Hatching Twitter

Book Study by: Courtney Matschke

Hatching Twitter by Nick Bilton

Despite all the coverage of Twitter’s rise, Nick Bilton of The New York Times is the first journalist to tell the full story—a gripping drama of betrayed friendships and highstakes power struggles. The four founders—Evan Williams, Biz Stone, Jack Dorsey, and Noah Glass—made a dizzyingly fast transition from ordinary engineers to wealthy celebrities. They fought each other bitterly for money, influence, publicity, and control as Twitter grew larger and more powerful. Ultimately they all lost their grip on it. Bilton’s unprecedented access and exhaustive reporting have enabled him to write an intimate portrait of four friends who accidentally changed the world, and what they all learned along the way.


About the Author

Nick Bilton is a journalist for the New York Times. He has written two books: I Live in the Future and Here's How it Works, and Hatching Twitter. To create the book he researched books, interviews, emails, documents and tweets about Twitter and from people who worked at Twitter.

Fun Fact: Nick Bilton is credited for the relaxed rules about using electronics during takeoff and landing on a plane.

@nickbilton: It's a bird... It's a plane... Actually, it's people reading their Kindles and IPads during takeoff and landing on a plane!

Another Fun Fact: Hatching Twitter was said to be approved by Lionsgate in 2013 to become a TV series.

Conflict, Mood, and Theme

Conflict: This book is all about the ups and downs of creating a business from the bottom up. Hatching Twitter tells the story of the four original founders of Twitter, Jack, Ev, Noah, and Biz and their ups and downs with each other. There are so many ups and downs between them from Jack getting kicked off the team to the late night brainstorming sessions.

Mood: The author really brings out all the emotions of the roller coaster of creating a business from the ground up. This book is equally funny as much as serious when talking about the business aspect of Twitter.

Theme: I believe the theme of this story was loneliness, however the lesson for business that this story brought out was that you have to realize who you are going into business with. This group of people started out as friends and in the end the business they all created together was that that tore them apart.

Quote from book: Loneliness is not so much where you are, but instead is your state of mind.

Questions for reading

1. How do you think fame and fortune can change people in businesses that started small and have gotten bigger? Do they affect relationships?

2. How do you think the main goal of a business can change over the course of building that business?

3. How do you think social media has changed businesses? (advertising, people of the business?