We are the Nerds

Book coverI’ve been reading the 2018 history of reddit by Christine Lagorio-Chafkin this weekend and I really enjoy this type of work.  The history of reddit.com is a little different from many US IT startups being initially East Coast and with founders who took an idea to product stage and indeed fleshed it out for several years before being hit by the realities of venture capital and the impact that has on the purity of a concept.  The founding concept of ‘the front page of the internet’ being stripped down, user contributed and devoid of editorial control remained true for many years and still largely exists today.  CL-C fleshes out the key characters with skill making them interesting, distinct and human – and for Ohanian and Huffman who spent 18 months alone in a Cambridge, Ma apartment writing code and contributing to their own infant site, thats quite an effort.

I like novels in this ilk because of the insight into the qualities that allow young risk taking upstarts to achieve so much.  There are lessons in that for all of us.  For me We are the Nerds ranks up there with some of my favourite reads: I Woz , The Smartest guys in the room and the old Zukerberg movie The Social Network.   The characters here are probably a bit more real and understandable than those of Steve Wozniac or Mark Zukerberg which may simply be because their financial success was more modest.  The novel is all the better for that and I’m sure it will be appealing to many readers.  Enjoy.

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