A Short History of Mark Zuckerberg
A Short Biography
On May 14th, 1984, Mark Zuckerberg was born in the small White Plains town, in New York. He was the fourth child of Karen Kempner and Edward Zuckerberg, who already had three girls. This was how all began… Currently, Mark is only 32 and his net worth by the year 2019 was estimated at $64 billion. But the fact that he is one of the youngest billionaires is the less interesting one. The cool stuff here is actually his startup story, telling how a kid became the founder and later the CEO of one of the most influential websites on Earth. Below is the amazing story of this young entrepreneur and his creation – Facebook Inc.
Mark began writing software and using computers when he was in middle school. His coding experience began with learning Atari basic programming, with the help of his father Edward Zuckerberg, who initially introduced the computer language to the young boy when he was just 6. Mark was learning so fast, that later daddy needed to hire a professional developer to tutor him. David Newman was the man, who was given the task to mentor the young Mark. It was a tough task for the teacher because the student was developing his skills so quickly, that Newman experienced serious difficulties to stay ahead of him. At high school Mark excelled in his classes he won prizes in astronomy, physics, and mathematics. While he was still in high school, he took a college graduate program in computer programming. He built a program called Zucknet where the computer at home could communicate with his father’s computer at his dental practice. He also used his creativity to build computer games often out of ideas his friends would draw for him. Under the name ‘Intelligent Media group’ Mark created a smart music player called “Synapse Media Player” that utilized machine learning to remember and then guess the user’s listening habits and preferences.
When he eventually went to go to college, he claimed to be able to read and write in Latin, French, Hebrew, English, and Greek. His overall knowledge and intelligence helped him excel at college, where he would often recite poems such as the epic ‘The Iliad’.
In college (The Harvard University) he was already known as a “programming prodigy” due to the work he had done in high school. There he wrote a program he called CourseMatch that helped students make decisions about the courses they wanted to take based upon the choices of others.
At Harvard, the students had books called “Facebooks.” They had the pictures and names of people that lived in the student dorms. Mark build a website that randomly showed two pictures of males and two of females on it. People that visited the site had to choose which person was hotter. This site went up over one weekend and it was called Facemash (actually this was the first name of Facebook). It was built ‘just for fun’ but it became so popular, that the college shut it down because of its popularity. First, it caused Harvard’s servers to crash (because of the heavy load it caused) and this caused problems for the students, who wanted to use the Internet for studying. Also, some of them didn’t like the idea of their pictures being used without permission and Zuckerberg was forced to publicly apologize for his actions. Facemash was labeled ‘completely improper’ in the articles that followed in the students’ newspaper.
Here Facebook Comes
In 2004 he began writing a new website which he called TheFacebook , working on thefacebook.com domain (the second name of the network). He had several students helping him with TheFacebook including Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Chris Hughes and Dustin Moskovitz, who are actually the other 4 co-founders of the site. The site was initially just a Harvard site but soon expanded to other colleges and universities. Mark and friends decided to spread the idea and many other universities were included in the network. The social project started gaining momentum really fast and Zuckerberg decided to drop out of college and dedicate his time entirely to the site. He and his team moved to a small house in Palo Alto, which became the office of the young enterprise.
Just a couple of days after TheFacebook was released, the Winklevoss brothers (Cameron and Tyler) and Divya Narendra accused Mark in fraudulent activities and in stealing the Facesmash idea from them while promising the three seniors to help them with the realization of a project called ‘HarvardConnection.com’. This later led to a trial in court in which the Winklevoss brothers won and receive $65 million in compensation (1.2 million Facebook shares).
By 2005 “TheFacebook” was known just like Facebook. The site opened up to anyone over age 13 in 2006. By 2007 the site had over 100,000 businesses listing their companies on Facebook and creating pages. By 2011 it became the largest digital photograph host and had over 350 million accessing the site over mobile phones.
On May 18th, 2012 Facebook made its IPO (initial public offering), offering 421 million shares to private investors at the price of $38. This set the value of the whole company at $104 billion, which made Facebook the biggest business going public till then. Almost everybody wanted to buy a piece of the booming social miracle, so rising almost $16 billion from the market was like a walk in the park. However, things didn’t go well for investors. Just two weeks after the IPO, the market price of the shares fell dramatically by 27% to $27.72 per share. During the next months the price even further, reaching level around $ 19. All this didn’t make investors really happy, some of whom lost around 50% of their investments for a few months. More than 40 lawsuits were filed the first week after the IPO. The price has recovered in 2013 and currently, it’s around $41.
Mark Zuckerberg was named to the 100 wealthiest and most influential people in the world list put out by Time magazine in 2010. Zuckerberg, who is also Jewish, is listed as one of the most influential Jews in the world as well. His net worth is estimated at $54.78 billion in 2016 and currently, he is the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of the social company. There is no doubt that Facebook has changed the way we communicate online and today it remains a very popular site thanks to this young entrepreneur.
The Social Network Movie
If you like movies and at the same time you want to learn many more cool things about Facebook’s story, we strongly recommend watching ‘The Social Network’ movie. It’s totally dedicated to the foundation of Facebook and explains in a great way many details about the birth of the social site and its early development. You can find more information about it on IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1285016/ . It’s an amazing watch for everyone, don’t miss it.
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