About Mark Zuckerberg

‘By giving people the power to share, we’re making the world more transparent.’

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“About Mark Zuckerberg”

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Business tycoon Mark Zuckerberg, most known for his contributions to the world of social networking through the creation of Facebook, initiated his imaginative spree in his father’s own dental office. Here, he used a programming language, known as Atari BASIC, at the age of 12 to create “Zucknet”, a messaging program; Zuckerberg, from the start of his journey to success, recognized his gift of bringing the world closer, and shared it with the world. As we journey through the network of Zuckerberg’s mind, we’ll begin to unearth his life before success, obstacles in his path, accomplishments, finishing off with his influence in the world.

Zuckerberg, born on May 14, 1984, in the town of White Plains, New York, into a comfortable, well-educated family, didn’t necessarily come from humble beginnings. Nevertheless, he refrained from allowing a sense of entitlement overshadow his true passion: computers. In addition to his first creation, Zucknet, together with his friends, he also created computer games just for fun. ‘I had a bunch of friends who were artists,’ he noted. ‘They’d come over, draw stuff, and I’d build a game out of it.’ To keep up with his burgeoning interest in computers, his parents hired private computer tutor David Newman to come to the house once a week and work with Zuckerberg. However, even the tutor himself claims that it was hard to stay ahead of the prodigy, who began taking graduate courses at nearby Mercy College around this same time. Zuckerberg later studied at Phillips Exeter Academy, an exclusive preparatory school in New Hampshire. While still in high school, he created an early version of the music software Pandora, which he called Synapse. Several companies, including AOL and Microsoft, expressed an interest in buying the software and hiring the teenager before graduation but he declined the offers.

The aspiring tech hotshot then proceeded to the college setting, where he enrolled in the prestigious Harvard University in 2002. By his sophomore year at the Ivy League institution, he had developed a reputation as the go-to software developer on campus. It was at that time that he built a program called CourseMatch, which helped students choose their classes based on the course selections of other users. He also invented Facemash, which compared the pictures of two students on campus and allowed users to vote on which one was more attractive. These minor landmarks in Zuckerberg’s progress foreshadowed the true marvel that he’d unveil in the next year to come. His first dabble in the area of social networking was when three of his fellow students, Divya Narendra, and twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, sought him out to work on an idea for a social networking site they called Harvard Connection, a dating site for the Harvard elite. Zuckerberg agrees to provide some assistance to the project’s cause but soon dropped out to further his own project: Facebook. From the time he was a toddler to when he began hacking together chat networks as a young adult, Zuckerberg has always noted the actions and lifestyle of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, pointing out that says seeing Gates succeed as a technology entrepreneur served as a powerful example for him. As his developments in Facebook came to fruition, “[he] admired how Microsoft was mission-focused. It was a company that had a clear social goal … They thought that computers were gonna be valuable, and having that become ubiquitous” (Vox: Kara Swisher). This ideology of focus learned through Gates, while it had its motivations and allowed Facebook to initiate its growth into the ultimate powerhouse of today.

Zuckerberg, along with his friends Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes and Eduardo Saverin finally breathed life into the business tycoon’s lifelong accomplishment through the creation of The Facebook, as it was known on February 4, 2004. The literally million-dollar-idea allowed users to create their own profiles, upload photos, and communicate with other users. The site ran out of the students’ dorm room at the Havard campus until June of 2004 when Zuckerberg dropped out of college and moved the company to Palo Alto, California; by the end of that year, Facebook had 1 million users. In 2005, Zuckerberg’s enterprise received a huge boost from the venture capital firm Accel Partners. Accel invested $12.7 million into the network, which at the time was open only to Ivy League students. The company then granted access to other colleges, high school, and international schools, pushing the site’s membership to more than 5.5 million users by December 2005. Due to the massive gain in popularity, Facebook soon began attracting the attention of various other social sites that wanted to advertise their products and services on the platform. Not wanting to sell out, Zuckerberg turned down offers from companies such as Yahoo! and MTV Networks and, instead, focused on expanding the site, opening up his project to outside developers and adding more features.

Despite the company’s time of flourishment, the rising billionaire encountered those that opposed his vision. Like many people, Roger McNamee has recently come to believe that Facebook is, in his words, “terrible for America.” A longtime venture capitalist, he served as a mentor to a young Mark Zuckerberg, who was then agonizing about whether to sell his creation or keep running it himself. However, the issue here was that McNamee believed Facebook contained unchecked power was being transformed into a tool harmful actors could utilize for manipulating the platform to the detriment of its users. Specifically, he noticed that to get your attention, Facebook appeals to low-level emotions like outrage and fear and tickles consumers with rewards, such as notifications that are extremely habit-forming. For many people, that check Facebook two or three times a day for periods of years, habits become addictions, making them vulnerable to manipulation. This mindset behind anti-Facebook activists became even more commonplace when, in 2006, Zuckerberg faced his first substantial hurdle: the creators of Harvard Connection claimed that Zuckerberg stole their idea, and insisted the software developer needed to pay for their business losses. Zuckerberg maintained that the ideas were based on two very different types of social networks and later apologized for the incriminating accusations, but was met with yet another hurdle in his path with critics claiming the business mogul was involved in the proliferation of fake news posts on his site leading up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Zuckerberg came under fire again a few months later when it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica, a data firm with ties to President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, had used private information from approximately 87 million Facebook profiles without the social network alerting its owners. This unfortunate revelation struck quite the dent in Facebook’s successes, as their shares dropped an astounding 15% after the incident. If these legal complications were not enough, These, among countless other privacy affairs in Facebook’s history, proved to be Zuckerberg’s darkest hours while running his company, but as spoken by Ada Adams, “There is a light at the end of every tunnel.”     

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About Mark Zuckerberg. (2021, Jun 30). Retrieved January 29, 2023 , from

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