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Once You're Lucky, Twice You're Good: The Rebirth of Silicon Valley and the Rise of Web 2.0 Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 15, 2008

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Editorial Reviews


“No other recent chronicle delivers such intimate, behind- the scenes glimpses into Silicon Valley start-up life.”
Wired --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Sarah Lacy has reported on startups and venture capital in Silicon Valley for nearly a decade. Most recently she was a reporter for BusinessWeek, where her August 2006 cover story on Web 2.0 was among the most popular summer issues in the magazine’s history.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Gotham (May 15, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1592403824
  • ASIN: B001LF4ASQ
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,927,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sarah Lacy knows great entrepreneurs. After more than a decade covering business in Silicon Valley, Lacy decided to follow the flow of capital into the developing world. She bootstrapped a two-year, 40 week journey through the Middle East, South America, Africa, India, China and Southeast Asia looking for the best entrepreneurs Silicon Valley had never heard of. The result is her second book "Brilliant, Crazy, Cocky: How the Top 1% of Entrepreneurs Profit from Global Chaos," which is being published by John Wiley & Sons in January 2011.

Lacy is well known in tech hot spots around the world for finding great entrepreneurs before most other reporters or venture capitalists do. She is a senior editor at, the largest blog on tech entrepreneurship in the world and the author of the critically-acclaimed "Once You're Lucky, Twice You're Good: The Rebirth of Silicon Valley and the Rise of Web 2.0" (Gotham Books, May 2008). Called the definitive book of the Web 2.0 movement, "Once You're Lucky" tells the story of how Web 2.0 was born through the eyes of the founders of companies like Facebook, Twitter, Slide, Digg, LinkedIn and others.

Before that, Lacy was a staff writer for BusinessWeek and the founding co-host of Yahoo! Finance's daily show "TechTicker." Lacy is a regular guest on NBC's "Press:Here" and various TV and radio outlets in the United States and around the world. She is a sought-after speaker on the topic of entrepreneurship, delivering keynotes throughout the United States and in London, Paris, South Africa, Israel and Indonesia. Her books are taught in several entrepreneurship courses in colleges and Universities around the world. She lives in San Francisco.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Z. Brock on September 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The anecdotes in this book are really great, but pretty much everything else is just plain awful. The writing, thesis and "evidence" are all horrible.
I won't even go into the second two, but check out this gem from page 4: "Another contender was Six Apart, founded in 2002 by then twenty-four-year-olds Ben and Mena Trott in 2004." Or this one from page 208 "Peter's two protoges were going to become closer allies or rivals". Allies? Rivals? Maybe both! Include Lacy's obnoxious habits of name dropping people and super exclusive parties she attended, referring to Mark Zuckerburg constantly as "Zuck" and finishing paragraphs with sentence fragments and you end up with a really painful book to read.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Chad on December 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a quick and informative read for anyone interested in the new Valley/tech boom. Unfortunately, Sarah comes off as having drunk too much Web 2.0 kool-aid and spends a little too much time gushing about Facebook, which, if she and Zuckerberg are right, will become for the Web what AOL was ten years ago: a walled garden. Also, in the current economic climate, it might sound a little bullish, especially on companies like Slide who seem to have no future. Finally, for a book that only the digerati and other tech-savvy folks will read, it explains some of the new technologies using oversimplified and inapt metaphors.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Read Write on October 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
The most disappointing thing is that this book really could be the counterpoint to so many business books, by laying out the premise that all these wild business success stories are not truly worthy of serious analysis unless they are repeatable. Only then, does the method really matter. However, I don't know the author personally or in the tech world, but she's obviously connected, but tends to come across as eagerly trying to position herself as the expert with a lot of random and seemingly unnecessary anecdotes and personal experiences. I would've preferred a bit more of the Gladwell or Pink approach of a much more objective observer point-of-view. It would be a mild change for sure, but I think it would've really allowed for more page space to be dedicated to the nuance, the science, and the methods that contribute to repeatable success.

For me, my interest was really in what lessons were learned and what were the main contributing factors that led to these successes. So many other books (tech and otherwise) really take "lucky" people or "right time, right place" and try to assign worthiness to it, and we know that these are often one-off events. The other main distraction I thought was the wandering from really investigating the title of the book "twice you're good," and I felt that there was too much force feeding of people and companies like "Zuck" with Facebook that doesn't have any place in this book considering that Facebook is his one and only success, and should have been - in my opinion - intentionally avoided since it doesn't serve the thesis of the book. I would love to see this topic revisited with a bit more marriage to the point of the book. Overall, I thought it was readable and had an absolutely great idea, but I felt that it just left a lot on the table.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By D. Berry on August 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It was "okay". It mostly talked about Paypal, Facebook, Digg and alittle about Blogger > Twitter. Some stuff were pretty informative, but it was (insert nice word for fluff here) overall. I already know alot about PP and FB (who doesn't?) but I did not know that the founder of Blogger sold to Google for $10 million in stocks and cashed out for around $50 million. I also did not know that the Blogger Founder started Twitter. Makes sense I suppose. Is it worth reading? Maybe if you're not from Silicon Valley or don't know much about Web 2.0.

Some things were alittle shady - how Zuck, 20, met an important person before he moved to the Valley. How did he meet this tech person who didn't go to Harvard? There are some gaps.

Lacy seems an admirable person, but given her lack of credibility over her article on Kevin Rose in Business Week last year and her disastrous interview w/Zuck at SXSW doesn't make this a sound book based on true facts, but based on assumptions and rumors. Most of this stuff could probably be found on Wikipedia if you look up the companies and founders. Save the money or wait till I donate this book at the local library near you.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Cyril Simone on July 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have been in the technology world for a long time and involved in the web from the time of Mosaic and even before. This was a side of that world that is hard to get a view of. Sarah Lacy definitely has the inside track with some of the top people in the valley and shows you a human side of them. I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to jump back into web technology. Great book! I would recommend it to anyone that wants to know about this "new web" . I hate to call it 2.O by the way, great read!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Match on July 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book is just great. For the legions of us that went through the bust and are just now starting to dip our (now) ever cautions toes back into the entrepreneurial internet(s) this is a great hind-sight tale of what didn't work. But more than that it is a tale of what didn't work, why and here's how to not make these mistakes again.

Told from the biographical tales of those who lead the industry in 1.0 and those that are leading the charge under the, admitting timid, 2.0 moniker.

This book was a trip down memory lane as much as it was a book about the bright future of the entrepreneurial intertubes.
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