I first heard about David Kirkpatrick’s book during Robert Scoble’s interview of him at the 2010 F8 Facebook conference. Both Scoble and Kirkpatrick discussed how Facebook was evolving from a social networking platform to an identity platform. Facebook’s recent privacy issues, left me intrigued. Over the past eight months, I had found myself going to my Facebook profile less and less. Instead, I devoted my time in following interesting people on Twitter. So, learning more about Facebook’s plans during F8 and the interesting insights from Scoble and Kirkpatrick led me to purchase the book.
Amazon delivered it within a few short days and upon arrival, I immediately skimmed the Prologue. It became apparent early on, that Kirkpatrick was asked to write this book by Mark Zuckerberg, to pen an historical account on how Facebook started, Zuckerberg’s vision for Facebook and how his friends helped him to change the world by building an infectious social network.
The book itself consists of 17 chapters and is a very engaging read. The 333 pages are packed with some truly interesting insights, and I couldn’t help feeling in awe at the research time and commitment that Kirkpatrick put into this work. Hours of interviews with people in Zuckerberg’s inner circle are recalled and provide a great backdrop to the true story behind the world’s leading social network. Zuckerberg describes Facebook as “a social movement”, not as a publishing platform. He is motivated by a passion for radical transparency. Through the sharing of our data and making our lives publicly available, he believes it turns us into better people. Many people disagree and the recent controversy over privacy controls as only fuelled the fire on what Facebook is sharing about us.
Kirkpatrick has written the definitive book on the company so far. It left me with a deep understanding of how the company thinks, its philosophies and it stunned me on its true power. Anyone who is interested in Facebook’s history will absolutely love this book, as will those who are interested in contemporary geek culture.
The Facebook Effect is a great weekend read, buy your copy of the book from Amazon here.