Education: Bachelors in Computer Science (Dropped Out)
College: Harvard University
Previous Career: None
2. Origin Story
Mark Zuckerberg's background story is a much-popularised one. A young prodigy, Zuckerberg had a knack for working with computers. During his time at Harvard University, he soon came to be known as a go-to software developer. In his sophomore year, he built FaceMash, which was based on the concept of 'Hot' or 'Not' - the user was shown pictures of two students from the university and asked to choose the more attractive of the two. Even though it was shut down by the Harvard administration a few days later, the initial traction it got - 450 visitors and 22,000 photo-views in the first four hours - was something that got Zuckerberg excited, and he continued to build upon this project. He created a social study tool where he uploaded art images, and allowed students to add their comments and share notes. Mark Zuckerberg's status as a developer and acumen for launching great products got the attention of Harvard seniors Divya Narendra and Cameron & Tyler Winklevoss. The trio were planning to build a social networking site for Harvard students, and convinced Zuckerberg to join their team.
In 2003, Harvard did not have a universal "facebook". They had a paper version and an online repository that contained student photos & personal information of students staying in a particular dorm. "Everyone's been talking a lot about a universal face book within Harvard. I think it's kind of silly that it would take the University a couple of years to get around to it. I can do it better than they can, and I can do it in a week", said Zuckerberg to The Harvard Crimson. In January 2004, Mark Zuckerberg launched "The Facebook", inspired by a Crimson editorial about Facemash, stating, "It is clear that the technology needed to create a centralized website is readily available ... the benefits are many". With an investment of ~$2000, along with Harvard fellow students Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes and Eduardo Saverin, he built The Facebook from his dorm. This was the same time when Zuckerberg was working in parallel for HarvardConnection.com.
The site was launched as The Facebook on February 4, 2004, and later morphed to Facebook after the domain facebook.com was acquired for US $200,000.
3. Other interesting points
- At the age of 12, Mark Zuckerberg used Atari BASIC to create a messaging program he named "Zucknet". It allowed all the computers between the house and his father's dental office to communicate with each other. Also, his family used Zucknet to communicate within the house.
- Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg's background story has been portrayed in the 2010 film 'The Social Network'.
"I think a simple rule of business is, if you do the things that are easier first, then you can actually make a lot of progress." - Mark Zuckerberg