The book describes the creation of Twitter up to June of 2012, primarily through the eyes of the four founders and the relations between them. The book begins by providing a short biography of each founder separately and then follows, more a less, a straight timeline of events. However this timeline is separated into sections, each of which is dedicated to the founder that was dominant in that specific period of time. The final section is dedicated to Dick Costello, who was not a founder but at the time of writing became the CEO of the company after ousting the very person who brought him on board – his friend and founder, Evan Williams. The book does not go into the technical details of the development of Twitter but, rather, chooses to focus on the interpersonal relationships among the founders, which were, it turns out, quite vicious: we learn about their loves, hates and rivalries and especially the incessant lying and backstabbing and all around selfishness and emotional ineptness of all parties involved. Jack Dorsey, the current executive chairman of Twitter is portrayed as the very worst of the lot, a constantly scheming scoundrel and congenital liar, while Evan Williams appears as a relatively good guy, but one who experienced grave difficulties in transitioning from head of a start-up to CEO of a billion dollar company and in the process is victimized by the very people he helped, befriended, pitied, and trusted.
The book is well-written and easy to read. However, it is focused mostly on personal relationships and not on the substance of Twitter: its technical, financial, or even managerial operation. By choosing this focus, the author misses the opportunity to provide insight into the process of establishing a start-up and turning it into a billion dollar business and instead opts to document what appears to have been a juvenile high-tech soap opera.