Friday, August 6, 2010

The Social Network (with additional book review)

(Note: Since I like to keep things light on Fridays, I have started a new series called "Friday Fun" which aims to entertain. Hope you enjoy it!)

When I first saw the trailer for this upcoming movie a few weeks ago, it really interested me. The reason why is that I have a really high interest for businesses stories, how they began and how they came to be. At times, you could call it an obsession.

I've read a lot of books on business stories including books such as "The Google Story" and "Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time." My interest for business stories has stayed with me for a very long time, I guess it's the entrepreneur side of me that enjoys reading these types of stories.

So, when I saw the movie trailer for the Facebook story - I just had a burning interest to read the book (which it's based on):

Now, the book does not claim to be entirely true - it is a bit of a work of fiction. The thing is, the book is based on interviews of people who claim to be involved with the progression of Facebook and it's founders. Though, not every character had been interviewed for the book - including Mark Zuckerberg.

Some things in the book could be true, some things not true. It is all part of the story. And, will we ever know the truth of what really happened? Personally, it's one of those things where you had to be there to know what really happened. And, I'll leave it at that.

For me, I really enjoyed the book especially since the concept of social networking is really new to me. Personally, I never understood it. For me, I didn't really understand the concept of meeting and connecting with people online - maybe I'm a bit old fashioned.

However, after reading the book I now understand the whole concept of Facebook and why it was created. It's purpose is not to connect people with strangers (such as other social networks had done in the past including MySpace and Friendster).

Facebook was created to connect folks with people they already know. This was the differentiating factor and what made it stand out. Now, I do understand Facebook and it's purpose. Before, I just didn't understand it.

Apart from learning about the concept of Facebook, the book also goes on to tell the story of the founders (who were friends) - its origins and how it also tore them apart in the name of business. Now, this part was interesting.

For me, I could relate firsthand. I've had entrepreneurial ventures with friends. And, I could relate because what happened in the book emulates what happened to me and my experience.

Personally, I think it's really hard to have an entrepreneurial venture with friends when business is mixed with the personal. And, sometimes being in a group - people want different things, people want to take things in a different direction. This is exactly what happened to me. And, in the end - we had to disassemble and part ways (just like in the Facebook story).

After reading the book, I think people will have many different perspectives on it. I know my perspective could be different from someone else. I guess the saying may be true, "There are always 3 sides to any story: my side, your side and the truth."

For those interested in the movie, I highly recommend reading the book first. There are certain characters who will be in the movie and it just looks like it will be more understandable for those who familiarize themselves with the characters and the book beforehand.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. I'm looking forward to the movie when it comes out. I hope you enjoyed this episode of "Friday Fun." Have a great weekend!

p.s. Feel free to leave comments on any post either here and/or my Facebook Page. Comments are always welcome, thanks for reading!

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