Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, has an ambitious vision for his company. He wants to build a future where people can share anything they want. The more you know about him and how he started this company, the better prepared you will be to work with him on your own business venture. Join us as we take a brief look at Mark’s life story so far and explore what it takes to build your business with the wizard of Facebook!
Mark Zuckerberg was born in White Plains, New York on May 14, 1984. He was raised in a middle-class family in Dobbs Ferry, NY which is just 25 miles away from the Big Apple (NYC). When he was 10 years old his father Edward started Option International Group – an importing company that specializes in bringing Chinese goods to North America. After graduating from Philips Exeter Academy in 2002, Mark attended Harvard University where he studied computer science. He lived in Kirkland House for his Freshman year and then moved to New Quincy House during the rest of his stay at Harvard. During his sophomore year at college, Mark was known as one of the best programmers among students which is why he was asked to be a part of the development team for an instant messaging program Synaps which had the ability to automatically learn how to filter spam messages. Mark also made some extra money on the side by working as a tech support person for both Connect and Napster. He had a tattoo of the word Napster on his lower back.
During the summer of 2004, Mark grew tired of using text-based commands to navigate through different programs on your computer so he decided to create a graphical user interface that would make the use of computers much easier for people who are not tech savvy. As fate would have it, several computer science students from
the Harvard University decided to work for free on this project which ended up being known as Facebook.
The original purpose of this site was to provide the Harvard students with a faster method of communicating with each other without having to go through all those annoying spam messages on AOL or Yahoo chat rooms. This on-campus social network allowed people who attended the same college to create profiles, upload pictures and communicate with each other via different forums. The whole point of the site was to make online communication easier while avoiding spam messages.
The first version of Facebook was launched in February 2004 while its official launch date is considered to be late January 4th, 2005 when Mark Zuckerberg opened it up for all college students around the world. He was still an undergraduate at that time and he even skipped his classes when the site became more popular than he expected.
Mark Zuckerberg didn’t bother to register Facebook as a business because he initially considered it to be nothing more than a social experiment designed to make communication easier for students. The site quickly gained in popularity due to the fact that it allowed people to share photos, messages and links with other students. Mark decided to promote Facebook by setting up an account at the popular social networking site known as My Space. He also registered a group there that was supposed to be used for promoting his new site called The Facebook.
By the time Facebook reached 2 million active users in December 2005, Mark decided to drop out of Harvard and move to Silicon Valley in order to work on his business full-time. The campus social network continued growing at a steady pace and by the end of April 2006, the number of Facebook users reached 8.5 million. Later that year, major services such as Fox Interactive Media (The New York Times), Microsoft and Yahoo decided to pay between $240 million and $750 million in order to buy Facebook.
The Campus social network was finally rebranded as just plain old Facebook on September 26, 2006, three months after the initial public offering (IPO). By that time, there were more than 12 million active users and even though the company has been showing steady revenue growth ever since it was established, there were a couple of setbacks that forced Mark Zuckerberg to reconsider his plans for the company’s future.
In May 2009, Facebook CEO decided to take full control over the site after he bought out his partners who initially owned 25% of this company.