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I had a somewhat negative connotation of Snapchat and its founder because I only knew what I had read in the major stories about the company over the past several years. This book objectively goes from the very beginnings of the company through to mid-2017. The author went to school with the founder so he seemed to have access to common friends who work(ed) at the company to use as sources.The book is similar to the Hatching Twitter book, but I liked this one better because it was read by the author. The other book was read by someone who did different voices for everyone, which is distracting.In a way, this book reminded me of a Malcolm Gladwell book. Which is a great thing. There were many parts where it had "In order to fully understand x, it is necessary to go back and look at y". And we ended up with interesting backstories of related companies and trends and even a pretty thorough rise and fall story about a company called "Clinkle".The other good thing about the author's narration is he talks so fast that I didn't have to up the playback speed to 1.25x. This would probably be a 10+ hour book read by a professional reader.Highly recommend.
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I have to echo the sentiments of another reviewer from Amazon, the book starts of decent and devolves into hero worship pretty quickly. It also feels like the author lacked material for an entire book, so the back half was meandering without much depth.
There are also a couple of other things I didn't love about the book. First, the writing is rather pedestrian. It really feels like Billy Gallagher isn't a seasoned writer. That's not to say it's bad, just basic.
The bigger issue I had is the one I often have with audio books: the author choosing to narrate. I understand the desire to have a youthful voice given the notion that Snapchat the product is targeted towards a younger demographic. But a book about Snapchat the business isn't necessarily the same target. Billy's voice and style just doesn't hold up to an entire book. I'll never understand why writers opt for themselves as narrators of audio books if they aren't seasoned orators.
I consume start up books like oxygen. And this one wasn't bad. It's a solid C+ in my opinion. But I couldn't get past the lack of 2nd half depth and fanboyism to fully enjoy it. I'd still recommend it, but I'd do so with the previously mentioned notes.