Another Mezrich book! This one is supposed to be the story on how Facebook came to existence. I can't wait for this one. I've enjoyed all of his books! Ben Mezrich. In , Eduardo Saverin and Mark Zuckerberg were Harvard undergrads and best friends looking for a way to stand out among the university's elite and competitive student body.
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The Accidental Billionaires is a dramatic, narrative account based on dozens of interviews, hundreds of sources, and thousands of pages of documents, including records from several court proceedings. There are a number of different — and often contentious — opinions about some of the events that took place.
Trying to paint a scene from the memories of dozens of sources — some direct witnesses, some indirect — can often lead to discrepancies.
I re-created the scenes in the book based on the information I uncovered from documents and interviews, and my best judgment as to what version most closely fits the documentary record. Other scenes are written in a way that describes individual perceptions without endorsing them. I have tried to keep the chronology as close to exact as possible.
In some instances, details of settings and descriptions have been changed or imagined, and identifying details of certain people altered to protect their privacy. Other than the handful of public figures who populate this story, names and personal descriptions have been altered. I do employ the technique of re-created dialogue. I have based this dialogue on the recollections of participants of the substance of conversations.
Some of the conversations recounted in this book took place over long periods of time, in multiple locations, and thus some conversations and scenes were re-created and compressed. Rather than spread these conversations out, I sometimes set these scenes in likely settings. I address sources more fully in the acknowledgments, but it is appropriate here to thank in particular Will McMullen for introducing me to Eduardo Saverin, without whom this story could not have been written.
Mark Zuckerberg, as is his perfect right, declined to speak with me for this book despite numerous requests. Chapter 1: October It was probably the third cocktail that did the trick. But there was no denying it now, the evidence was all over him. At the very least, he was no longer overwhelmed with the intense urge to get the [expletive] out of there.
To be sure, the room in front of him was intimidating: the immense crystal chandelier hanging from the arched, cathedral ceiling; the thick red velvet carpeting that seemed to bleed right out of the regal mahogany walls; the meandering, bifurcated staircase that snaked up toward the storied, ultrasecret, catacombed upper floors. This was a terrifying place, especially for a kid like Eduardo. Even through the booze, Eduardo could feel the insecurities rumbling deep down in the pit of his stomach.
He felt like a freshman all over again, stepping into Harvard Yard for the first time, wondering what the hell he was doing there, wondering how he could possibly belong in a place like that.
How he could possibly belong in a place like this. He shifted against the sill, scanning the crowd of young men that filled most of the cavernous room.
A mob, really, bunched together around the pair of makeshift bars that had been set up specifically for the event. The bars themselves were fairly shoddy — wooden tables that were little more than slabs, starkly out of character in such an austere setting — but nobody noticed, because the bars were staffed by the only girls in the room; matching, bust-heavy blondes in low-cut black tops, brought in from one of the local all-female colleges to cater to the mob of young men.
The mob, in many ways, was even more frightening than the building itself. They belonged. For most of them, this party — this place — was just a formality. Eduardo took a deep breath, wincing slightly at the bitter tinge to the air. Instead, he let his attention settle on the group of blazers closest to him — four kids of medium build.
The third was Asian, and seemed a little older, but it was hard to tell for sure. The fourth, however — African American and very polished-looking, from his grin to his perfectly coiffed hair — was definitely a senior.
The color of the material was all the verification Eduardo needed. The kid was a senior, and it was time for Eduardo to make his move. Eduardo straightened his shoulders and pushed off of the sill. He nodded at the two Connecticut kids and the Asian, but his attention remained focused on the older kid — and his solid black, uniquely decorated tie.
The kid responded with his own name, Darron something, which Eduardo filed away in the back of his memory. The purpose of this entire evening lay in the little white birds that speckled the solid black material.
Eduardo blushed, but inside he was thrilled that the Phoenix member recognized his name. Eduardo knew what it would mean to gain entrance to the Phoenix — for his social status during his last two years of college, and for his future, whatever future he chose to chase. Like the secret societies at Yale that had gotten so much press over the years, the Final Clubs were the barely kept secret soul of campus life at Harvard; housed in centuries-old mansions spread out across Cambridge, the eight all-male clubs had nurtured generations of world leaders, financial giants, and power brokers.
Almost as important, membership in one of the eight clubs granted an instant social identity; each of the clubs had a different personality, from the ultraexclusive Porcellian, the oldest club on campus, whose members had names like Roosevelt and Rockefeller, to the prepped-out Fly Club, which had spawned two presidents and a handful of billionaires, each of the clubs had its own distinct, and instantly defining, power.
Auburn Street was the destination of choice on Friday and Saturday nights, and if you were a member of the Phoenix, not only were you a part of a century-old network, you also got to spend your weekends at the best parties on campus, surrounded by the hottest girls culled from schools all over the zip code. He was gawky, his arms were a little too long for his body, and he only really relaxed when he drank.
But still, he was there, in that room. The whole punch process had taken him by surprise. Just two nights before, Eduardo had been sitting at his desk in his dorm room, working on a twenty-page paper about some bizarre tribe that lived in the Amazonian rain forest, when an invitation had suddenly appeared under his door.
Now it was just up to him — and, of course, the kids wearing the black, bird-covered ties. After Eduardo and the rest of the invitees were sent home to their various dorms spread across the campus, the Phoenix members would convene in one of the secret rooms upstairs to deliberate their fates. After each event, a smaller and smaller percentage of the punched would get the next invitation — and slowly, the two hundred would be weeded down to twenty.
If Eduardo made the cut, his life would change. You get to be real inventive. He delved into the [expletive] with full enthusiasm, carrying the whole group of blazers with him. He could remember one, in particular, that had gone incredibly well; a Caribbean-themed party, with faux palm trees and sand on the floor. He tried to put himself back there — remembering the less imposing details of the decor, remembering how simple and easy the conversation had come. Within moments, he felt himself relaxing even more, allowing himself to become enrapt in his own story, the sound of his own voice.
He was back at that Caribbean party, down to the last detail. He remembered the reggae music bouncing off the walls, the sound of steel drums biting at his ears.
He remembered the rum-based punch, the girls in flowered bikinis. He even remembered the kid with the mop of curly hair who had been standing in a corner of the room, barely ten feet away from where he was now, watching his progress, trying to get up the nerve to follow his lead and approach one of the older Phoenix kids before it was too late.
But the kid had never moved from the corner; in fact, his self-defeating awkwardness had been so palpable, it had acted like a force field, carving out an area of the room around him, a sort of reverse magnetism, pushing anyone nearby away.
Eduardo had felt a tinge of sympathy at the time — because he had recognized that kid with the curly hair — and because there was no way in hell a kid like that was ever going to get into the Phoenix. A kid like that had no business punching any of the Final Clubs — God only knew what he had been doing there at the prepunch party in the first place.
Harvard had plenty of little niches for kids like that; computer labs, chess guilds, dozens of underground organizations and hobbies catering to every imaginable twist of social impairment. But then, as now, Eduardo had been too busy chasing his dream to spend much time thinking about the awkward kid in the corner. Certainly, he had no way of knowing, then or now, that the kid with the curly hair was one day going to take the entire concept of a social network and turn it on its head.
Author's Note The Accidental Billionaires is a dramatic, narrative account based on dozens of interviews, hundreds of sources, and thousands of pages of documents, including records from several court proceedings.
Chapter 1: October It was probably the third cocktail that did the trick. Home Page World U.
The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, a Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal
After all, wild guessing was, or could have been, or possibly seems to have been, Mr. So Mr. Mezrich had to do some guesswork about Mr. And guesswork — long, lyrical, hash-slinging, protracted feats of guesswork, based only glancingly on the rare incontrovertible detail, like the fact that Mr. Zuckerberg liked to wear flip-flops in college — is Mr. It should not go unnoticed that Mr.
‘The Accidental Billionaires’
The Accidental Billionaires is a dramatic, narrative account based on dozens of interviews, hundreds of sources, and thousands of pages of documents, including records from several court proceedings. There are a number of different — and often contentious — opinions about some of the events that took place. Trying to paint a scene from the memories of dozens of sources — some direct witnesses, some indirect — can often lead to discrepancies. I re-created the scenes in the book based on the information I uncovered from documents and interviews, and my best judgment as to what version most closely fits the documentary record. Other scenes are written in a way that describes individual perceptions without endorsing them. I have tried to keep the chronology as close to exact as possible. In some instances, details of settings and descriptions have been changed or imagined, and identifying details of certain people altered to protect their privacy.