatrick shows how Zuckerberg steadfastly refused to compromise his vision, insistently focusing on growth over profits and preaching that Facebook must dominate (his word) communication on the Internet. In the process, he and a small group of key executives have created a company that has changed social life in the United States and elsewhere, a company that has become a ubiquitous presence in marketing, altering politics, business, and even our sense of our own identity. This is the Facebook Effect.

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  1. Rosebrook111 says:
    72 of 81 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Fascinating history (but not an analysis)of a global phenomenon, June 5, 2010
    By 
    Rosebrook111 (US East Coast) –

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

    Remarkably detailed history of a unique company. Kirkpatrick, a scrupulous journalist, who was encouraged to write the book by Facebook’s controversial founder, gives a detailed play-by-play of how Facebook amassed half a billion users. He provides a fascinating history of how the company was built, and manages to touch upon most of the controversies surrounding it. But, perhaps because of the access given to him by Zuckerberg, the founder and not-so-benevolent dictator running the company, he avoids any substantial critique of the actions and motivations of the facebook management team. Possibly because of the book’s timing – it must have been completed in April or so – he doesn’t address the company’s most recent issues and, most importantly, he provides little insight to help the reader understand Zuckerberg and why and how he manages to get himself into so much trouble, particulary around the topic of user privacy, though we get plenty of anecdotes about his behavior and maturation. There is also very little reflection about where Internet advances, as exemplified by facebook, will take our economy or society. But this is still a “must read” for anyone interested in the evolution of the Internet and how facebook got here and managed to monopolize billions of hours of our collective attention.

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  2. Andre L. Charoo says:
    35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Incredibly Insightful Account of the True Facebook Story, June 23, 2010
    By 
    Andre L. Charoo (San Francisco) –

    I’ve just finished reading The Facebook Effect, and it was like a movie I didn’t want to end. I’m considering reading it again. As a budding internet startup entrepreneur, learning from major successes, such as Facebook, is incredibly valuable. The problem is, where can you learn about the juicy details that essentially positioned a company like Facebook to be so ubiquitous? Details such as:

    - how Facebook gained so much traffic early on
    - how they scaled the site school by school
    - the major decisions Mark and his team grappled with at every stage
    - the strategy and thought process that went through Zuckerberg’s mind
    - how they raised their first dollar of investment
    - what sort of information did they pitch their first professional investors
    - etc…

    It includes everything that an internet startup entrepreneur would want to know, encapsulated in one of the world’s most fascinating phenomenon — The Facebook Effect.

    Enjoy.

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  3. M. Clarke says:
    36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Engaging read, June 15, 2010
    By 
    M. Clarke (Greenwich, CT) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

    Kirkpatrick was for years one of Fortune’s best writers, and that talent is on full display here. He assesses the often broad and complex situations around facebook deftly, in accessible and subtle ways. But it’s when he lets his interview subjects speak in their own words — from founder to current and past executives to investors — that the book really shines. It’s better than a good book, it’s an important book.

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