Game of Thrones With Nerds

“Game of Thrones” with Nerds – this is how Nick Bilton described his new book Hatching Twitter. And exactly like how Leo Laporte discussed with him, it’s about Power, Money, Friendship and Betrayal.

I’m on my a-book-a-month challenge and this month I completed Hatching Twitter. It’s truly a well written book and I’m sure many of my startup friends in the tech scene would love it.

here’s why the book got me hooked

co-founder relationships are complicated

If you have a co-founder, you will know. This special relationship is so complicated that it gets worst when money, fame, status and ego comes into the picture.

  • who calls the shot
  • who’s the CEO?
  • what directions should the company take?
  • why you should hire my friend
  • why this, why that

And deep in our hearts we know that these kind of issues usually would not surface, when the company is not making any money or when there is not much traction. Odeo did not have much traction, so no problem. But Twitter was different, it has growth and traction. You start reading how the company was run differently by @Jack and @EV. You read about the power struggle, jealousy and the ego between men – even when they are close friends.

I’m sure, my dear startup friends can totally relate to this and this make it so much more interesting to read. Also it is exactly this kind of reading that we (startup founders) can learn what mistakes to avoid. A good example is to lay out clearly the equity split between the founders and the roles each of the founder will be taking.

rags to riches stories are always inspirational

Reading about how the founding team1 of Twitter, who are just average people on the street and having to clear their student loans. Living day to day with minimum in their banks, sometimes Zero to being listed on 2009 Times 100 and having millions in their bank is definitely inspirational. As I read I too imagine myself begin recognised as an influential in my area. Like a role model to many others, getting rich from my startup and living the high life.

I’m sure many of you would be thinking the same. (don’t bluff yourself when you say you are not, who dislike money and fame?)

  • my startup would change the world
  • if I sell my company, I would be a superstar in the local startup scene
  • if this, is that

As we know it, it is hard. But it does not mean that it is not possible.

well-written

As I mentioned earlier on, this book is well-written. Between chapters, there is an element of surprise. It keeps me wanting to read on finding out like what is @jack going to do after his twitter email is removed?, is he taking revenge?, what decision is @biz going to make? etc etc… Another way to put it is that the book is written in a gossipy manner which also makes it entertaining.

Also another interesting thing about this book is it kinda change of the way I perceived the character about @jack and @Fred Wilson. Not that I know them in real life, but I do followed them, read their blog. I always see Fred as fatherly like of VC, but in the book the author seems to portray him as a hard, money driven capitalist2.

If you are thinking of getting a book to read, you might like to give Hatching Twitter a try. I have a copy to lent, if you have not plans to buying. Just drop me a tweet.

I already started my book for the month of Feb.I also like to invite you on my a-book-a-month challenge. Love to know what book you are reading on too.

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p.p.s – the amazon links here are affiliate links, it means that when you purchase a book using the link here, I get a small cut. If you find my review useful and is thinking of purchase the book, I appreciated if click through the links, it a vote of confidence to me and my blog. Thank you.

  1. depends on how you see it – Jack Dorsey denies ousting forgotten founder, as he tells his side of Twitter’s early story
  2. Towards the end of the book, the author did mention that he did not interview all the characters in the book. Some writing were through the colleagues or friends who were indirectly in the twitter story – so in this case, we cannot totally believe all the writing too especially when it comes to a person’s character.
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