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November 14, 2013

Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects - Dot Complicated

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 2:57 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Dot Complicated: Untangling Our Wired Lives by Randi Zuckerberg, HarperOne, 256 pages, $27.99, Hardcover, November 2013, ISBN 9780062285140

I know people who swear that they would feel isolated if it weren’t for their smart phones and social media. And I know people who have become overwhelmed by the proliferation of devices and digital communication, and don’t welcome technology’s further incursion into their personal lives. Regardless of which side of the fence you’re on, one thing is certain: technology has made our lives more complicated.

No one knows that better than Randi Zuckerberg—Sillicon Valley CEO, social media expert, former marketing executive at Facebook, and sibling to its famous co-founder. In her new book, Dot Complicated, which she describes as “part personal story, part thoughts for the future, and part guide for finding the right balance of tech in your life,” she intertwines her personal experiences with professional expertise.

What will hook most readers is the story of going to work for her (younger) brother at Facebook in 2005. She began there in a “hybrid marketing-business development-sales role,” doing anything the startup needed that didn’t require an engineer, all the while realizing what an opportunity and burden she was facing.

The benefits of my last name far outweigh the negatives, and it’s definitely opened lots of doors for me. But open doors alone don’t get you anywhere unless you do something once you walk through them.

From the moment I joined Facebook I knew I had a long road ahead of me and was existing beneath a very big shadow. There was a chance that no matter what I did I would never be more than someone’s sister.

 

That passage does a good job of representing just how likeable, honest, and open Randi Zuckerberg is throughout this book. And that’s why Dot Complicated is ultimately such a worthy read. There’s a lot of entertaining insider anecdotes from her experiences during the first 8 years of Facebook and other Silicon Valley ventures (“At start-ups, a lot of work gets accomplished on napkins.”) but it is also the story of her learning curve as a business woman at the forefront of a rapidly growing tech business at a time the tech business is taking the world by storm. And it is not only about how it has changed her life, but how it has changed all our lives, and how best to navigate those changes.

Life is complicated, but life is even more complicated when you work in the ever-evolving, demanding technology sector, or when you live that life openly via social media. Distilled, each chapter of Dot Complicated takes a look at an aspect of life affected by the modernization of communication—from our friends and our family to our future—and offers advice, humor, and insight on our modern life from a woman who epitomizes it.