In the Accidental Billionaires, the motif of manipulation and betrayal is prevalent. Mark Zuckerburg is the prime embodiment of manipulation and betrayal throughout the course of the work. Another character also attributed with such qualities is Sean Parker. Mark and Sean are similar in this aspect; manipulating their own world to achieve their goals. In the first few chapters of the book, the reader is introduced to the Winklevoss twins.
The twins turn to Mark to aid them in their social networking idea, the HarvardConnection. After trusting Mark with their program, Mark begins to manipulate the idea into his own. In a very subtle way, Mark delays the twins in time to sire his own program. This action reveals to the reader that Mark is a lone wolf. Mark, told to us in the book, is not interested in money. For example, “…Microsoft had offered Mark between one and two million dollars to go to work for them-and amazingly, Mark had turned them down” (Mezrich 15).
This action should be noted as the aspect of working alone seems to be, to Mark, the most efficient way to achieve fame. Mark is highly influenced by Bill Gates, a man who rose out of the very same school Mark attends and manipulated his way throughout his pursuits of Microsoft, and in Mark’s point of view, individual. With his displeasing physique and social incompetence, it is easy to see why people underestimate Mark and are taken advantage of. Another character to note is Sean Parker.
Sean Parker is a foil to the protagonist, Mark. Mark pairs up with Sean after he launches ‘thefacebook’. Sean has a history of manipulating his way through major companies with the agenda of getting rich only, quite the opposite of Mark. Sean is extremely energetic, whereas Mark seems to be lazy as represented by his lack variety in his attire- flipflops, jeans, etc. Sean, however, was betrayed by those companies he used to work for, but, ironically, he pursues yet another company that betrays him in the end.
Betrayal, through manipulation, is in the subtitle of the book, “A tale of sex, money, genius, and betrayal. ” Betrayal is mentioned last in this climax because that is to show the most important motif and a symbol of the book’s overall structure- It goes from Eduardo and Mark seeking attention to ‘get laid’, then pursue money with genius innovation of modern social networking, and finally, Mark’s betrayal is concluded when he removes Eduardo and Sean from his life because they threatened his brainchild, Facebook.
The motif of betrayal is very subtle to the reader. Even after reading the subtitle that Mezrich so blatantly states before the beginning chapter, I was manipulated into completely forgetting about betrayal and instead was focused on the pursuit to fame. Even the title fools the reader in stating the plural form of billionaire, but only one billionaire is spawned at the conclusion of the book. Just as the twins, Eduardo, and Sean, Mark’s real agenda was cloaked to me, until it finally dawned in the closing chapters.