We chose this photo for the cover because this was when it all started. 18-year old Troy, having just discovered the web in early 1995 and chomping at the bit to do something with it. The full tale of what I first did (and how disastrous it ultimately became), is up front early in the book so I won't relay it here, but it's quite the story.
The book title - Pwned - also seemed like a natural fit. Somehow, that funny name from gamer culture (that I only picked because it was easy to get the domain name!), has become synonymous with me personally. I'm even in the story of how it became the internet's favourite taunt, again, somehow. Using the word as it's intended outside the context of the data breach service I started remains apt as so much of what I've written is about pwning stuff. Over time, that stuff became popular, HIBP became famous, and my life totally changed. Somehow.
"Somehow" is a theme throughout the book because if I'm honest, none of this was really planned. HIBP is a perfect example of that; it's a pet project I thought a few of my mates would use and next minute, I'm sitting in US Congress as some sort of an expert on this stuff saying "pwned" in front of a bunch of lawmakers. I didn't plan that, I didn't plan any of it, I just got up each day and did what excited me.
When I announced the book in April, I explained how Rob Conery has helped me curate a collection of blog posts. Rob has a solid track record of producing awesome books so when he said "Hey Troy, I reckon the stories behind these blog posts would make a great book", he had my attention. The blog posts might already be out on troyhunt.com, but the book adds all the stuff I couldn't say at the time and all stuff that happened afterwards. They're blog posts that defined my life and my career and had interesting stories behind them. But it's a lot more than just blog posts too, there's the whole "never before told" story leading up to when I started the blog and then a couple of very personal stories at the end. There are also two forewords from people close to me in the industry who've watched this whole thing unfold and have their own stories to tell.
The plan is to make the book available to purchase before we all start doing holiday things at the end of the year. I love using my downtime to read and I reckon you might too, so we definitely want to hit that deadline. Today, however, we're making two chapters available to everyone for free which will give you a really good sense of the book: </pfizer>.
We all know Pfizer today as the drug company whose product has recently been injected into many of our arms. But 20 years ago, when I started working for them, they were known as the folks who made Viagra. Yep, that's how I always had to explain where I worked because everyone knew the brand name. 14 years that job lasted, and it's what ultimately inspired me to begin writing this blog. When I wrote the </pfizer> blog post, it was the first time I'd ever mentioned the name publicly. I was polite, factual and entirely professional about the whole thing, but underneath I was seething. I'd had an absolute gutful of the place and the final straw had come a year before my departure. I couldn't tell that story at the time, but it's all there now for everyone to read in the teaser chapters for the book 🙂
If you'd like to grab the teaser, jump on over to book.troyhunt.com. You can download that for free right now and when the complete book launches, we'll let you know. And if you have feedback on what you read, we'd love to hear about it in the comments section below so we can make the book as a whole the best possible experience for my readers.