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Money & Betrayal Play Key Roles In Silicon Valley Tomes

It appears when Ben Mezrich penned his tell-all book about the early beginnings of Facebook and included the bon mots "money" and "betrayal" in its title, he had paved a path for another to follow. After all if one social network could be launched on greed and deception, couldn't others? Good ole Machiavellian ethics may be as old as time, but it appears to be the common denominator for both Facebook and Twitter to assume world domination in their respective spheres of influence.

Entitled to the Title?


Nick BiltonNick BiltonOr did New York Times columnist and reporter Nick Bilton's title, "Hatching Twitter, A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship and Betrayal,"  just followed Mezrich's lead because he thought he could sell some books and a screenplay or two? After all, any similarities between these two titles couldn't have just been coincidental.

Hatching Twitter vs. The Accidental BillionairesHatching Twitter vs. The Accidental Billionaires

Pot Calling the Kettle Black?


While Mark ZMark "Machiavelli" ZuckerbergMark "Machiavelli" Zuckerberguckerberg took a lot of heat from the sardonic wit of Aaron Sorkin when he adapted Mezrich's book into a screenplay for the award-winning movie "Social Network," it appears he's now beside himself with glee that the spotlight has shifted from him to another social network and their founders' misdeeds. In a report by All Things D's Mike Issac, Zuckerberg joked adroitly that "Twitter is such a mess -- it's as if they drove a clown car into a gold mine and fell in." Seems like Mr. Zuckerberg has a short memory as to how his transport to prominence had something to do with throwing his early partners, the Winklevii and Eduordo Saverin from his own clown car!

Who Moved My Cheese?


Biz Stone, Jack Dorsey & Ev WilliamsBiz Stone, Jack Dorsey & Ev WilliamsPerhaps in order for disruptive technology to find it's rightful place in the sun, disruption amongst its troops is also inevitable. According to another review by Isaac, while "Twitter's founders may indeed have tapped into one of the most pervasive new forms of communication in the past century . . .  Bilton’s book reveals a seven-year-old company that has repeatedly come close to completely unraveling."

Bilton's suspense tale is about four men. Three who've risen to celebrity status and one that's not as well known. Evan Williams (@Ev), Biz Stone (@Biz), Jack Dorsey (@Jack) and Noah Glass (@Noah), a motley crew of San Francisco transplants, who stumbled onto each other while flailing with a less successful podcasting start-up.

Strife ensued when this "Quadrumvirate" had fundamental disagreements as to what the true meaning of "Twitter" realliy meant? Glass, as Bilton writes it in his book, imagined Twitter as a way to connect to others, to combat a sense of loneliness. Stone viewed Twitter as a “phone-ternet,” a world of Web-connected mobile devices.

Dorsey saw Twitter as a way to update one’s “status,” the ability to say what you’re doing the moment you’re doing it. Williams saw Twitter as a way to describe what’s happening in the world around you.

Odd Man Out


Then the plot explains the reason why the world knows very little about the fourth founder, Mr. Glass. With dysfunction operating at optimum, Williams was given an ultimatum by Dorsey - either Glass goes or he would. And Glass wouldn't be the one and only to be displaced. The Machiavellian machinations that unfolded were like something out of a Greek novel.

At one point, Williams got the upper hand and unseated Dorsey as CEO. This was followed by a volley from Dorsey who convinced board members that Williams needed to be ousted. Et tu, Brutal, wouldn't you say?

Long Live the Fail Whale


Our Beloved Fail WhaleOur Beloved Fail WhaleIsaac best describes the point of Bilton's book when he compares this  tumultuous infighting to the excessive number of times the site's ecosystem would completely shut down. "The growth was so fast and furious. . . the company became notorious for its downtime incidents; the now infamous “fail whale” emerged as a symbol of Twitter’s inability to keep the site stable," notes Isaac.

All's Well That's Ends with a Tweet or Updated Status


Despite its failings, both Twitter and Facebook have become the quintessential social networks. They have captured the world's zeitgeist that G+ and others recognized early on and have spent the last half-dozen years trying to emulate. As Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince once said, ""The forces of a powerful ally can be useful and good to those who have recourse to them... but are perilous to those who become dependent on them."

Then again, perhaps, your best partners are your enemies' enemies!


 

 

 

Entitled to the Title?


Or did New York Times columnist and reporter Nick Bilton just follow Mezrich's lead because he thought he could sell some books and a screenplay or two? After all, any similarities between these two titles couldn't have just been coincidental.

Hatching Twitter vs. The Accidental BillionairesHatching Twitter vs. The Accidental Billionaires

Pot Calling the Kettle Black?


While Mark Zuckerberg took a lot of heat from the sardonic wit of Aaron Sorkin when he adapted Mezrich's book into a screenplay for the award-winning movie "Social Network," it appears he's now beside himself with glee that the spotlight has shifted from him to another social network and their founders' misdeeds. In a report by All Things D's Mike Issac, Zuckerberg joked adroitly that "Twitter is such a mess -- it's as if they drove a clown car into a gold mine and fell in."

Infighting


Biz Stone, Jack Dorsey & Ev WilliamsBiz Stone, Jack Dorsey & Ev WilliamsPerhaps in order for disruptive technology to find it's rightful place in the sun, disruption amongst its troops is also inevitable. According to another review by Isaac, while "Twitter's founders may indeed have tapped into one of the most pervasive new forms of communication in the past century . . .  Bilton’s book reveals a seven-year-old company that has repeatedly come close to completely unraveling."

Bilton's suspense tale is about four men. Three who've risen to celebrity status and one that's not as well known. Evan Williams (@Ev), Biz Stone (@Biz), Jack Dorsey (@Jack) and Noah Glass (@Noah), a motley crew of San Francisco transplants, who stumbled onto each other while flailing with a less successful podcasting start-up.

Strife ensued when this "Quadrumvirate" had fundamental disagreements as to what the true meaning of "Twitter" realliy meant? Glass, as Bilton writes it in his book, imagined Twitter as a way to connect to others, to combat a sense of loneliness. Stone viewed Twitter as a “phone-ternet,” a world of Web-connected mobile devices.

Dorsey saw Twitter as a way to update one’s “status,” the ability to say what you’re doing the moment you’re doing it. Williams saw Twitter as a way to describe what’s happening in the world around you.

Odd Man Out


Then the plot explains the reason why the world knows very little about the fourth founder, Mr. Glass. With dysfunction operating at optimum, Williams was given an ultimatum by Dorsey - either Glass goes or he would. And Glass wouldn't be the one and only to be displaced. The Machiavellian machinations that unfolded were like something out of a Greek novel.

At one point, Williams got the upper hand and unseated Dorsey as CEO. This was followed by a volley from Dorsey who convinced board members that Williams needed to be ousted. Et tu, Brutal, wouldn't you say?

Long Live the Fail Whale


Our Beloved Fail WhaleOur Beloved Fail WhaleIsaac best describes the point of Bilton's book when he compares this  tumultuous infighting to the excessive number of times the site's ecosystem would completely shut down. "The growth was so fast and furious. . . the company became notorious for its downtime incidents; the now infamous “fail whale” emerged as a symbol of Twitter’s inability to keep the site stable," notes Isaac.

All's Well That's Ends with a Tweet or Updated Status


Despite its failings, both Twitter and Facebook have become the quintessential social networks. They have captured the world's zeitgeist that G+ and others recognized early on and have spent the last half-dozen years trying to emulate. As Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince once said, ""The forces of a powerful ally can be useful and good to those who have recourse to them... but are perilous to those who become dependent on them."

The again, perhaps, your best partners are your enemies' enemies!

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Ron Callari
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