Ah, Twitter. A cultural centerpiece for controversial “conversation.” Or a minuscule micro-blog masquerading as major social-media. Whichever. Don’t “@” me. #justsayin
But really, Twitter is something. You weigh its intrinsic pros and cons, you evaluate how it affects you personally, you see its impact on society, and you decide to use it or you don’t.
No matter how I feel or think about Twitter, I can tell you that I loved reading its origin story! #goodread
If you’re intrigued by how something so big started off so small, discovering behind-the-scene details, then you’ll no doubt enjoy Hatching Twitter, written by Nick Bilton. Simply put, it’s the nitty gritty of the circumstances that gave birth and growth to the online grapevine where anyone can say what kind of donut they’re eating or share breaking news of global importance. #whatever
While Twitter is borne of nerdy internet wizardry, this book is less about technology and much more about people and their relationships. And the resulting drama in Twitter’s formative years is like some grand Shakespearean legend. #gripping
You’ll read about humanity’s greatest traits: use, abuse, trust, betrayal, back-stabbing, coveting, greed, manipulation, generosity, talent, creativity, loneliness, friendship, ambition, serendipity, hustle, careers, unemployment, stress, and also stress, and then some more stress. #life
The writing is straight-forward, the pacing is fast, and the facts are eye-opening.
Okay, so this book was easy for me to get into because it begins with one of the founders of Twitter, Ev Williams. It starts when he helped create a popular web service before social networking was even a thing, Blogger. And I happen to really like blogging, so, you know… #blogging
One thing that stands out about Ev Williams is his idealism (e.g. #freespeech), which inspires his noble ventures. The problem is that ideals are corrupted by competing realities. This is…less than ideal…but it sure does make for some good drama!
Another noteworthy item about Hatching Twitter is the classic truth that success in life is often based not just on what you know but who you know. It’s one thing to be a coder; that will get you into Silicon Valley. But to get into one of the tech companies, especially a start-up, it helps to rub elbows with the elite tech-savvy.
Social-networking online, after all, begins with networking offline.
But what makes the creation of Twitter so dramatic is the fact that the nerds are more than professional co-workers, they’re friends. Much more is on the line.
The historical narrative account in Hatching Twitter overflows with tech details and little stories that are surprising and remarkable, like when Snoop Dogg got Twitter employees to smoke weed during work hours in the office. #forreal
Despite the chaotic nature of Twitter’s story, Nick Bilton laid out all the parts neatly and then wrapped up the book with nice closure of all the founders’ lives along with some life lessons learned.
The attraction of this story is a feeling of connection to the people as you are swept up in their drama, turmoil, resolve, success, and failures. You share all the same feelings, but theirs are amplified because of their elevated status in the public sphere. So you are drawn into a book that’s hard to put down. #unputdownable
I highly recommend this book and gave it a 5-star rating on goodreads!
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