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Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayalby Nick Bilton
Synopses & Reviews
Aand#160;New York Timesand#160;bestseller
Ev told Jack he had to and#147;chill outand#8221; with theand#160;deluge of media he was doing. and#147;Itand#8217;s badand#160;for the company,and#8221; Ev said. and#147;Itand#8217;s sendingand#160;the wrong message.and#8221; Biz sat betweenand#160;them, watching like a spectator at a tennisand#160;match.
and#147;But I invented Twitter,and#8221; Jack said.
and#147;No, you didnand#8217;t invent Twitter,and#8221; Ev replied.and#160;and#147;I didnand#8217;t invent Twitter either. Neither didand#160;Biz. People donand#8217;t invent things on theand#160;Internet. They simply expand on an ideaand#160;that already exists.and#8221;
In 2005, Odeo was a struggling podcasting start-upand#160;founded by free-range hacker Noah Glass and staffedand#160;by a motley crew of anarchists. Less than two yearsand#160;later, its days were numbered and half the staff hadand#160;been let go. But out of Odeoand#8217;s ashes, the remainingand#160;employees worked on a little side venture . . . that byand#160;2013 had become an $11.5 billion business.
That much is widely known. But the full story ofand#160;Twitterand#8217;s hatching has never been told before. Itand#8217;s aand#160;drama of betrayed friendships and high-stakes powerand#160;struggles, as the founders went from everyday engineersand#160;to wealthy celebrities featured on magazineand#160;covers, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Daily Show,and#160;and Timeand#8217;s list of the worldand#8217;s most influential people.and#160;
New York Times columnist and reporter Nick Biltonand#160;takes readers behind the scenes as Twitter grewand#160;at exponential speeds. He gets inside the heads ofand#160;the four hackers out of whom the company tumbled:
and#149; Evan and#147;Evand#8221; Williams, the ambitious farm boy fromand#160;Clarks, Nebraska, who had already created Bloggerand#160;and sold it to Google for millions. Quiet andand#160;protective, Ev is a shrewd businessman who madeand#160;tough choices in the interest of his companies, firingand#160;cofounders and employees who were once friends.
and#149; Jack Dorsey, the tattooed and#147;nobodyand#8221; who helpedand#160;mastermind the original concept of Twitter, becameand#160;a billionaire tech titan, and convinced the media thatand#160;he was the next Steve Jobs.
and#149; Christopher and#147;Bizand#8221; Stone, the joker and diplomatand#160;who played nice with everyone. As drama ensued,and#160;he was the only founder who remained on goodand#160;terms with his friends and to this day has no enduringand#160;resentments.
and#149; Noah Glass, the shy but energetic geek who investedand#160;his whole life in Twitter, only to be kicked out andand#160;expunged from the companyand#8217;s official history.and#160;
As Twitter grew, the four founders fought bitterly forand#160;money, influence, publicity, and control over a companyand#160;that grows larger and more powerful by the day.and#160;Ultimately they all lost their grip on it. Today, none ofand#160;them is the CEO. Dick Costolo, a fifty-year-old formerand#160;comedian, runs the company.
By 2013 Twitter boasted close to 300 millionand#160;active users around the world. In barely six years,and#160;the service has become a tool for fighting politicaland#160;oppression in the Middle East, a marketing musthaveand#160;for business, and the worldand#8217;s living room duringand#160;live TV events. Today, notables such as the pope,and#160;Oprah Winfrey, and the president of the United Statesand#160;are regular Twitter users. A seventeen-year-old with aand#160;mobile phone can now reach a larger audience thanand#160;an entire crew at CNN.
Biltonand#8217;s unprecedented access and exhaustiveand#160;investigating reportingand#151;drawing on hundreds ofand#160;sources, documents, and internal e-mailsand#151;haveand#160;enabled him to write an intimate portrait of fourand#160;friends who accidentally changed the world, andand#160;what they all learned along the way.
A New York Times bestseller
Ev told Jack he had to chill out” with the deluge of media he was doing. Its bad for the company,” Ev said. Its sending the wrong message.” Biz sat between them, watching like a spectator at a tennis match. But I invented Twitter,” Jack said. No, you didnt invent Twitter,” Ev replied. I didnt invent Twitter either. Neither did Biz. People dont invent things on the Internet. They simply expand on an idea that already exists.”
Despite all the coverage of Twitters rise, Nick Bilton of The New York Times is the first journalist to tell the full story—a gripping drama of betrayed friendships and highstakes power struggles. The four founders—Evan Williams, Biz Stone, Jack Dorsey, and Noah Glass—made a dizzyingly fast transition from ordinary engineers to wealthy celebrities. They fought each other bitterly for money, influence, publicity, and control as Twitter grew larger and more powerful. Ultimately they all lost their grip on it.
Biltons unprecedented access and exhaustive reporting have enabled him to write an intimate portrait of four friends who accidentally changed the world, and what they all learned along the way.
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 the New York Times takes readers behind the scenes with a narrative that shows what happened inside Twitter as it grew at exponential speeds. This is a tale of betrayed friendships and high-stakes power struggles as the four founders—Biz Stone, Evan Williams, Jack Dorsey, and Noah Glass—went from everyday engineers to wealthy celebrities, featured on magazine covers, Oprah, The Daily Show, and Times list of the worlds most influential people.
Biltons exclusive access and exhaustive investigative reporting—drawing on hundreds of sources, documents, and internal e-mails—have enabled him to write an intimate portrait of fame, influence, and power. He also captures the zeitgeist and global influence of Twitter, which has been used to help overthrow governments in the Middle East and disrupt the very fabric of the way people communicate.
About the Author
Nick Bilton is a columnist and reporter for The New York Times, where he explores the disruptive aspects of technology on business, culture and society. His columns span everything from the future of technology and privacy to the impact of social media on the Web. He is a regular guest on national TV and radio and is the author of I Live in the Future and Heres How It Works. He lives in Los Angeles.
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