Thursday, July 10, 2014

Book Review: Hatching Twitter by Nick Bilton

You might be wondering how the word ‘tweet’ came from. And yes, it is now an official word. Tweeting was formed through an application website called as Twitter, of which some of us are into the craze right now. And in this book called Hatching Twitter written by Nick Bilton, we will know the story of the four men responsible for the birth of Twitter, as we know it.

Nick Bilton writes the Bits Blog for the New York Times and is an expert on technology culture, privacy, design, business and the way the Internet affects everyone’s lives. Nick is also the author of I Live in the Future and Here’s How It Works.

Hatching Twitter is basically about power, politics and how hidden interests are devastating friendship.  Moreover, it also talks about victory, loss, achievements and reaching your dreams despite the business aspect of it. Anyone who uses Twitter are the target audience of this book; those who are interested in Twitter’s impact and origins; those who are working on a start-up; and anyone interested in personal lives of others like the dangers of mixing business with friendship.

Having read the book, these are some of the most interesting events that were written and the most intriguing facts anyone would want to know about Twitter and its foundation.

The drama behind Twitter is painstakingly painful. And it is true. Twitter is one of the technologies that have had the biggest impact on our daily lives. With this saying, Twitter is used to retweet information for the rest of the world to read, to share groundbreaking news and allow people to create close connections with politicians, celebrities and world-leading thinkers. During the course of this review, we will also learn how a few strange but brilliant and creative developers, some of whom never finished college, but were able to build this multi-billion-dollar behemoth called Twitter.

Before founding Twitter, Evan Williams helped start the blogging craze with the site Blogger.  Ev, who was a college dropout, initiated everything. With the eagerness to start a business, Ev built a journal like website which is now known as Blogger, but because of the lack of leadership skills, was then bought by Google. And gaining from the millions of dollars was the genesis of Twitter.

After selling Blogger to Google, Ev joined up with a neighbor to work on an audio blog platform. Friendships came as Ev met Noah Glass and started another audio blog platform called Odeo. Noah hired staffers namely Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone, which made the office spin out of control. Noah was incontrollable due to his chaotic mind which then turned Odeo financially unstable, Ev jumped into the opportunity and became Odeo’s CEO.
While Odeo was struggling to survive, a few employees had an idea for a way to share their statues with friends.  And this is where Twitter came out in the open. Noah had this idea in mind of connecting with people through sharing their statuses, what they are doing, eating or watching at the moment. But due to Ev’s doubting over Noah’s leadership skill, Ev told Biz and Jack to start with the status update idea without involving Noah.

With this chaos, their relationships as founders also struggled especially when it comes to leading the company, as Twitter grew. Jack and Ev were now battling over Twitter’s development.  Eventually ownership and structure of the company was formalized: Ev had personally financed Twitter and kept 70 percent while Jack would be CEO and get 20 percent. The rest of the staff and Biz would split up of what’s remaining.

Despite its enormous success, Twitter was constantly blighted by boardroom disputes. With this, conflicts between Ev and Jack grew including their investments in the company and who really was the inventor of Twitter in the first place. Lies and many more lies came and vengeance was sought. Until Ev finally confronted Jack that there was not one single inventor of Twitter—but the life Jack made was already too big to control.

Twitter became more popular and as it grew in size and success, it was already a struggle to keep on top of running the business for Ev. Just like Noah and Jack before him, Ev was having trouble guiding Twitter. Which makes it more chaotic than ever. A coup against Ev took place, ousting him out of Twitter making Jack the CEO.

With everything that has been put through over a single successful application such as Twitter, there are stories that will surely make you realize that growing a business with your friends is sometimes not a good idea. There will really come a time that stressful relationships will spring out and will eventually kill the essence of friendship just for business sake. Power is also one big factor in this story and it is undeniably present basing on the story.

To summarize, the book Hatching Twitter is a must-read especially to those who have very ambitious ideas. This book, among the other true to life stories of failures and successes in business, serves as a reminder that relationships are more important than power.

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