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The Facebook Effect: The Real Inside Story of Mark Zuckerberg and the World's Fastest Growing Company
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The Facebook Effect: The Real Inside Story of Mark Zuckerberg and the World's Fastest Growing Company [Format Kindle]

David Kirkpatrick
4.7 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)

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The Beginning

“We have opened up Thefacebook for popular consumption at Harvard University.”

Sophomore Mark Zuckerberg arrived at his dorm room in Harvard’s Kirkland House in September 2003 dragging an eight-foot-long whiteboard, the geek’s consummate brainstorming tool. It was big and unwieldy, like some of the ideas he would diagram there. There was only one wall of the four-person suite long enough to hold it—the one in the hallway on the way to the bedrooms. Zuckerberg, a computer science major, began scribbling away.

The wall became a tangle of formulas and symbols sprouting multicolored lines that wove this way and that. Zuckerberg would stand in the hall staring at it all, marker in hand, squeezing against the wall if someone needed to get by. Sometimes he would back into a bedroom doorway to get a better look. “He really loved that whiteboard,” recalls Dustin Moskovitz, one of Zuckerberg’s three suite-mates. “He always wanted to draw out his ideas, even when that didn’t necessarily make them clearer.” Lots of his ideas were for new services on the Internet. He spent endless hours writing software code, regardless of how much noncomputing classwork he might have. Sleep was never a priority. If he wasn’t at the whiteboard he was hunched over the PC at his desk in the common room, hypnotized by the screen. Beside it was a jumble of bottles and wadded-up food wrappers he hadn’t bothered to toss.

Right away that first week, Zuckerberg cobbled together Internet software he called Course Match, an innocent enough project. He did it just for fun. The idea was to help students pick classes based on who else was taking them. You could click on a course to see who was signed up, or click on a person to see the courses he or she was taking. If a cute girl sat next to you in Topology, you could look up next semester’s Differential Geometry course to see if she had enrolled in that as well, or you could just look under her name for the courses she had enrolled in. As Zuckerberg said later, with a bit of pride at his own prescience, “you could link to people through things.” Hundreds of students immediately began using Course Match. The status-conscious students of Harvard felt very differently about a class depending on who was in it. Zuckerberg had written a program they wanted to use.

Mark Zuckerberg was a short, slender, intense introvert with curly brown hair whose fresh freckled face made him look closer to fifteen than the nineteen he was. His uniform was baggy jeans, rubber sandals—even in winter—and a T-shirt that usually had some sort of clever picture or phrase. One he was partial to during this period portrayed a little monkey and read “Code Monkey.” He could be quiet around strangers, but that was deceiving. When he did speak, he was wry. His tendency was to say nothing until others fully had their say. He stared. He would stare at you while you were talking, and stay absolutely silent. If you said something stimulating, he’d finally fire up his own ideas and the words would come cascading out. But if you went on too long or said something obvious, he would start looking through you. When you finished, he’d quietly mutter “yeah,” then change the subject or turn away. Zuckerberg is a highly deliberate thinker and rational to the extreme. His handwriting is well ordered, meticulous, and tiny, and he sometimes uses it to fill notebooks with lengthy deliberations.

Girls were drawn to his mischievous smile. He was seldom without a girlfriend. They liked his confidence, his humor, and his irreverence. He typically wore a contented expression on his face that seemed to say “I know what I’m doing.” Zuck, as he was known, had an air about him that everything would turn out fine, no matter what he did. It certainly had so far.

On his application for admission to Harvard two years earlier, he could barely fit all the honors and awards he’d won in high school—prizes in math, astronomy, physics, and classical languages. It also noted he was captain and most valuable player on the fencing team and could read and write French, Hebrew, Latin, and ancient Greek. (His accent was awful, so he preferred ancient languages he didn’t have to speak, he told people with typical dry humor.) Harvard’s rarefied social status was neither intimidating nor unfamiliar. He’d attended the elite Phillips Exeter Academy, where you are expected to proceed to the Ivy League. He’d transferred there as a kind of lark. He’d gotten bored after two years at a public high school in Dobbs Ferry, New York, north of New York City.

Zuckerberg is the second-oldest of four children of a dentist father and a psychologist mother, and the only boy. The family home, though the largest in the neighborhood, remains modest. Its dental office in the basement is dominated by a giant aquarium. The elder Zuckerberg, something of a ham, is known as “painless Dr Z.” His website announces “We cater to cowards,” and a sign outside the home office shows a satirical scene of a wary dental patient. Mark’s sisters, like him, are academic stars. (His older sister Randi is now a senior marketer at Facebook.) From his early years Zuckerberg had a technical bent: the theme of his bar mitzvah was “Star Wars.”

The suite was one of the smallest in Kirkland House. Each of the two bedrooms came with bunk beds and a small desk. Zuckerberg’s roommate was Chris Hughes, a handsome, tow-headed, openly gay literature and history major with an interest in public policy. They dismantled the bunks—it was fairer, they decided, if nobody had to sleep on top. But now the two single beds took up almost all the space. There was hardly room to move. The desk was useless anyway—it was piled high with junk. In the other bedroom was Moskovitz, a hardworking, Brillo-haired economics major who was himself no intellectual slouch, and his roommate, Billy Olson, an amateur thespian with an impish streak.

Each boy had a desk in the common room. In between were a couple of easy chairs. It was, like the entire suite, a mess. Zuckerberg had a habit of accumulating detritus on his desk and nearby tables. He’d finish a beer or a Red Bull, put it down, and there it would stay for weeks. Occasionally Moskovitz’s girlfriend would get fed up and throw out some garbage. Once, when Zuckerberg’s mother visited, she looked around the room embarrassedly and apologized to Moskovitz for her son’s untidiness. “When he was growing up he had a nanny,” she explained.

This warren of tiny rooms on the third floor pushed the boys toward greater intimacy than they might have shared under less constrained conditions. Zuckerberg was by nature blunt, even sometimes brutally honest—a trait he may have acquired from his mother. Though he could be taciturn he was also the leader, simply because he so often started things. A habit of straight talk became the norm in this suite. There weren’t a lot of secrets here. The four got along in part because they knew where each stood. Rather than getting on one another’s nerves, they got into one another’s projects.

The Internet was a perennial theme. Moskovitz, who had little training in computing but a natural penchant for it, kept up a constant repartee with Zuckerberg about what did and did not make sense online, what would or would not make a good website, and what might or might not happen as the Internet continued its inroads into every sphere of modern life. At the beginning of the semester, Hughes had zero interest in computing. But by midyear he too had become fascinated by the constant discussion of programming and the Internet, and started chiming in with his own ideas, as did Moskovitz’s roommate, Olson. As Zuckerberg came up with each new programming project, the other three boys had plenty of opinions on how he should build it.

In the common room of Suite H33 in Kirkland House, Ivy League privilege and high geekdom converged. What happened there turns out not to have been common, but at the time it seemed pretty routine. Zuckerberg was hardly the only entrepreneur beavering away on a business in his dorm room. That wasn’t too noteworthy at Harvard. Down every hall were gifted and privileged children of the powerful.

It’s presumed at Harvard that these kids are the ones who will go on to rule the world. Zuckerberg, Moskovitz, and Hughes were just three eggheads who loved to talk about ideas. They didn’t think much about ruling the world. But from their funky, crowded dorm room would emerge an idea with the power to change it.

Emboldened by the unexpected success of Course Match, Zuckerberg decided to try out some other ideas. His next project, in October, he called Facemash. It gave the Harvard community its first look at his rebellious irreverent side. Its purpose: figure out who was the hottest person on campus. Using the kind of computer code otherwise used to rank chess players (perhaps it could also have been used for fencers), he invited users to compare two different faces of the same sex and say which one was hotter. As your rating got hotter, your picture would be compared to hotter and hotter people.

A journal he kept at the time, which for some reason he posted along with the software, suggests Zuckerberg got onto this jag while upset about a girl. “——— is a bitch. I need to think of something to make to take my mind off her,” he wrote, adding “I’m a little intoxicated, not gonna lie.” Perhaps that pique is what led him to the idea, mused about in the journal, of comparing students to farm animals. Instead, according to the journal, Billy Olson came up with the idea of comparing people to other people and only occasionally putting in a farm animal. By the time the progra...

Revue de presse

"This is a fantastic book, filled with great reporting and colorful narrative. The human drama of Mark Zuckerberg and his colleagues gives an exciting glimpse of how to launch a game-changing startup."

--Walter Isaacson, author of Einstein: His Life and Universe

“Kirkpatrick’s amazing reporting details what happens when a hacker culture turns into a multi-billion-dollar firm. Mark Zuckerberg sought to maintain that hacker energy, and it ’s fascinating to read what resulted.”

--Chris Anderson, editor of Wired and author of The Long Tail

“A thoughtful, even-handed analysis of the Web site’s impact. . . . The Facebook Effect leaves you with a deep understanding of Facebook, its philosophies and, most startlingly, its power.”

--David Pogue, The New York Times Book Review

The Facebook Effect is actually two books in one. One part is the exhaustively reported story of Facebook’s founding and meteoric rise to near ubiquity; the other is a thoughtful analysis of its impact."

--Ethan Gilsdorf, The Boston Globe

“Engrossing. . . . A detailed and scrupulously fair history of [Facebook].”

--Rich Jaroslovsky, Bloomberg Businessweek

“Kirkpatrick gives the reader a detailed understanding of how the company grew from a 2004 Harvard dorm-room project into the world’s second-most-visited site after Google."

--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“A fascinating book.”

--Dan Fletcher, Time

“Kirkpatrick’s telling of the early days of Facebook is exciting. . . . His reporting skills are impressive.”

--Rachel Metz, Associated Press

“Fast-paced. . . . makes for gripping reading.”

--G. Pascal Zachary, The San Francisco Chronicle

“Kirkpatrick tells a gripping tale of how the company was created and came to such dominance. As someone who followed the story almost from day one, I was still enlightened, entertained and sometimes dumbfounded by the rich detail and juicy goings-on.”

—Don Tapscott, The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

“Kirkpatrick does the best job yet of making sense of Facebook’s founder, 26-year-old Mark Zuckerberg. . . . Is Zuckerberg a genius? A flake? A bit of both? The book explains how his many facets fit together.”
—George Anders, Forbes

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Commentaires en ligne 

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4.7 étoiles sur 5
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
5.0 étoiles sur 5 bien 26 septembre 2011
Par hortense
très intéressant mais le livre est long et les caractères sont très petit. la lecture est parfois difficile au niveau de la concentration
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Par Nes
le livre est casi neuf! vendeur sérieux à vous invite à faire vos achats auprès de ce dernier!the seller is very serious. my new book is like a new, it is a good product.
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 Intéressant! 27 août 2011
Par fleur
ce livre est vraiment complet sur le phénomène facebook et vous en apprendra beaucoup sur l'histoire de ce site, retraçant son parcours.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.3 étoiles sur 5  121 commentaires
84 internautes sur 94 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Fascinating history (but not an analysis)of a global phenomenon 5 juin 2010
Par Rosebrook111 - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
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.
45 internautes sur 49 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Incredibly Insightful Account of the True Facebook Story 24 juin 2010
Par Andre L. Charoo - Publié sur
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.

37 internautes sur 44 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Engaging read 16 juin 2010
Par M. Clarke - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
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.
9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Intelligent, Insightful and Enjoyable 1 novembre 2010
Par avidreader - Publié sur
I originally purchased this book because I thought it was required reading for someone like me who works in Silicon Valley. However, after a few chapters, I realized this could be one of the top ten business books of the decade was fun to read.
Here is why I found it so enlightening:

-The book was filled with anecdotal stories of incredible financial and business growth challenges, potential technology disasters and public opinion/communication crises--that for the most, were handled swiftly and successfully. Valuable lessons learned were scattered throughout the book, cover to cover. The author made you feel like you were part of the team taking the company through its first five years of phenomenal growth.

-Mark Zuckerberg. You will learn about one of the most visionary CEOs of our time by the way he handled the above mentioned situations, his passion for transparency, philosophy on the "gift economy" and vision of global communication and via a number of direct quotes that the author chose to include (and noted below):

"The best thing we can do is to move smoothly with the world around us, and to have constant competition, not build walls."(commenting on the possible integration of Facebook across the Web)

"We're a vehicle that gives people the power to share information, so we are driving that trend. We also have to live by it." (commenting on user backlash and potential government intervention)

-Finally leveraging social media as a global communications platform; the book contains a bevy of inspirational examples of the potential for positive change--a glimpse into the future, that we should all be aware of.
15 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Good in bits 9 novembre 2010
Par Stewart Robertson - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
There are really two parts to this book: the story of how Facebook started and a general set of essays outlining the author's thoughts on the impact of Facebook and social media on society in general.
I suppose my slight issue with Kirkpatrick's offering is that the two different parts are somewhat intermingled and interfere somewhat in the flow of the Facebook story itself (which is really what I bought the book for). These story of Facebook's founding and growth are actually very interesting and paints a portrait of Zuckerberg that is both different and the same very to his recent film portrayal; different because he isn't portrayed as a sociopath here but the same because, well, it is pretty odd not to agree to walk away with $250M cash at age 22 for 2 years work. The "story" seems to peter out in around early 2009 and the rest of the book really focuses on the societal impact (or the author's interpretation of them).
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