Zucked Book Summary - Zucked Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

Zucked summary

Roger McNamee

Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe

4.3 (239 ratings)
22 mins
Table of Contents

    Summary of 7 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 7

    Technological and economic changes enabled Facebook’s growth and a dangerous internal culture.

    Back in the twentieth century, there weren’t many successful Silicon Valley start-ups run by people fresh out of college. Successful computer engineering relied on skill and experience and needed to overcome the constraints of limited computer processing power, storage and memory. The need for serious hardware infrastructure meant that not just anyone could build a start-up – and be an instant success.

    Technological developments in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries fundamentally changed this. When Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook in 2004, many of these barriers to new companies had simply disappeared. Engineers could create a workable product quickly, thanks to open-source software components like the browser Mozilla. And the emergence of cloud storage meant that start-ups could simply pay a monthly fee for their network infrastructures, rather than having to build something costly themselves.

    Suddenly, the lean start-up model emerged. Businesses like Facebook no longer needed to work slowly toward perfection before launching a product. They could quickly build something basic, push it out to users and update from there. Facebook’s famous “move fast and break things” philosophy was born.

    This also had a profound impact on the culture of companies like Facebook. No longer did an entrepreneur like Zuckerberg need a large and experienced pool of engineers with serious systems expertise to deliver a business plan.

    In fact, we know that Zuckerberg didn’t want people with experience. Inexperienced young men – and they were more often than not men – were not only cheaper, but could be molded in his image, making the company easier to manage.

    In the early years of Facebook, Zuckerberg himself was resolutely confident, not just in his business plan, but in the self-evidently beneficial goal of connecting the world. And as Facebook’s user numbers – and eventually, profitability – skyrocketed, why would anyone on his team question him? And even if they wanted to, Zuckerberg had set up Facebook’s shareholding rules so that he held a “golden vote,” meaning the company would always do what he decided.

    To grow as quickly as possible, Facebook did whatever it could to strip out sources of friction: the product would be free and the business would avoid regulation, thus also avoiding a need for transparency in its algorithms that might invite criticism.

    Unfortunately, while these were the right conditions for growth of a global superstar, they were also conditions that bred a disregard for user privacy, safety and civic responsibility.

    Want to see all full key ideas from Zucked?

    Key ideas in Zucked

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Zucked about?

    Zucked (2019) is one early Facebook investor’s personal warning about the dangers of the platform. It vividly describes how Facebook is damaging both public health and the health of our democracies. From manipulating public opinion to building our addiction to technology, the picture painted in Zucked is of a business unmoored from civic or moral responsibility.

    Best quote from Zucked

    Surveillance, the sharing of user data, and behavioral modification are the foundation of Facebooks success.

    —Roger McNamee
    example alt text

    Who should read Zucked?

    • Everyone who uses Facebook
    • People concerned about data privacy, the manipulation of public opinion or tech-addiction
    • Anyone interested in the future of social media and tech-giants

    About the Author

    Roger McNamee has been an investor in Silicon Valley for over three decades, and was an early-stage investor in both Facebook and Google. His most recent fund, Elevation, was co-founded with U2’s Bono. Outside of investing, he campaigns to build awareness of the negative impacts of social media.

    Categories with Zucked

    Books like Zucked

    People ❤️ Blinkist
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked

    Start growing with Blinkist now
    28 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    Of Blinkist members create a better reading habit*
    *Based on survey data from Blinkist customers
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial