Sunday, September 26, 2010

Accidental Billionaires

The Book: Accidental Billionaires

The Author: Ben Mezrich

The Dealio: This is the tale of the evolution of Facebook, as envisioned by Ben Merzrich. The author goes waaaaaaay out of his way to attest that, while most of what he has written was culled by endless hours of interviews with the actual peeps involved, certain pivotal moments had to be recreated from what his best about the events du jour would have been. Gotcha. However, could've done without a pants' load of florid prose like this: 'No one really knows what he was thinking, where he was or with whom, but it must surely have gone something like this...' Now multiply this breathless assertion by about a doz.
For those of you (all 3 of you) unfamiliar with the saga, it goes a little something like this: Harvard genius-boy seeking to meet girls and totally uninterested in moolah, creates a social networking site while at Harvard. Joins forces with- and is bankrolled to start-up by- fellow geek he met sophomore year. Next up? A congo line of crashed servers, troubles with Harvard, goggle-eyed meets with idols, the joining of forces with idols, inevitable acrimonious split with geekoid Harvard bud, then, of course, splits with idols, the assumption of neatsy-keenoid status as nonchalant billionaire, and, hot off the update presses: the donation of $100 million to the Newark, NJ public school system. Along the way, much intrigue, back-stabbing and general over-indulgence on the part of all concerned.

The Grading Session: 3.099 pengies out of 5. While an interesting and engrossing story, do we really need to hear 17 times that Mark Zuckerberg almost always eschewed a coat and tie. Or hated shoes. Or was totally absorbed in computers (duh! didn't we know this, going in?). Once more, I say unto you: 'there is nothing quite so valuable, either to a film maker or writer, as a truly great editor. Word.

Lessons Learned: If you think you can rely on the friendship and good intentions of your fellow man but can not understand legalese, 1) do not sign on the dotted and 2) run, nay, race, at full tilt towards the nearest you-friendly lawyer with aforementioned legal verbiage in tow.
Also, this: just because you are a genius, doesn't mean you have the proprietary right to treat everyone around you like anonymous lifeforms placed into your pathway for the sole purpose of serving you and furthering your agendas.

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