Book review of Becoming Facebook by Michael Hoefflinger

Review by : Vipul Murarka

Thanks to NetGalley because of which I was able to get the Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this informative book, Becoming Facebook by Michael Hoefflinger.

First thing first; Becoming Facebook is not about how the social media giant was started but rather what happened after Facebook opened its doors for operation. What is noteworthy of the book is that while Zuckerberg may be the one who is obviously well known, but the author has given equal importance to other people from the company who have played crucial roles either in marketing, technology, building relationship with the employee, etc. One will not get an impression reading this book that only Zuckerberg is the heart and soul of Facebook. Usually in books such as these, the founder is made the hero and rest are side actors. However in this case everyone who has done noteworthy at the company has been given his/her due credit.

The book digs deep into highlighting what has gone well for Facebook and doesn’t shy away from mentioning the failures which have been in abundance too. The reader may be amazed to learn that so much is tried within the company, much from it doesn’t work out and how Facebook is learning from its mistakes but isn’t afraid to spend big amount in trying things out. After reading the book it is clear that Facebook isn’t getting complacent after achieving so much and has one foot in learning from the mistakes and the other in preparing for the future.

Having worked at Facebook for nearly seven years, Michael has given insights to somewhat the work culture within Facebook and the thought processes. However I was expecting to get more inside stories. Michael has superficially touched upon how and why Facebook acquired the companies such as WhatsApp, Instagram, Oculus and others. I would have loved to hear more on how the acquisition came about.

The writing is pretty much simple. While the author has wonderfully articulated the rationale of how things are done at the top level in Facebook, there have been moments when the book failed to capture the interest somewhere in the middle. The author lacked the story telling element that is usually infused in a non-fiction book these days to make the book interesting. Having said that, the book will definitely not disappoint you and will give you an idea where the future of social media is and what Facebook and the other online giant Google are doing to embrace it. There are also several key takeaways for budding entrepreneurs to ponder upon.

Rating: 4 out of 5

About the reviewer :

Vipul Murarka likes to learn something new every time he picks up a book. He has done BSc (Hons) in Plant Biotechnology from University of Nottingham after which he has done MBA in Marketing from School Of Inspired Leadership. Right now he resides in Myanmar doing business in agriculture.

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