Name: Mark Elliot Zuckerberg
Occupation: Programmer, Internet entrepreneur, and Philanthropist
Net Worth: $53.3 billion
“By giving people the power to share, we’re making the world more transparent.”
“The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”
“Move fast and break things. Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast.”
The #1 globally used social app of the 21st century, Facebook, was at some point in time just some means of communication and socialization a bored college kid thought of. Zuckerberg disliked the way every student in Harvard University was only self-conscious with only a little socialization, hence, he thought of ways to break the chain. Before Facebook clicked and captured the world’s attention, Zuckerberg made lots of failed attempts by devising series of apps and games.
The series of unsuccessful apps created before Facebook, and how Facebook turned to become a global sensation will be discussed in this article.
In his early years, Zuckerberg was just a curious computer genius who had a dream of making communication and socialization a lot easier, thereby bringing people together.
With the help of his family, Zuckerberg was acquainted with the computer from his tender age — His Dad, Edward Zuckerberg, who was a dentist, often let Zuckerberg operate his office computer. Edward also enrolled Zuckerberg in computer sessions with specialized tutors.
At a young age of 12, Zuckerberg used his knowledge of BASIC programming to write a communication program which he named Zucknet. The family used Zucknet for various helpful purposes; His dad used the program in his office to easily get in touch with the secretary when there is a new patient. Zuckerberg also created a series of mobile games together with his artistic friends.
Zuckerberg continued improving his programming skills all through high school; he even created an earlier version of the musical app Pandora, which he named Synapse.
On getting to Harvard University, Zuckerberg was already perceived as a software genius. He upheld his reputation and continued with his strive to create an iconic communication tool.
In aspiration to simplify and make socialization in Harvard University easier, Zuckerberg tried a series of ideas. In his dorm room in Harvard, Zuckerberg put to test his first program which was supposed to turn his dreams into reality.
Zuckerberg wrote his first socialization tool as a form of Hot or Not game. This program involved two pictures of different individuals being placed side by side, after which an audience would comment on which is Hot and which is Not. Zuckerberg named this program Facemash.
In order to make Facemash fun and get it to serve its purpose, Zuckerberg hacked into the database of the students’ profiles maintained by Harvard University and compiled all the pictures from it. As a result of his computing knowledge and skills from a tender age, the hacking was no big deal. Hence, with enough pictures of different students present, Zuckerberg successfully launched the program.
Few days after the launch of Facemash, the site attracted many users. Harvard students were totally thrilled by the development and thousands of students immediately joined the new trend.
However, while the program was successfully serving its purpose and bringing students together, Harvard executives shut it down. Not only was the program shut down, Zuckerberg was expelled and made to face charges for violating copyrights, breach of security, and for violating individual privacy.
Devastated and depressed at the termination of his first successful program, Zuckerberg made no attempt at appealing for his charges. However, the charges were later dropped with no lawsuit filed.
Though he was demoralized by the turnout of Facemash, Zuckerberg was not giving up his dreams of making socialization easier.
Few years after the failure of Facemash, Zuckerberg bounced back up and began writing the code for his new program.
Zuckerberg clearly stated his intention as Creating a universal website that connects people. He named this program Thefacebook.com. After lots of hard work, he successfully created and launched the program together with his dorm roommate, Eduardo Saverin.
Once again, the program was a huge success and Harvard students welcomed the trend.
However, three days after Thefacebook was launched, three Harvard Seniors, The Winklevoss Twins (Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss) and their friend, Divya Narendra, confronted and accused Zuckerberg of building a successful site from deceiving them and stealing their idea.
The three seniors complained to the Harvard Crimson Newspaper. The newspaper investigated the case but found no fault with Zuckerberg. The case was resolved with no charges or lawsuit filed on anyone. Zuckerberg remained the known owner of Thefacebook.com.
Within few years after Thefacebook.com was launched, it attracted a larger number of users. As a result of the rapid increment in the usage of the site, a total of six different personnel and large companies in the likes of MTV, Yahoo, Viacom, Microsoft, etc, each tried the buy off the site from Zuckerberg at huge sum of money each (Microsoft offered $15 billion).
Despite Zuckerberg’s needs for fund and the enticing sum of money each company offered, Zuckerberg was well aware of the potentials in the site and hence, he turned down all the offer.
Thefacebook was then incorporated in February 2004, after which Zuckerberg’s informal advisor, Sean Parker, was elected the company’s president.
As a result of the site’s progress, the company decided to buy the full domain and drop the “The” from the site name. The company purchased the full domain, Facebook.com, in 2005, at the rate of $200,000. With the help of the little fund raised through advertising, Zuckerberg continued managing the cost of the site operations and maintenance together with Eduardo Saverin. However, a while later, an entrepreneur, Peter Thiel, came to Zuckerberg’s aid by buying 10.2% shares with the sum of $500,000. Thiel became the first outside investor in the promising social platform.
Facebook continued expanding across the globe afterward. It became a sensational app and grew into many households. Presently, other than a communication tool, Facebook offers a variety of services in the areas of entertainment, business, etc. The company keeps improving and making the usage of Facebook as convenient and effortless as possible.
As of 27th July 2016, the company announced a total of 1.71 billion Facebook users worldwide.
Zuckerberg stated in an interview that he’ll never quit upholding Facebook’s current status as the best social media in the world. He also stated that his current goal is to reach 5 billion users thereby making the world more transparent.
Zuckerberg received the Man Of The Year Award in 2010 as a result of his cherished invention (An award awarded yearly to men and women of great achievements worldwide).
What started as a common Hot or Not Game is what has grown to a global icon, Facebook.
Zuckerberg’s first successful program was shut down and his second was accused of piracy. However, he never gave in to the trials. He never gave up on his dreams. Zuckerberg’s persistence after the numerous trials and difficulties he encountered has made him a renowned programmer worldwide.
Failure is the foundation of success, and the means by which it is achieved. – Lao Tzu
Every big achievement has little beginnings just as every master was once a beginner. Ignore the challenges and focus on the big dreams. Regardless how difficult or tasking the path may get, never for a minute lose focus of your big dreams. Never throw in the towel. Fight with all your might. Just then, you’ll become absolutely unstoppable.
You’ll become absolutely unstoppable. Goodluck!
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