I must admit that the interview that Sarah Lacy did with Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, at this past year’s South by Southwest made me first hear about who Sarah was. I’ll admit that her name was not immediately recognizable to me and when I heard about her latest book “Once You’re Lucky, Twice You’re Good: The Rebirth of Silicon Valley and the rise of Web 2.0“, I found myself wanting to buy the book just to see if she knew what she was talking about. From the interview, it seemed that the questions were more in line with a business audience compared to a tech geek one so that’s where I was intrigued to see if the book held water.
It did…and Sarah Lacy knows her stuff. I’ll admit it. I enjoyed reading her book. It’s not a primer on what companies should do as it relates to web 2.0 compared to other books that I read like Robert Scoble and Shel Israel’s book “Naked Conversations“, but it’s more telling a story about how some of the biggest names in social media have come to be and the trials and tribulations they’ve went through. With about 280 pages to read, it flows really well and I’ve learned much about how Digg, Facebook, Pownce, and PayPal all got their starts and what their motivations are.
Sarah doesn’t evangalize or hollywoodize the Silicon Valley scene. She tells it how it is and the “crisis of faith” people have had when working on their ideas and startups. The book takes the good and the bad and shows that often times it is possible to get where you want to go, but there may be several forks in the road and you’ll have to choose one and then face a whole new set of challenges.
For about $26 (plus tax) at Border’s, I think it was definitely a worthwhile investment and if you needed to get into social marketing, this is a good read for if you want to know the background of how the biggest names in web 2.0 came about – pretty much since that forms the backbone of why there even IS a web 2.0 community! Marketers need to read this. Businesses need to read this. You need to read this!