Hatching Twitter

  • by Nick Bilton
  • Narrated by Daniel May
  • 9 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Twitter seems like a perfect start-up success story. In barely six years, a small group of young, ambitious programmers in Silicon Valley built an $11.5 billion business out of the ashes of a failed podcasting company.
Today Twitter boasts more than 200 million active users and has affected business, politics, media, and other fields in innumerable ways.
Now Nick Bilton of the New York Times takes readers behind the scenes with a narrative that shows what happened inside Twitter as it grew at exponential speeds. This is a tale of betrayed friendships and high-stakes power struggles as the four founders - Biz Stone, Evan Williams, Jack Dorsey, and Noah Glass - went from everyday engineers to wealthy celebrities, featured on magazine covers, Oprah, The Daily Show, and Time's list of the world's most influential people.
Bilton's exclusive access and exhaustive investigative reporting - drawing on hundreds of sources, documents, and internal e-mails - have enabled him to write an intimate portrait of fame, influence, and power. He also captures the zeitgeist and global influence of Twitter, which has been used to help overthrow governments in the Middle East and disrupt the very fabric of the way people communicate.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Shakespearean Drama

As a member of Twitter since 2008, I was curious about the real story behind its founding. This is a superb and well-researched account of a drama that sometimes takes on the depths of a Shakespearean tragedy. Finally @Jack is revealed to be a conniving, narcissistic and shallow little man who has spun a web of lies. And while @Noah may be denied the millions due to him, in this story he emerges as a sweet and decent man, sadly wronged by the friends he trusted.
If you are expecting abundant technical details behind the development of Twitter, you won't find them here. Just a great yarn that will have you cheering for the few good guys and mad at the rest.
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- Francesca

The dysfunctional foursome

This is the story of the founders of Twitter. I have heard about Twitter but have never used it or been on its site so all this information is new to me. I knew nothing about Twitter until reading this book. I did not even know it was a local San Francisco company.

Bilton tells the story of Evan Williams, Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass and Christopher Stone the four founders of the company. The four men were working at a startup company called Odeo. Apparently at a brain storming session, they decided to build a mobile phone version of the “status updates” popularized by AOL. According to Bilton the growth into a global publicity machine just happened by accident. Glass was the one that came up with the name Twitter for the company. Bilton states that the company plunged from one operational fiasco to another.

Bilton describes Glass as an erratic moper, Williams as a slow indecisive leader; Dorsey is the one Bilton cast in the role of a schemer, narcissist, incompetent and inept. Dorsey was demoted from CEO and blamed Williams who he set out to destroy. The way Bilton told the story I felt sorry for Dorsey in the beginning because of the way he was deposed as CEO, but as the story progressed he lost my sympathy due to his vindictive behavior. Glass appears to have been left behind particularly in the area of money. I had sympathy for Glass as I felt he was poorly treated by his co-founders.

The book is well written and a fascinating read. Bilton did extensive research including interviews of the founders. The author primarily discussed what is wrong but they must have done many things right to build the company into a popular financial success. In many ways this book reads like a soap opera rather than a business book.

Daniel May does a good job narrating the book. May is an actor who also narrates audiobooks.
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- Jean "I am an avid eclectic reader."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-05-2013
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio