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TheBoy Kings: A Journey into the Heart of the Social Network Kindle Edition
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Losse takes us on a ride that begins with a Johns Hopkins graduate joining Facebook's customer-support team, through to her promotion to the Internationalization team, and shooting all the way up to being Zuckerberg's official ghostwriter. The story goes back and forth between reading like a description of her work culture and reading like a lengthy diary entry, as she goes from stories of AIM chats (using AIM at work was a requirement) and long hours into the night (as the engineers were often required when writing algorithms) to parties in Las Vegas and annual trips to the Coachella music festival.
Although the book is extremely well written, it is not particularly memorable and at times Losse's thoughts, although thought-provoking, become repetitive as she constantly questions whether Facebook is really bringing people together or turning the world into one big virtual reality. If you've seen the movie "The Social Network", then very little of the information presented here - about Facebook's work culture as well as Zuckerberg himself - will come as a surprise. That is the main criticism I have for the book - you don't learn much that you didn't already know or could guess at. The culture is very much like a frat house, with the guys often playing games like chess and beer-pong and sometimes sending erotic messages (usually in fun, but not always) to the female workers.Read more ›
I'm a resident of the bay area, so it was with voyeuristic intentions that I purchased and read this book. It was a nice look into the psychology of the boys (and yes, they're boys) who currently and have historically run Facebook.
I wish she would have hit on their immaturity, exclusivity, and sexism and the effect they had (have) on the company a little harder, but I think anyone who has worked in a tech company already understands most of that.
So, read if you're interested in an iside look at facebook, if not then this isn't the book for you.
It was a fairly interesting and quick read, however. It did bog down in more than one place, but Katherine Losse does a good job of conveying the atmosphere of institutionalized sexism (and tokenism) that characterizes tech startups.
At the same time, it's never a good sign when the author of a memoir becomes less likable to the reader as the book goes on.
Early in the book, there are many irritating references to the lofty socioeconomic status that Losse came to regard as her due, having been admitted to graduate study in English at the "prestigious" Johns Hopkins University. And even though she spent time nominally living in Baltimore, or discerning its outlines from the hothouse atmosphere of Hopkins, she appears to have learned almost nothing about the actual city, or at least not anything that isn't mediated by the HBO series "The Wire."
I finally lost respect for the author when she wrote about blowing off Mark Zuckerberg's assignment to write a series of blog posts in his voice, all because she didn't share his vision. As Zuckerberg's hired ghostwriter, Losse didn't have to share his vision in order to write in his voice. She doesn't report any consequences for that very unprofessional behavior. If there truly were none, then it seems clear that Losse's "promotion" to the fringes of Zuckerberg's inner circle was nothing but a kick upstairs for an early employee who was going to be trouble one way or another. And I say this as no fan of Zuckerberg, or Facebook.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book leaves you with the feeling to never work in Silicon Valley. It shows how inequality plays in Silicon Valley which I like but sometimes throughout the book some events... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Antoinette
A really fun and fascinating read about one woman's perspective of working at Facebook in its early days. Read morePublished 1 month ago by V. Fenwick
Channeling Joan Dideon, the author pens a coolly observant chronicle of her adventures at Facebook in 2005 to 2010. She is an excellent writer---I couldn't put it down.Published 2 months ago by Suzanne Glenn
Interesting look into one of the most game changing startups in the past decade. A rare look into the fraternity culture around this company, and how that looked to an early female... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Matt
Facebook, as portrayed in Kate Losse's book The Boy Kings is a case study of Silicon Valley culture in the twenty-first century. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Ian K.
Book is really boring. It tells nothing interesting or new that hasn't been heard before. Seriously, there is not one exciting part in this whole book. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Josiah
If you wanna know how Facebook was in its early days, this is the book you should read.Published 19 months ago by Lucas N. Santos
If this book weren't classified as a "memoir" (according to Wikipedia), I would have given this book only 1 star. Read morePublished 24 months ago by II
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