Karel Baloun, one of the first engineers to join Facebook.com has just published an ebook on his experiences while working there during the company’s infancy and right on up to present . Showing a surprising lack of creativity, he titles it: ’Inside Facebook.’
While the book is very rough around the edges (the grammar and thought process is all over the place since he published it himself and on-line, but perhaps the ’chaos’ of the language is correlated to how a start-up really functions, hmmm ). However, THERE ARE spots of insightful brilliance and with a low price tag of ($9 for students, $12 for everyone else) I definitely think it’s worth a read. Rather than the history of Facebook, I would say the book’s primary purpose is to inspire and help guide other aspiring entrepreneurs interested in creating an online start-up. For a very limited time you can read it for free thanks to Techcrunch. I am including a passage I found especially relevant to student entrepreneurs:
How do you successfully build a site in a garage or dorm room? Take the most simple part of your idea, and prototype it as quickly as possible. Then show it to your intended audience and see if it sticks. Don’t just listen to feedback, watch what people actually do. Watch how passionately they use it, to see whether it is really solving the problem you intended for your audience. Odds are it won’t on the first pass, so do not just give up on your original idea to solve another problem for the same audience. Can you find a more appropriate audience? Actively modify your site until it works to do what you intended, and monitor what works27. Beyond the numbers, look at your key relationships with your core users and business or technology partners: are your most important people getting more excited and passionate? Are you building enough of the right relationships to get your ball rolling? Remember the rock to which you are clinging is your original vision, and keep your passion on that.
If anyone has read Karel’s book, or would like to comment on their general Facebook thoughts, we’d love to hear them. Also we’re looking to highlight some college students or younger grads who would like their company spotlighted in our Blog. Tell us about your business, or idea and we’ll give you some feedback and hopefully a bit of positive PR as well! Finally, if anyone would like to do a full review and post it on IntelliGrad.com we’d love that!