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[经济学人] [2009.08.06] friends and foes 朋友与敌人

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发表于 2010-4-29 05:11 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
The creation of Facebook
脸谱网的诞生


Friends and foes
朋友和仇敌


Aug 6th 2009
From The Economist print edition


The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal.
偶然成就的亿万富翁:脸谱网的创立:一个关于性,金钱,天才和背叛的传说。

Guardian Reaching out to Mr Zuckerberg
卫报 走进扎克伯格先生

WHEN a geek leaves a hip party with a gorgeous girl on his arm, it is typically in a scene from a film rather than one from the real world. Yet in Silicon Valley, where pasty-faced youths with a penchant for churning out computer code are often feted as rock stars, celluloid fantasy can sometimes become reality. For the two friends who created Facebook, their site’s early success propelled them into a world of cool nightclubs and hot dates. But it also landed them in a legal battle that ultimately soured the relationship between the founders of the world’s most successful online social network.
当一个电脑怪人臂弯里搂着一惊艳女生离开嘻哈聚会时,与现实世界相比,这的确更像是电影中的一幕。然而在硅谷,一群热衷于机械编写计算机代码年轻人经常接收到像摇滚明星一样的盛情款待,虚幻的梦想有时候会变成现实。由于这两个合伙创立脸谱网的朋友年少得志,这使得他们很快融入了时尚夜总会以及火辣的约会。但这也使得他们陷入了法律漩涡,而这场官司也使得全球最成功的社交网络的创始人之间的关系变味了。

Those looking for deep insights into the phenomenon represented by Facebook, which now boasts some 250m members, will be disappointed by Ben Mezrich’s book. Although he offers a cursory analysis of the network’s astonishing influence, the author concentrates primarily on the way Facebook was created and dives deep into the behind-the-scenes machinations as the company turns from an amateur experiment into a professional operation.
那些打算深入观察脸谱网现象的人称大概2.5亿的网民将会对脸谱网感到失望。尽管作者只提供了对于此网络惊人影响力的简要分析,但是作者重点探讨了脸谱网的诞生方式,并深入分析了公司从一个业余实验变成了正规商业操作背后的奥妙。

To veterans of the start-up world, the plot of “The Accidental Billionaires” will sound all too familiar. A couple of young nerds—two Harvard undergraduates, Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin—come up with a brilliant idea for a website and launch a prototype. As their creation expands beyond their wildest dreams, they are courted by silver-tongued venture capitalists. Some time after investors take a stake in the fledgling company, a decision is taken to change its management structure. Mr Saverin’s equity stake is diluted for reasons that he strongly objects to and he falls out with the other owners, including Mr Zuckerberg, the company’s chief executive. Recriminations and lawsuits fly.
“偶然成就的亿万富翁”这样的故事情节,对创业界老手来说再熟悉不过了。一对年轻的书呆子——两个哈佛毕业生,马克•扎克伯格和爱德华多•萨维林——想到了一个制作网页的极棒的点子,并推出了脸谱网的原始版本。随着他们的创作远远超过了他们的预期,能言善辩的风险投资商开始设法讨好他们。有时在投资方购入刚起步的公司部分股份后,起步公司的管理结构就会发生变化。萨维林先生的股权开始变少,原因在于他强烈反对其他股东,并和这些股东闹翻,其中包括该公司首席执行官扎克伯格先生。反责和控诉接连不断。

“The Accidental Billionaires” is at its best when it describes the fraternity-house atmosphere that governs the start-up’s early days. For instance, in one scene Mr Zuckerberg decides to hold a competition to recruit new programmers. This requires the candidates not just to hack through line after line of computer code, but also to drink shot after shot of whiskey at various points along the way.
公司起步阶段还是充满兄弟之情氛围时,“偶然的亿万富翁”处于最佳状态。如,扎克伯格先生决定通过竞赛录用新的编程人员。这需要这些候选人不仅能够逐行破解电脑代码还必须能够在整个破解过程中的不同关键点一口接一口地喝威士忌。

Yet while Mr Mezrich spins a colourful tale from this and other snapshots, his take on the internal battles at Facebook is flawed. Mr Zuckerberg refused to be interviewed for the book, so the narrative is missing a crucial perspective. And Mr Mezrich appears to have relied heavily on sources with large axes to grind against Facebook’s boss. They include Mr Saverin ( “without whom this story could not have been written,” admits the author) and several Harvard students who once accused Mr Zuckerberg of stealing the idea for his social network from a project he briefly helped them with—a charge he has vehemently denied. A more balanced account of the friction behind Facebook remains to be written.
当麦兹瑞先生创作出精彩的传奇故事里的一张张快照时,他就开始了脸谱网是否有错的内部论战。扎克伯格先生拒绝接受对该书的采访,因此此书的缺少了关键的视角。而麦兹瑞先生似乎非常依赖想要搞垮脸谱网老板的线人。其中包括萨维林先生(“如果没有他,也就没有这本书”作者指出)以及几个哈佛学生,这些学生曾经指控扎克伯格先生在帮他们做项目的时候剽窃创建社交网的行为,而这一行为扎克伯格先生极力否认。一个关于脸谱网的更公正的小说有待谱写。
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