by Adam Skikne
Hatching Twitter by Nick Bilton tells the true story of Twitter’s four co-founders (Ev Williams, Noah Glass, Biz Stone and Jack Dorsey) who transformed a small side project at a failing start up into to a multi-billion dollar company that literally changed the world. Basically, the book is to Twitter what The Accidental Billionaires (the book that The Social Network is based on) is to Facebook.
And it’s awesome (#justsaying).
One of the most interesting things in the book is that the idea for Twitter didn’t just come from one person. Each of Twitter’s co-founders helped shape Twitter in their own way. Jack Dorsey came up with the initial idea about creating a product around status updates. Ev Williams wanted to provide people with a tool to express themselves and used his own money to finance the business. Noah Glass championed the idea and came up with the name for Twitter. And Biz Stone? Well Biz just generally rocked, eventually sticking up for his best friend by telling the Board of Directors at Twitter to go fuck themselves when they fired Ev Williams as CEO of the company.
Like I said, the book really is awesome.
Each of the Twitter co-founders had their own vision for what Twitter should be. This ultimately led to a number of power struggles for the control of the company – mainly between Noah Glass, Ev Williams and Jack Dorsey. These power struggles are really what is at the heart of the book with each one being fueled by Twitter’s staggering growth and the need for the company to become profitable for investors.
In the book, Bilton points out that no one could have predicted Twitter’s success or have had the experience to cope with the chaos that would come along with it. Nevertheless, Hatching Twitter is a fascinating look at how the politics within a business changed the lives of four friends. It’s a book that is not only incredibly well researched but also well written. I would recommend it to anyone interested in business or tech.