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01/19/2011

Book Review: The Facebook Effect


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Facebook In The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World, David Kirkpatrick offers a detailed account of the birth and growth of one of the most important companies of our time. A former senior editor for Internet and technology at Fortune, Kirkpatrick makes use of liberal access to founder Mark Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives to explore the company’s history, future, and global impact.

Like the founders of Google, Zuckerberg is the product of an elite education and early involvement with the Internet. Kirkpatrick portrays him as a dramatic visionary and gifted creator. Despite the college dorm culture in which he lived, Zuckerberg made connections with several influential CEOs and Internet venture capitalists. His key contributions to the growth of the social media tool were the news feed, applications translation tools, and ability to handle photos. Like many Internet pioneers, he focused on growth, market dominance and social impact; he had little interest in generating revenue and relied on external financing.

Left to himself, Zuckerberg might have led Facebook into insolvency or a forced sale. Fortunately, he had the good sense to hire Sheryl Sandberg as COO and allow her to work without interference. Sandberg, previously a vice president at Google, established advertising as a significant revenue stream. Yet Zuckerberg remains in firm control of the company. Since founders often can’t keep pace with the development of their companies, it will be interesting to see how his leadership evolves or diminishes over time.

Facebook touches all of our lives. The inevitable IPO will involve a lot of Wall Street professionals. Like Google and Twitter, Facebook serves as a model of a new form of wealth creation. It is quickly becoming an indispensable way for financial firms to advertise themselves and their products.

–Bill Hayes

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Comments

I just finished reading this book and I have to say that it shows an another face of facebook than the film "Social Network".

Yet it's a long book, but I enjoyed reading it. It really shows the history behind the facebook and how the team and Markzukerberg has faced different challenges.

Facebook is changing our way to communicate with others.

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