39 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Not the tell-all it's portrayed as, but...,
This review is from: The Boy Kings: A Journey into the Heart of the Social Network (Kindle Edition)
The media attempted to show this book as a tell-all about the culture of working for Facebook (which it does, to an extent) and seeing what really drives Mark Zuckerberg and makes him tick (which it doesn't). First and foremost, this book is about the adventures of Kate Losse and her journey up the ladder of Facebook, a story made all the more remarkable considering the male-dominated culture she worked in.
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. Parties are a regular occurrence and the place in general seems as if it is, as Losse herself says, "trying to stay nineteen".
Some reviewers have said that Losse comes across as being bitter towards her co-workers and the work environment. I don't see that at all. She simply was a very different person to most of her co-workers, as she relied as much on the physicalities and realness of the outside world as much as the engineers relied on their computer screens and other forms of technology.
If you can borrow this book or read it on a friend's kindle, I'd say go for it. Otherwise, rest safely in the knowledge that you aren't missing out on an essential read about Facebook or Mark Zuckerberg.