So today we’re gonna be talking about the man behind the most popular social media platform on earth that boasts of a bone chilling 1 billion monthly users, yes that right, I’m talking non other than the famous Mark Zuckerberg.
But whichever way you’ve thought or imagined him, it doesn’t matter because today we’re gonna be clearing the air and telling you everything you need to know about how Facebook came to be and how Mark Zuckerberg achieved success.
Mark Zuckerberg Childhood
So let start by saying that his full name is Mark Eliot Zuckerberg and he was born on the 14 of May, 1984. Mark Zuckerberg is the second child of Edward Zuckerberg and Karen Zuckerberg.
Mark was actually the only son among their four children and his father was a dentist while his mom was a psychiatrist. Mark grew up living in the suburbs of New York.
Mark first programming language was Atari which was taught to him by his father, and he was 12 he built a messenger using the Atari. He called it the “ZuckNet” and what it does is that it connects all the computers from his father’s office and their house together.
This allowed the transfer of files from the house to the office. His father father installed the messenger on his PC at his office which allowed his receptionist call him whenever a patient arrived.
Mark also spent most of his time developing communication tools and games which he said was what he does for fun.
Mark’s father saw he was doing really well at programming and decided to hire a computer tutor to teach Mark private lessons on programming.
Mark’s creation didn’t end there, while the average high school student would be bothered about getting into the football team or getting his first kiss from a girl, Mark built an artificial intelligent media player which he called Synapse.
Synapse is an MP3-player that learns or studies the preference of it user and uses that information to generate playlists containing songs the user would wanna listen to.
It was also during that period that Mark created a program that helped students in choosing their subjects based on the list of other courses from other users. (I know, he was a code freak then)
FaceMash And The Story Behind It
So fast-forwad to one year later in 2003, Mark was suffering from insomnia (inability to sleep) and then an idea came to him, a site called FaceMash.
Actually FaceMash was just a site for fun and what it does is it takes two photos of female Students and put them next to each other asking other users to vote who was hotter.
FaceMash experienced insane traffic with more and more people loving the site. Most Harvard student visited the site to vote which girl was hotter and when the number of visitors exceeded expectations, which then led to the server crashing.
Although no one commended his creation, not even a “good job“, Mark faced disciplinary actions and since then he learnt that such things could cause some serious chaos.
Facebook Was Born
Divya Narendra said instead of hacking the database, he was gonna use the Harvard email address as the main username.
Divya partnered with Tyler Winklevoss and Cameron Winklevoss (what a name!) Who were twins and sons of a wealthy financial consultant.
Narendra also contacted Mark Zuckerberg and told him that the project which he called the Harvard connection was gonna let it users share photos, links and personal info on the internet.
He asked Mark to write the code for the site and also create a source code that would hasten the system and get it up and running as fast as possible.
Mark worked with them on the project for while before finally he got an idea that would be perfect for his own social network which he was working on with one Eduardo Saverin. (Is that being clever or what?)
The domain name was registered on the 4th of February 2004 as TheFacebook.com which we now know as Facebook.com and it worked only within the Harvard campus.
Facebook Was getting so much traffic that Mark Zuckerberg decided that he couldn’t do it alone and he needed the assistance of more programmers.
Zuckerberg’s neighbor, Darren Moskowitz came on board and he was the one who introduced Facebook to students at the Columbia university, Stanford and Yale.
Fast forward a little after Facebook’s IPO, the company saw some outstanding success and Mark Zuckerberg owned a massive 60% of shares in the company, while Eduardo controlled 35% and Moskowitz had a little 5%.
By this time the social network was open to all students both in and outside Harvard, the only criteria to register on the platform was the availability of an email with the .edu extension which indicates it was on the educational side.
Actually during that time, to get registered on Facebook you’re gonna fill an online form which needed a profile picture. And get this, if you put an avatar instead of a picture of you, your account was gonna be deleted.
Fast forward again, Facebook was growing so fast that it moved just beyond the educational sector and went far and wide. Then Mark decided it was time to begin looking for investors and the first was Peter Theil, one of the founders of PayPal.
Peter splashed Facebook with a whooping $500,000 which took Facebook to the next level and in just less than a year the social network registered over a million people.
Facebook needed more investors and that was when Accel partners came along, hitting Facebook with $12.7 million investment. Greylock also invested $27.5 million.
Facebook grew so large that it was used by almost every university in the United States and that was Mark decided to make the site accessible to the public.
After Mark made that announcement, Facebook blew and became the talk of the town with users connecting with friends they meet in real life.
Facebook grew and grew and finally when it hit 50 million users, the big dogs(tech companies) began to offer Zuckerberg insane amounts for him to sell the company.
It was even reported that Yahoo offered Zuckerberg a massive $900 million and guess what Mark said? He refused the offer. (I know, crazy right?)
Facebook in Court
So Facebook wasn’t all that good and stuff as it was involved in some series of scandal. Mark was accused by Divya and the Winklevoss twins of stealing their idea.
According to them, they claim that they hired Mark Zuckerberg to work on the HarvardConnection.com project but instead of mark reporting to them, he stole their source code and went on to create Facebook.
Narendra and the Winklevoss twins went on to launch their own social network to rival Facebook, it was called ConnectU. Mark Zuckerberg in his defense provided the code he wrote for the HarvardConnection.com and said that it had nothing similar to that of Facebook.
They went on to file a lawsuit against Zuckerberg and his company but their claim got rejected by the court but these guys are not ready to give up. They filed another lawsuit and this time the court actually looked at the source code but it was still not clear if it was stolen.
In 2009 Mark Zuckerberg agreed to pay $45 million to ConnectU as part of the court settlement. It was reported that he paid $20 million in cash and the others were paid with shares.
After that was done, all charges against Facebook was cleared and at that time ConnectU was boasting of just less than 100,000 users while Facebook was bragging of 150 million users. (That a slam dunk by Facebook to ConnectU).
But just when everyone thought the whole case had died, the Winklevoss twins went on and filed another petition in the U.S court of appeal, but the court denied them a retrial.
The reason why the court denied them a retrial was because of the parties settlement agreement which states that after the documents has been signed, no party has the right to file a law suit again.
But the Winklevoss twins don’t take no for an answer as they went on to file another law suit on May 17, 2011.
Bill Gates Wants In On Facebook
So in 2007 Microsoft splashed a record $240 million on Facebook to acquire 1.6% equity stake. At that time Facebook’s revenue was around $200 million per year but after Microsoft’s acquisition, Facebook valuation jumped to $15 Billion.
It was after the deal was done that Microsoft CEO Bill Gates opened his Facebook account.
Facebook Revenue Stream
Facebook made most of it earnings through contextual ads on it pages, they also turned the time each user spends on the platform into revenue.
Facebook made almost 85% of it revenue through it contextual ads while the remaining 15% is said to be made through deductions gotten from payments made through the platform.
In 2013 Facebook had an idea of a way to generate more income, it was through direct messaging. They are said to be testing a new service that charges you $1 for every message you send to someone that not in your friends list.
But they said that some of this people are worth more that $1 and therefore the price is gonna vary for different people. Mind you, this service was just a test.
Facebook Acquires Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus
Mark Zuckerberg has been known to be a very smart strategist as he usually knows which company to acquire and when to acquire them.
Like that wasn’t enough, in October 2014 Facebook sealed the deal to acquire instant messaging app, WhatsApp for a record $22 billion. Facebook paid them $4.59 billion in cash and 177,760,669 shares in the company. (Wow…)
Mark Zuckerberg is Time’s 2010 Person Of The Year
Mark Zuckerberg was named the Person of the Year in 2010 by TIME magazine which had the likes of James Cameron and Lady Gaga completing for that same spot.
According to TIME editor-in-chief, Richard Stengel “Today, Facebook is the third largest country in the world that knows about its citizens as much as no government on the planet does.”(wow…that some deep stuff)
TIME said that Mark Zuckerberg made so much impact in the world than anyone else did that year. He was so popular at that time that they made a movie about him called “The social network”
Mark Zuckerberg Lifestyle
Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan announced their first child Maxima Chan Zuckerberg, on December 1st of 2015. They also wrote a letter to her (maxima) and it reads “Max, we love you and feel a great responsibility to leave the world a better place for you and all children.”(I know, weird right, a letter to a baby)
On the 28th of August they announced their second daughter, August Chan Zuckerberg. Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan have pledged 99% of their share in Facebook which is worth about $46 billion to help humanity through the Chan Zuckerberg initiative.
So there you have it, how Mark Zuckerberg went from just being a college nerd in love with programming to a guy who owns houses worth over $7 million.
Do you think Mark Zuckerberg did the right thing by pulling out from the Narendra team and would you say he stole their idea? Let us know your opinion down in the comment section.