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How You Know You Made It

Never mind the cover of Business Week or Fortune magazine; even an appearance or cameo on an episode of the Simpsons pales in insignificance. Yes, to be a real ‘rock star’ these days in the tech world, they have to make a movie about you. Business movies in general tend not to be very good and not that many are made. ‘The Pirates of Silicon Valley ‘was a reasonably close-to-the-truth analysis of the birth of Apple and Microsoft, but it is hard to get in Region 2 dvds (though one can download chunks of it from YouTube).

The film I am really referring to is the “The Social Network” which is, of course, about Facebook and in particular the early days. Mostly based on the ‘Accidental Billionaires’, a racy allegedly insider view of the first few years of Facebook from Harvard dorm to Silicon Valley, this movie has a screen play by Aaron Sorkin (creator of the West Wing) and is directed by David Fincher. So not a ‘straight to video’ movie this. It’s star, who in a sense was born to play Mark Zuckerberg, is geek favourite Jessie Eisenberg.

The tagline for the film says it all ‘You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies.’ I suspect there will be a few people ‘unfriended’ by Zuckerberg when this movie goes on release.

For those interested in the whole web 2.0 phenomenom, I would recommend the book ‘The Stories of Facebook, YouTube and MySpace: the people, the hype and the deals behind the giants of Web 2.0’ by Sarah Lacy. It covers a range of start-up stories including Digg, Six Apart, Slide, Founders Fund, Yelp, LinkedIn, Twitter, Ning, and Revision3. In fact the name is a bit of a misnomer, as it really deals with the second wave of Web 2.0 companies. There is an emphasis on the ‘PayPal mafia’ or the group that made their money in the PayPal deal and how they influenced, started or funded a lot of the Web 2. 0 companies.

If Ireland needs anything, it is one big start-up sale and to have this knock-on effect, I guess the closest thing to that was Iona but nothing on the scale the book identifies here.

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