The unbelievable true story of the man who built a billion-dollar online drug empire from his bedroom???and almost got away with it.,In 2011, a twenty-six-year-old libertarian programmer named Ross Ulbricht launched the ultimate free market: the Silk Road, a clandestine Web site hosted on the Dark Web where anyone could trade anything???drugs, hacking software, forged passports, counterfeit cash, poisons???free of the government???s watchful eye.,It wasn???t long before the media got wind of the new Web site where anyone???not just teenagers and weed dealers but terrorists and black hat hackers???could buy and sell contraband detection-free. Spurred by a public outcry, the federal government launched an epic two-year manhunt for the site???s elusive proprietor, with no leads, no witnesses, and no clear jurisdiction. All the investigators knew was that whoever was running the site called himself the Dread Pirate Roberts.,The Silk Road quickly ballooned into $1.2 billion enterprise, and Ross embraced his new role as kingpin. He enlisted a loyal crew of allies in high and low places, all as addicted to the danger and thrill of running an illegal marketplace as their customers were to the heroin they sold. Through his network he got wind of the target on his back and took drastic steps to protect himself???including ordering a hit on a former employee. As Ross made plans to disappear forever, the Feds raced against the clock to catch a man they weren???t sure even existed, searching for a needle in the haystack of the global Internet.,Drawing on exclusive access to key players and two billion digital words and images Ross left behind, , correspondent and , bestselling author Nick Bilton offers a tale filled with twists and turns, lucky breaks and unbelievable close calls. It???s a story of the boy next door???s ambition gone criminal, spurred on by the clash between the new world of libertarian-leaning, anonymous, decentralized Web advocates and the old world of government control, order, and the rule of law. Filled with unforgettable characters and capped by an astonishing climax, , might be dismissed as too outrageous for fiction. But it???s all too real.
Twitter seems like a perfect start-up success story. In barely six years, a small group of young, ambitious programmers in Silicon Valley built an $11.5 billion business out of the ashes of a failed podcasting company. Today Twitter boasts more than 200 million active users and has affected business, politics, media, and other fields in innumerable ways.,Now Nick Bilton of the New York Times takes readers behind the scenes with a narrative that shows what happened inside Twitter as it grew at exponential speeds. This is a tale of betrayed friendships and high-stakes power struggles as the four founders???Biz Stone, Evan Williams, Jack Dorsey, and Noah Glass???went from everyday engineers to wealthy celebrities, featured on magazine covers, Oprah, The Daily Show, and Time???s list of the world???s most influential people.,Bilton???s exclusive access and exhaustive investigative reporting???drawing on hundreds of sources, documents, and internal e-mails???have enabled him to write an intimate portrait of fame, influence, and power. He also captures the zeitgeist and global influence of Twitter, which has been used to help overthrow governments in the Middle East and disrupt the very fabric of the way people communicate.