“They frame it as if the whole reason for making Facebook and building something was because I wanted to get girls or wanted to get into some kind of social institution they just can’t wrap their head around the idea that someone might build something because they like building things” – Mark Zuckerberg.
Mark Zuckerberg, the programming prodigy who turned to town for making cool things into social network dynasty the website he started in his dorm room when he was 19 years old is one of the most influential in the world with profiles for over a quarter of the world’s population. Zuckerberg became a self-made billionaire before his 24th birthday!! How is that possible that’s what we’re gonna find out…
Mark Zuckerberg was born on May 14th, 1984 in upper-middle class parents in the outskirts of New York. His father told him to go basic in the early teens and Mark really took to it. He created a program that allowed the computer at his dad’s dental office to communicate with the family computer in Colditz arcnet.
The program was an early form of messenger while in school he excelled a number of subjects from computer science to languages and literature, he transferred to Exeter prep school where he met his good friend Adam D’Angelo.
They created music software called synapse that learned what music people liked and made suggestions based on it as writer Jose Antonio Vargas said
“some kids played computer games…. Mark
created them”. It was clear he had an entrepreneur’s mindset from an early age. Synapse was treated as a high school project but drew the attention of big software companies including Microsoft who apparently offered Zuckerberg a rumored 1 million dollars for it as well as a job before college.
Despite the job offer Zuckerberg chose to attend Harvard doing computer science and philosophy his first year of college plus without any significant creations, probably love partying. It was in his sophomore year that he began to show signs of things to come.
He created a site called Coursematch at the beginning of his second year which had led his classmates to log in and see what courses their friends. It quickly became popular which prompted Zuckerberg to try a new idea he’d recently had that he’d go on to call face masters. Facemash was created October 2003 with the intention of finding the most attractive person on campus.
Slowly a ranking was formed that created the entire thing during a tipsy eight-hour coding session that ended at 4 a.m. Despite the drunken programming, Facemash was an instant hit, been used by 450 students in one day before the Harvard admin team shut it down to new plates of sexism things.
Zuckerberg was put under probation over the incident “I was thread with exclusion” although apparently didn’t faze him too much at the time as it’s written in David Carr Patras book the Facebook Effect “ it’s not the mark necessarily set set to break the rules… he just doesn’t pay much attention to them”.
Over the next few months, undeterred by his warning from Harvard’s, Mark worked more on computer programs simply because he enjoyed it, he created a web program that brought art images from his art in the time of Augustus class and encouraged his classmates to add comments beside them to create study aids. He then used these notes to cram for an exam far more quickly. He also created a program called six degrees of Harry Lewis, a program that created links between people and his favourite computer science professor. He also began to work on other people’s produce , setting up a website for the association of Harvard black women and significantly helping three Harvard seniors finish coding on their web site idea the Harvard connection.
Zuckerberg was sold for the project in November, 2003 after the founders heard about Facemash through the Harvard magazine. They asked him to finish programming their social network site Harvard connection since he didn’t have much coding experience themselves Zuckerberg agreed to do it soon lost interest in favour of his own site, the Facebook. He stalled the
Harvard connection team by coding his new site and may have borrowed some ideas which led to a lawsuit and even a movie down the line although the initial idea of sourcing process may not have been entirely on the up the execution and launch of
Facebook was close to flawless. Zuckerberg bought the domain the facebook.com on January 11th for $30 and officially launched the site. On February 4th , by emailing a few of his friends to check out just four days after it launched, 450 Harvard undergrads signed up and 300 joined the following day. As previously mentioned, he had a knack for building social websites that people wanted to use. The idea of
Facebook was to move the physical books the university issued with a picture of all the students called face books online and students to update them with more recent pictures. It also allowed students to see what other students were talking about, what their interests were and also their relationship status. Another two weeks later , Facebook had over 6,000 users which formed over three-quarters of the undergraduates as well as some alumni. Not only did thousands of students sign up but they also readily spent hours on it each day which made it unique to every other website. Zach put a team of his roommates and friends together to handle various aspects of the project as he didn’t yet consider a business.
Eduardo Saverin handled business ,Dustin Moskovitz was a programmer, Andrew McCollum was a graphic artist and Chris shoes as a spokesman all joined the team. With the team around him that complemented his strengths and weaknesses, Zuckerberg tried to span
Facebook into other colleges starting with the Yale, Stanford and Columbia. Facebook sweat the competition and the number of people signed up kept growing.
It took them a few weeks for 80% of each of the campuses to sign up for Facebook. The team decided to rent an apartment in Palo Alto for the summer as it was where all the big start-ups seemed to come from.
After many 16-hour days, in all-nighters Facebook reached a hundred thousand users in June 2004. Just four months after its launch, a venture capital firm offered ten million dollars to buy Facebook.
He apparently didn’t even consider the offer and often said to continue drawing it for themselves. For Zach, it was never really about the money but always about really a really cool product. Over the summer, the team continued to expand Facebook’s functionality and user base. They also met Sean Parker, a Silicon Valley veteran, who became their president and introduced him to investors including
Peter Thiel who put 500k into the venture for around ten percent of the Business. All in all, a pretty solid Investment. It took Mark and his friends all of two minutes to decide to postpone their Harvard return as the social network was all about timing and they didn’t want to screw this up.
“Well that’s unclear… I am 21 but I finished my sophomore year and came out to Palo Alto fully expecting that I’d actually go back to Harvard in the fall but didn’t quite make it after Peter put his money in but started building a company instead and I got a little side-tracked but fortunately Harvard lets you take indefinite periods of time off so you know if the sever falls through… I’m back at Harvard”, he said.
They’re dropouts. The team focused on expansion, they hit many road bumps and continued to work extremely hard but it paid off for them as they reached a million users in early 2005. They continued to add more features such as the ability to share photos and post on people’s walls and their valuation kept climbing.
If we fast forward seven years, Facebookwent public in the largest tech IPO to this date and become the company over a hundred billion dollars and made all the founders billionaires while still in their early to mid-20s. While there’s no doubt Mark’s a genius. There are so many things that we can learn about him and his story so far.
Facebook was an example of a great idea at the right time with fantastic execution. They made many mistakes along the way but it all paid off in the end. One thing we have to remember is that the multi-billion dollar company that we all use today was started by a handful of forward-thinking teams in a college dorm room. With that in mind, encourage yourself to keep hustling towards your own goals!!