The second youngest billionaire of the world and chief executive officer of Facebook, Mark Zuckerburg is truly an inspiration for future generation of entrepreneurs. Here is his story of great success that began in a dorm room and encompassed the world due to utter talent and brilliant mind work.
Mark Zuckerburg, the man who owns world’s most sought after social networking website was born on 14th May 1984 in White Plains, New York to Edward Zuckerburg, a dentist and Karen, a psychiatrist. As a child prodigy, most of his time was spent with computers and creating software. He learned the ATARI basic programming from his father and later used it to make ‘ZuckNet’; a software that linked all the computers of his house and his father’s dental clinic by pinging. He had an outstanding mind even when he was little as quoted precisely by writer Jose Antonio Vargas “some kids played computer games. Mark created them”.
When Mark was in high school he developed a music player that worked on artificial intelligence; the ‘Synapse Media Player’ could pick up its user’s listening habits. Microsoft and AOL were interested in purchasing this player but Zuckerburg refused and instead opted to enroll in Harvard University in 2002 where he studied computer science and psychology. While at Harvard he wrote various softwares namely ‘Facemash’, a program in which the students could vote who was better looking. This was shut down on the grounds of privacy protection and being totally ‘improper’. Zuckerburg dropped out of Harvard during his sophomore year to devote all his time and energy to the project that he had initiated.
Facebook was born in Harvard and was initially just a university ‘thing’ but Mark wanted it to extend to other universities. From Dartmouth, Stanford to Cornell, Penn and Brown, Facebook started spreading rapidly. To follow his dream Mark moved to Palo Alto, California along with some close friends, where they laid the solid foundations of Facebook. After huge investments from Peter Thiel and venture capital firm ‘Accel Partners’, the social network was able to cross the boundaries of the ivy league schools. By December 2005 Facebook had almost 6 million users worldwide.
Mark became the world’s youngest billionaire at the age of 24 and the 35th richest American. By 2010 Facebook users had increased to 500 million. Facebook debuted on the NASDAQ stock exchange at 38 dollars per share and a market capitalization of 104 billion dollars making it one of the largest companies in the Silicon Valley and the world.
Mark’s thriving career faced many legal setbacks that included several lawsuits and claims regarding Facebook. Mark faced these with determination and although he had to pay heavy amounts of settlement money, none of the controversies affected his accomplishments.
Chosen as the ‘Time’ person of the year in 2010, the billionaire never faltered due to any hurdle and continues to introduce innovations to his brainchild, the Facebook, which is continually becoming more popular with the passage of time.
He is also very happy in his personal life having recently wed his long term girlfriend; Priscilla Chan. Mark is a generous donor to many charities. He has signed the ‘Giving Pledge’ an initiative that takes promises from the word’s billionaires to donate half of their wealth to charities during or after their life.