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1. Mark Zuckerberg, Founder of Facebook, Was Born (°1984) As A Software Prodigy
When Mark Elliot Zuckerberg (born on 14 May, 1984) was young, he began writing software for fun. His tutor believed him to be a prodigy. When he was older, he founded Facebook, the world famous social networking site. Now the CEO of Facebook Inc., Zuckerberg’s personal and company mission is to ‘make the world more open and connected’ (photo courtesy: Time/Fb).
2. Launch of Facebook In Harvard
As most great inventions have a unique birthplace, Facebook was launched in Zuckerberg’s dorm room at Harvard. With his friends’ help (including Chris Hughes and Dustin Moskovitz), he spread Facebook to other campuses. As his invention’s success spread, the group needed more space to operate. They later moved to a house in California.
3. Mark Not A Big Fan Of The Movie ‘The Social Network’
In 2010, Zuckerberg’s name made the 100 wealthiest and most influential people in the world list by Time magazine. As he was gaining popularity, his story became an increasingly attractive idea for a film. In 2010, a fictionalized version of Mark Zuckerberg’s life was made into a movie, The Social Network. Mark Zuckerberg did not really like how he was portrayed in the film. Mark Zuckerberg is someone who prefers to stick to the facts when it comes to the founding and historical growth of his company.
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Video: Interview In 2009
4. The Facemash Incident
Facebook had a humble beginning. Mark Zuckerberg’s college roommate, Arie Hasit, says, “He built a site Facemash for fun.” On Facemash, Harvard and other students living in dorms were compared and visitors were asked to rate which one was ‘hotter’. The university shut down Facemash because the overwhelming usage of the site was “too much for Harvard’s network” (at least, that is how the incident was reported in the movie The Social Network).
5. Mark Zuckerberg Dropped Out Of University To Grow Thefacebook.com
For most people, getting into Harvard would be the chance of a lifetime. Thus, one would find it highly unlikely to want to drop out. Not in Zuckerberg’s case. He dropped out of Harvard in his sophomore year 2004 to complete his project Thefacebook. Mark Zuckerberg registered Thefacebook.com on 1 January 2004. In 2005, he purchased the domain name Facebook.com for $200,000. In 2010, Facebook went on to buy the much shorter Fb.com from the American Farm Bureau Federation (now residing at Fb.org) for internal use (for example, for Facebook employees’ email addresses). Facebook paid $8.5 million to acquire Fb.com. The two-letter word FB is also the ticker on NASDAQ of Facebook, Inc.
Video: Interview In 2004
6. The $65 Million Settlement With The Winklevoss Twins
By 2007, Facebook had turned Mark Zuckerberg the prodigy into a young billionaire. By 2010, Facebook had over 500 million users worldwide, and would reach 1 billion by 2012. Previous Harvard classmates, the Winklevoss twins, claimed that Zuckerberg had stolen their idea for the website. The legal dispute was finally put to rest in 2011 with a $65 million settlement (photo: Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times).
7. Facebook: Relationship With Google & Apple
Mark Zuckerberg admits that Facebook does not have a very cordial relationship with Google. Google CEO Larry Page publicly criticized Facebook, stating in Wired it had done “a really bad job” with their products. “Our relationship with Google isn’t one where the companies really talk.” In a public Facebook post in March 2013, however, Mark Zuckerberg commented the following a note from a user: “Android is getting a lot better. I like my S3 and Note 2 and I’m excited to try out the S4 when it comes out later in April.” Facebook and Apple seem to be working out their business relationship quite well. “They’ve been a great partner for us so far and we’re really excited about doing more there and people enjoy the integration that we have with them.”
8. The Privacy Incident Of Randi Zuckerberg
Facebook’s privacy settings have been a bit of a hassle for many of its users. Randi Zuckerberg, Mark’s older sister, fell prey to the complications of privacy settings on her Facebook account in 2012. She had posted a private picture of her family on Facebook, which went public in seconds and was found on Twitter, another social networking site, within minutes. The issue was quickly resolved, but not before the picture went viral.
9. Donation Of US$ 100 million to Newark Public Schools
In 2010, close to the time when his movie was to be released, he donated US$ 100 million to Newark Public Schools in New Jersey. He was criticized for this move, as people thought he was doing it as a publicity stunt. In reality, he knew this would happen and had wanted to donate the money anonymously. It was after the mayor and governor of Newark and New Jersey respectively insisted that he announce his donation that Mark Zuckerberg made it public. He announced his contribution on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
10. Mark Signed The Giving Pledge: Will Donate 50% Of His Wealth
Zuckerberg is certainly not worried about his financial future. In 2010, along with Bill gates and Warren Buffet, he signed the Giving Pledge. The pledge meant that they promised to donate 50% or more of their wealth to charity over the course of their lifetime.
11. Married With Priscilla Chan In 2012
Before dropping out of Harvard, Zuckerberg met Priscilla Chan at a fraternity party and the two began dating in 2003. In September 2010, Chan moved in with Zuckerberg at his California house. After 9 years of dating, the couple finally got married in 2012, at their California home. To keep the event a secret, they told outsiders that it was a graduation party for Priscilla.
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12. One Challenge, Every Year
In 2011, Zuckerberg challenged himself to only eat meat that he had killed. He stated that he wanted to be closer to the food that he ate. This challenge is one of the many Zuckerberg has been setting for himself every year. In 2009, he had to wear a tie every morning. In 2010, he studied Mandarin each day. In 2012, he decided to spend time programming every day (photo courtesy: shinyai).
13. Facebook Is Blue Because Mark Is Red-Green Colorblind
In an interview on a late night Russian television show, Zuckerberg explained why the Facebook interface is mainly blue. He is red-green colorblind and blue is the clear that he sees best: “Blue is the richest color for me – I can see all of blue”. Needless to say, the blue color of Facebook is easy on everyone’s eyes.
14. $5.95 Million Home In Palo Alto, California
Mark Zuckerberg’s house in Palo Alto, California is worth $5.95 million. He pays practically nothing for living there. He recently refinanced his house with an adjustable loan starting at 1.05%. His bank, First Republic, offered him this unique rate because of his well secured assets. There certainly are perks of being one of the richest persons in the world.
According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Mark Zuckerberg and wife rank #2 on the philanthropy list of 2012 with a net worth of US$ 9.4 billion. They donated 18 million Facebook shares worth US$ 498.9 million to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which funds health and education programs. As part of this, Mark Zuckerberg is supporting computer education, and appeared (together with other tech leaders) in a unique video for Code.org that quickly went viral.
Video: Code.org In 2013
16. The Unique Success Of Facebook
Facebook has become the most popular and widely used social networking site. It is the second most used website in the US, with Google being the most used. In 2009 after Michael Jackson died, his page became the most ‘liked’ on Facebook, surpassing the previous most popular person on Facebook, US President Barack Obama.
The young billionaire tends to dress comfortably everywhere he goes. He wears rubber sandals to board meetings. Of course, he cannot fire himself, so he gets away with it. His flattering sense of fashion is well known, with his favorite outfit being a Hoodie with jeans and sneakers. ‘I mean, I wear the same thing every day, right?’ says Zuckerberg, admitting to owning 20 of the same gray T-shirts he is seen in the most often.
18. No TV At Home
Zuckerberg spends most of his time on his computer. Zuckerberg does not own a television and does not plan on owning one. He does enjoy spending time outdoors with his dog, playing tennis, or practicing his fencing. In high school, he was quite the fencing champion.
19. The Wedding Ring For Priscilla Chan
Mark Zuckerberg does not just design software. He designed his wife’s wedding ring, a ruby with two small diamonds on either side. It is said to be valued at US$ 25, 000 and Zuckerberg has been criticized for opting for such a ‘cheap’ wedding ring. The Daily Mail newspaper said the ring was not something one would expect from a billionaire.
20. Balancing Work & Personal Life
Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla have made an agreement with one another about how to balance work and personal life. Being quite specific, Priscilla has asked that she and Mark spend a minimum of 100 minutes together in one week, as well as one date night per week. The couple must also go on a two-week vacation each year.
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