This is the book written by the infamous Sarah Lacy who’s fiasco of an interview with Mark Zuckerburg of Facebook at SXSW 2008 caused such a backlash in the twittersphere and blogosphere. I had never heard of her before, but after that interview I was left with a pretty bad impression of her. The crowd booed her and yelled “You suck”, “Ask some real questions” among other things.  My friend Craig had read it and thought it was pretty good so I decided to give it a try. I can’t pass up a good book on tech startups.

So anyways, this is her book chronicalling the story of such dotcoms like TypePad, PayPal, YouTube, Slide, LinkedIn, Yelp, Digg, Facebook and Twitter. The book really centers around Max Levchin, who’s 1.5 billion sale to Ebay helped plant the seeds of many of the dotcoms covered in the book. Basically the PayPal alumn, otherwise known as the PayPal mafia, went on to start other successful startups. I’m not going to get into the details of each story but I thought it was a really well written book. All the stories are very interesting and insightful. Sarah writes in a very warm and approachable way, and it makes you feel like you really know these people. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. It was also a very easy read as well as a page turner. I finished it in 3 days.

There are some very interesting bits of lessons readers can take away. One is perseverance. Did you know that PayPal was Max’s 12th or 13th startup? Also, Slide, the popular slideshow started out as a way for Max and friends to view hot chicks depending on who you hear the story from. I highly recommend this book to everyone in the tech startup industry.

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