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on September 10, 2008
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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on December 19, 2008
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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on October 12, 2010
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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on August 17, 2008
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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on July 6, 2008
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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on January 22, 2011
While this is a good history of some prominent Silicon Valley companies (Digg, Facebook), these businesses have changed so quickly it's far outdated by now. For current information on these and other private companies, search for them on PrivCo.com, a website for private company business information for current revenues, VC fundings, etc.
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on May 26, 2008
This book has almost-perfect pitch. By that I mean the author explains technology/business issues in clear (and lively) language so that someone from outside the business can learn, yet someone inside the business gains as well. Worth reading -- whether you're interested in the business of technology or just use the Web products discussed here -- and enjoyable. The personalities are vivid, and there's take-away value too.
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on November 3, 2008
I'm emotionally tied to the dot.com bust of a few years back since I work in high-tech and lost my job at a start-up company during the downturn. I saw Sarah Lacy being interviewed about Web 2.0 (the social networking groundswell) and of course she mentioned her book. I ordered it the next day based on a piqued interest in the magnitude and details of the social networking revolution.

I enjoyed the book for several reasons...
1) It's a great source of info on the movers and shakers of Web 2.0. Details of the most widely-used social networking sites and tools are described, along with why they've become popular.
2) The book is also gives great insight into Silicon Valley business patterns and the way a company goes from a good idea through getting financing in various ways to creating millionaires.
3) The book is based on personal interviews with Valley multi-millionaires and presumably-millionaires-to-be. The book acquaints the reader with the emotions resulting from the post-2000 bust where jobs and fortunes were lost. A driving theme throughout is how many of the current revolutionaries fought through their personal tragedies and were slowly able to believe again, nurture a dream and sustain another long upward struggle. I think this would be engrossing even for a non-techie.
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on May 24, 2008
I could not put this book down! Huge insight into the trials, tribulations and absolute determination behind how tech start-ups (literally) climbed the ladder through barriers, sweat, blood and tears. With 'in the know' information, Sarah explains, in simplistic terms, how an overnight success is just not the case. Romance between founders & html coding, breakups with business partners and all the grit in between - this is a must for anyone who wants to understand the sheer grafting behind a business (regardless of industry) and the interaction between the players who's online inspirations we can't live without. Kudos to Sarah for not presuming everyone understands tech lingo & her own sheer perseverance in creating a must-reader. This book is a movie in the making!
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on December 29, 2010
It's an interesting, if already well-covered topic, but Sarah isn't much of a writer. Her sub-par, pedestrian writing gets in the way throughout and spoils what might have been a decent book.
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