In March 2008, Mark Zuckerberg reached an honorable 785th place on Forbes list of The World’s Billionaires. His neighbors on the list were Chinese tycoon Zhang Keqiang and Turkish hotelier Ali Ibrahim Agaoglu. At that time, his fortune was $ 1.5 billion.
Two years later, Zuckerberg became the youngest billionaire on the list. His fortune reached $ 4 billion. In September of the same year, Mark took 29th place on the Forbes list. Two months later, Facebook founder became Time Person of the Year. At the time of publication, Zuckerberg’s net worth exceeded $40 billion.
Dizzying success. Is he from Earth?
We know for sure that Mark Zuckerberg was born in 1984, in a family of a psychiatrist and dentist. In high school, he showed a passion for programming and computer science. When Mark entered Harvard he already had a reputation of a programming prodigy. At the University he studied computer science and psychology.
It sounds like he’s just a human, not an alien. Let’s find out what are Mark’s success secrets.
Harvard played a big role in the Facebook foundation. Right here, in a small dormitory room, a $ thousand billion idea was born. In 2003, Zuckerberg hacked Harvard’s database and launched Facemash. Mark created this site just for fun and was a “hot or not” game for the students. Everyone was able to compare two female or male students and vote for the hot one. A legend says it was a revenge on Mark’s ex-girlfriend.
A few hours later, the network of the entrepreneurial student was urgently closed, and he received a harsh reprimand from the leadership of the university. However, punishments from teachers could no longer hold Mark. Six months later Zuckerberg launched Thefacebook.com — the initial version of the world’s biggest social network which surpasses all the existing ones.
Earlier, Mark Zuckerberg was invited to work on a ConnectU project as a developer. ConnectU was a social network for Harvard students. The idea of this site belonged to Divya Narendra and Winklevoss brothers.
The joint work didn’t work out, so Mark broke up with colleagues and officially registered the Facebook.com domain, which became his gold mine.
The new Bill Gates would have to pass the condemnation of the old partners on his road to success. 3 months after the launch, Facebook ceased to be a site for just Harvard students and boasted 200 thousand users from the most prestigious US universities.
Mark left Harvard and managed to attract investments from big fish. Such “monsters” as Apple, JPMorgan Chase, Southwest Airlines, and Microsoft were main Facebook’s advertisers and investors. They provided the company with a steadily growing revenue of about $100,000,000.
It helped Facebook to go beyond the US borders at an extremely fast pace. Advertising profit began to increase at indecent speeds for such a young company. Mark just continued laughing in response to the attacks of his former friends.
The quicker Mark’s project was gaining momentum, the fewer university mates remained in his team. Some left the project on their own, while the others were “fired” by Mark himself.
A Billion Company
Many have tried to take a bite of the Facebook pie, but Mark was refusing even the most advantageous deals. In 2006 Yahoo offered Zuckerberg to purchase Facebook for $ 1,000,000,000. Naturally, he refused the deal.
Numerous online business guru and analysts were predicting an imminent decline in Facebook’s popularity and suggesting Mark sell his brainchild. Nevertheless, the youngest World’s billionaire continued to run business by his own rules. He didn’t pay any attention to the attacks of his former colleagues and skeptics.
The eccentric Harvard nerd could be blamed for almost everything except the lack of business acumen. Mark bravely makes enemies and deals with them in a very rough way.
At the moment, Facebook is one of the most visited websites that bring astronomical profit to its shareholders. Mark’s enemies call him an “autistic mumbler” who has stolen the idea of a social network from Harvard mates or a prudent businessman with an “unhealthy gleam in his eyes”. The rest consider him as a genius and it’s hard to argue with that.
Attacks of former colleagues, skeptics and haters weren’t the only things Zuckerberg had to cope with. Over the past few years, Facebook got in a string of scandals. Facebook – Cambridge Analytica data scandal was so big that Zuckerberg testified in front of Congress.
Political analysis harvested data of 87 million users via a Facebook app. In 2016, Cambridge Analytica was working with Donald Trump, building voter profile before the Presidential Election. The revelation caused a backlash in Washington as politicians demanded Zuckerberg to testify in front of Congress. After a period of silence, the Facebook founder agreed to testify. Zuckerberg publicly apologized for the data breach: “It was my mistake, and I’m sorry. I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here”.
Cambridge Analytica became defunct on 1 May 2018. Nevertheless, the firm’s former employees have been working for President Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election.
Retaining Deleted Videos
To smooth out the effects of the Cambridge Analytica case, Facebook allowed its users to download all their personal data. It should have helped people to know what data Facebook stores. However, it called a public outcry as videos people thought had been deleted were still in Facebook’s archives.
Facebook apologies for the video retention and called it a bug.
Russia Meddling Presidential Election
It was one of the dominating stories of the 2016 Presidential Election. Facebook was accused of allowing Russian propaganda to spread across the social network. In 2017, Facebook admitted that fake Russian accounts spent more than $ 100,000 on Facebook Ads. The U.S. intelligence agencies were claiming that it influenced the results of the election in favor of Donald Trump. Moreover, Facebook was accused of “fake news” distribution targeted at Hillary Clinton.
Zuckerberg’s Messages Deletion
Facebook users couldn’t delete their messages from an inbox. The only user who could do it was Mark Zuckerberg. TechCrunch reviewed old messages between resource and Zuckerberg and found out that some of his messages were deleted. Facebook said it was just a corporate security measure.
This was the only question, why Facebook never told about these measures. After the accident, Facebook said that it would make this function available for all users. Moreover, Zuckerberg was barred from using the feature until everyone could use it.
Photo And Link Scans
According to Bloomberg, Facebook scans sent photos and links via Messenger. The social network scans links for malware and viruses, photos for child exploitation imagery. That how Facebook explained it. Sounds good in theory, nevertheless, it raises more data privacy and security issues.
Zuckerberg’s Current Projects
Aquila is a project that develops drones for transmitting Internet signals.
The tests are completed and Facebook plans to launch the production of Aquila drones. The devices will fly over rural areas, the outskirts of big cities, and natural disaster areas. The company plans to involve State governments and major telecom operators around the world in this program.
Deploying the Terragraph System
In 2016, Facebook introduced the Terragraph project – a multi-node wireless system that is designed to provide residents with stable Internet access in densely populated cities. Zuckerberg states that Terragraph will increase the bandwidth of existing fiber networks. He believes that, in the future, the ability to instantly download a large amount of information will become handy in such areas as virtual reality, real-time video sharing, and so on.
Free Basics Project
The Free Basics initiative, which allows people to access some Internet services without paying for network access, has already been launched in 42 countries. Over 25 million people have joined the project. The company also plans to enter new countries. Zuckerberg is interested in India as the first launch of Free Basics there failed due to regulatory issues. He said, “It’s a very important market. A billion people live in this country and don’t have access to the Internet.”
Despite his passion for programming, the Facebook founder was never limited to just one area of knowledge. Besides being perfect at math and science, he studied ancient languages, classical literature, and fencing. While studying at Harvard, Mark wanted to broaden his horizons, so he chose not only computer science but also psychology.
It’s hard to say whether it helped him to succeed with Facebook. Nevertheless, there’s one thing that is clear: it’s important to become an expert in your field. Moreover, it’s also important to understand that human life is significant, rich, beautiful, and multifaceted. Wrapping out the Mark Zuckerberg success story, we can draw the following conclusion: you need to move forward, love what you do, do what you love, and not set yourself any restrictions.
In September 2010, David Fincher shot “Social Network”, a movie about Zuckerberg’s success story and how he became the World’s youngest millionaire.