Origin Stories Online

everythingstoreHave you ever wondered how your favorite websites, online retailers and companies began their journey into the mainstream? Facebook, Amazon, Netflix: How did they get from humble beginnings to where they are today? Check out these origin stories from the library to sate your curiosity, or for entrepreneurial motivation:

The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone – Presents the story of Amazon.com and its driven, brilliant founder, Jeff Bezos, describing the relentless pursuit of new markets that has led Amazon into new ventures and transformed the nature of retail business.

The Airbnb Story by Leigh Gallagher – A thorough and objective account of this unusual company, examining its meteoric and colorful rise, its nagging troubles, its popularity around the world, and the concerns regarding its growth and potential pitfalls.

Netflixed: The Epic Battle for America’s Eyeballs by Gina Keating – Traces Netflix’s rise throughout a decade-long war against Blockbuster, analyzing the polarizing characters attributed to its founders while evaluating how the company has become subject to competition and marketing tactics by cable companies and telecoms.

The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook by Ben Mezrich – Relates the story behind the founding of Facebook by Harvard University undergraduates, and describes how conflicting ideas for the future of the site destroyed the friendship of co-founders Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin.

Hatching Twitter by Nick Bilton – A behind-the-scenes portrait of the influential news and networking company traces its rise from a failed podcasting business to a multi-billion-dollar giant, recounting the high-stakes power struggles, betrayed friendships and global influences that shaped its evolution.

I’m Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 by Douglas Edwards – An early Google director of marketing and brand management discusses the pioneering work of partners Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the evolution of the company’s non-hierarchical structure, and the competitive environment through which ideas are developed and implemented.

#Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso – The founder of the Nasty Gal fashion e-tailer shares an irreverent manifesto for ambitious young women that explains how to channel personal passion and energy while overcoming insecurities, outlining straightforward advice on doing meaningful work and garnering recognition.

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