American Kingpin

by Nick Bilton

Nick Bilten tells the true story of Ross Ulbricht, a.k.a. Dread Pirate Roberts, computer programmer, drug Lord, and criminal mastermind. Ulbricht is currently serving two life sentences and then some for his work behind the dark web marketplace, Silk Road. 

This book is fantastic. It reads like a page-turning spy thriller.

In a little over two years, Ulbricht, though the Silk Road, was helping one million people buy and sell drugs (and other restricted goods) using the internet to broker it and the U.S. Postal Service to deliver it. 

This is the story of libertarianism gone rogue, or perhaps simply libertarianism taken to its logical conclusions. It is the story of government agencies seeking to take down bad guys; how they do it, what happens when they work well together -- and when they don’t. It is the story of the human heart; it’s desire for achievement, recognition, and how easily it strays. It is the story of big ideas, small starts, and exponential impact. 

American Kingpin was all that for me and more. 

It is a story that had me re-assessing the importance of college, ideas, friends, and how I -- in my leadership position -- help people navigate each.

Such a good book!