Like many of you, I use Twitter daily. In fact according to howlonghavei.com website I’ve been tweeting for over 4 years, one of more than 200 million tweeters worldwide. Although I had of course heard of @jack, @ev and @biz, three of Twitter’s famous founders, I didn’t know the turbulent story behind the company including naming one founder who has seldom been publicly acknowledged. As Silicon Valley icons, the Twitter founders are well known for the success the social network has today, however their rags to riches story is full of betrayal, money, power and fame.
New York Times columnist Nick Bilton spent 18 months researching Hatching Twitter, compiled from 65 hours of interviews with sources, in addition to emails, internal documents, presentations, blog posts and other information. Perhaps the most interesting aspect is how Twitter itself was used to verify or discover information relating to the book. In some cases, recollections of conversations or events differed and the digital breadcrumb trail of photos, tweets, videos, posts and check-ins were pieced together to solve parts of the Twitter jigsaw puzzle. Although Twitter itself declined to provide official access for the book, there was not a shortage of sources – enemies will tell your story for you even if you refuse.
Hatching Twitter tells the human stories behind Twitter, it is not a business book on how to develop a successful startup. It’s a very absorbing read – I was hooked within a few pages – perfect for your holiday reading. If you can’t find time to read it, don’t panic – it is soon to be a TV series as well.