How Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, Built a Giant Company from Nothing

21 Feb

Today, people have learnt to describe Facebook as the third largest country in the world after China and India.

Facebook CEO and co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg

First, let’s get closer to the truth about Facebook …

One out of every 12 people on the earth, no matter what language he/she speaks, has a Facebook account and at least one out of two Americans has a Facebook account.

Presently, Facebook has over half a billion users and still counting.

It currently has more than 70 language translations available to its users, and over 70% of its users live outside the United States.

Also, it has been recounted that Facebook now grows at the rate of 700, 000 new users per day. In one month alone, people spend more than 700 billion minutes on Facebook.

Moreover, more than one million websites are already connected to Facebook, and over 150 million people visit Facebook through these sites.

What have people said about Facebook CEO and co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg?

Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has huge amount of fans. Some love him for his philanthropy, some for his ingenuity and others for his nature.

However, a few people have managed to berate and criticize his shy & awkward social manners.

In June 2010, Fast Company ran article on how he fumbled through a simple interview. They repeatedly mentioned his heavy perspiration during the interview session. In their words:

“it’s clear that Zuckerberg is a novice interviewee, possibly shaken by the recent scandal his company’s undergone. I’m not sure why he didn’t just plan out his answers beforehand–none of them are curveballs, and he could have had somebody write him out some nice, clean answers.”

Last year, Aaron Sorkin of West Wing laid out his own version of Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg in his movie ‘The Social Network’, where he was depicted as an unsocial, cunning person who is more concerned with taking the glory of Facebook success for himself alone.

Yet, Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg seems undaunted by these criticisms as he continues to make bigger strides in his business.

What You Should Know About Mark Zuckerberg before Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg began the little bubble that grew to become Facebook when he was still a teenager in 2003 (at 19 years of age).

Before he dropped out of Harvard to run his Facebook thing, he had ventured into a few rewarding technology-related activities though some quickly developed enemies.

For example, he almost got himself expelled from Harvard for encouraging students to rank their classmates’ looks on a website he developed, Facemash.

Once, Microsoft offered his partner and him a sum of about $1 million (that was turned down) for a web tool, Synapse, which automatically determines the preferences of its user and helps people build their customized music playlists.

Coming to his background, Zuckerberg was raised in Dobbs Ferry, New York where his dentist father still practices while Zuckerberg focused on programming.

His dad unwittingly created his future when he bought an Atari computer where Zuckerberg started writing computer codes at 10 years of age. While he devised games, his friends handled graphics for him.

His father described him to be “strong-willed and relentless” as a kid. He once said “We envisioned him becoming a lawyer one day, with a near 100% success rate of convincing juries”

Back in school, some people who knew him refer to him as a person that likes others and was really liked by them. They claim that his success was actually because he knew what would appeal to different people due to his personality.

The Facebook Zuckerberg …

Seven years ago (in early 2004), he disappeared to write the computer codes that birthed ‘The Facebook’ and reappeared after one week only to ask his friends to join this new creation.

Later in Zuckerberg’s sophomore year, he left Harvard and headed to Silicon Valley (with his friends) where he was able to expand to other campuses and beyond.

Contrary to what he now claims and does, his dorm in Harvard, Kirkland house, bore the following instructions:

“Do not copy or lend your key to anyone”

“Do not allow anyone access to the House unless you know him/her.”

But Facebook grew into a community where you can allow anyone access into your house and even give some websites permission to use your keys i.e. run your house.

Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg said, on his Facebook page, that:

“Our mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected”

Reacting to his selection as TIME Person of the year, Zuckerberg noted:

“Being named as TIME Person of the Year is a real honor and recognition of how our little team is building something that hundreds of millions of people want to use to make the world more open and connected. I’m happy to be a part of that.”

Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg thus reiterated his vision to make Facebook more open and more connected.

Interestingly, Facebook began as an online platform for communication between people who knew each other & had common interests. A Harvard email address was required to sign up.

Zuckerberg said in an interview with Business Insider in 2009 that:

“Well, I actually explicitly did not want to build a company.  It wasn’t even that I, kind of, was thinking about building a company.”

He mentioned that:

“What I was building was this application for Harvard students. Six thousand people to share some information about themselves and stay connected with their friends and family. And what we basically just found since then is that that application is something that almost everyone wants to use.”

It will surprise you that the much celebrated Facebook CEO, co-founder and president does not even have a personal office, neither does Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO.

Facebook office space just runs open with rolls of furniture without walls let alone cubicles, and most of the staff look rather below 30 in age.

The secret of Mark Zuckerberg’s success with Facebook is easy to see …

He consistently recreates Facebook by inventing something new or more areas of entertainment. He once refused an offer from Yahoo! to buy his company for $1 billion.

Zuckerberg has learnt something by experience; people often crave for a change to tackle boredom, but they are often the first to scream when changes actually come.

From his interview with Business Insider, Zuckerberg revealed his perspective about internet business strategy:

“Now it’s possible to build something in a weekend or, you know, two weeks as the first version of Facebook worked.  And just launch something and see if it addresses the market or that they’re really useful.  And from there you can, kind of, get real time feedback and adjust what you’re doing very quickly.” That’s why they use the slogan “Move fast and break things.”

Thus, Zuckerberg built his giant company by constantly recreating Facebook in line with occurring trends.

Further Reading on Business Stories of CEOs and Founders

  1. Revelations from the Life of Jeff Bezos: The Founder, Chairman and CEO of Amazon.com
  2. Meet the Founder and CEO of Groupon.com, Andrew Mason, who Declined $6 Billion offer from Google
  3. Get Closer To LinkedIn Founder, Reid Hoffman, Who Built the Over $4 Billion Company into a Powerhouse
  4. Meet Forbes’ 24th World Billionaire: The Founding CEO of Google, Larry Page
  5. Avoid Failure: Learn from Twitter Co-founder, Jack Dorsey Who Saw into Tomorrow
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One Response to “How Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, Built a Giant Company from Nothing”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. How to Master Selling on the Internet: The 6 Irrefutable Principles of Persuasion « Woculus - April 23, 2011

    […] Facebook has helped businesses to leverage on this principle by allowing their users to become fans of individuals and businesses on clicking ‘like’. Internet businesses quickly leveraged on this principle by allowing people to like a post, website, product or service with just a click of the mouse. […]

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