In a matter of years, Mark Zuckerberg went from a talented studio artist to a new Silicon Valley idol, and his company from an after-school craft turned into a business worth $ 1 trillion. Facebook serves 2.5 billion people and is one of the most significant social, cultural and economic platforms on the Internet. What are the secrets of such a quick success?
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The birthplace of Facebook is the Kirkland House dormitory, one of the campuses of Harvard University, where Mark Zuckerberg studied.
In 2003, a student Zuckerberg of their hooligan motives hacked into the dorm’s database and gained access to the personal data of campus neighbors. Without hesitation, he writes a simple web application “Face mash” and uploads photos to everyone. During the first 4 hours, the number of views exceeded 2,000, and a few days later the administration of the hostel closed the project for security reasons.
Until February 2004, Mark sat quieter than water and below the grass, having received a reprimand with a warning about expulsion from the university. But then he ventured to release a new version of the service, calling it “TheFacebook”.
Within 6 days after the launch of the novelty, three senior students enter into an informal agreement with Zuckerberg. Their goal was to create a service for communication, which they decided to call HarvardConnection.com, but nothing came of it. Later, they claimed that the cunning future head of Facebook simply stole their promising ideas, even managed to win the court on this basis in 2008, having received about 1.2 million shares of the company. And thus they earned about $ 300 million.
Within a month after the launch of the first version of Facebook, half of Harvard’s students volunteered, almost racing. By March 2004, their ranks were joined by colleagues from Yale, Columbia and Stanford universities, and Zuckerberg is hiring fellow students Dustin Moskowitz, Chris Hughes, Eduardo Saverin and Andrew McCallum to administer the sprawling project.
Initially, it all boiled down to correspondence and organizing beer parties, but after a few months the first commercial announcement appeared. It was both a symbol of the site’s colossally rapid growth and a sign that it was time to expand the functionality.
Mark Zuckerberg comes to the conclusion that running such a business from a dorm room is inconvenient. And she drops out to devote herself entirely to Facebook. Later, this act will be compared with how Bill Gates gave up higher education in his time.
The first president of the newly minted company was its co-founder Sean Parker, whom Mark officially hired in mid-2004.
By the fall of the same year, Facebook finds its headquarters in the liberated and advanced California, in Palo Alto. A tiny office in the city center is home to a start-up that has already begun to be discussed in earnest. Yesterday’s students “washed” the housewarming traditionally – with hectoliters of beer, about which documentary photos have been preserved.
Door 471 was located next to the sushi restaurant. Subsequently, a modest office was rented by many start-up companies and everyone noted that it was a profitable neighborhood.
Barefoot, in unwashed shorts, with an invariable glass of beer in hand – this is how Mark’s working days passed. There is an advanced thought and ability to look into the future, because large IT companies in Silicon Valley were just starting to adopt the concept of informal office space design, with free cookies and ping-pong.
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Beer. A lot of beer. All the founding fathers of Facebook used this “divine nectar” as a source of energy and creative thought. For example, here is Andrew McCallum opening another keg.
Another distinctive feature of the first Facebook office is the abundance of strange graffiti on the walls.
The handsome young man on the left is Peter Thiel, the ex-founder of PayPal, and the ugly guy on the right is the future NASA exploiter and head of Tesla, Elon Musk. The two of them became the first serious investors in Facebook, immediately placing an order for $ 500,000. It is noteworthy that this happened in the very first month of the company’s operation – the potential of the social network was revealed very quickly.
The locomotive of success has accelerated confidently and inexorably – a year later, in May 2005, Facebook receives funding in the amount of $ 13.7 million. happens on the pages of their friends.
The head of the young Facebook company will meet with Sheryl Sandberg in 2007, at a Christmas party. A top Google manager was considering going to work for The Washington Post, but Zuckerberg was able to convince her to use her skills as COO for his project.
The world is changing rapidly – the first iPhone comes out, the era of smartphones and mobile Internet is dawning. Facebook grows so big that it moves to a huge office in Stanford Research Park. By the end of 2010, the number of page views on the social network reaches a trillion per month.
But even within the new walls of a rather large company, it is frankly cramped. The following year, Facebook employees begin to go to work in a dedicated building, a corporate campus that was once occupied by Sun Microsystems before being taken over by Oracle.
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Subordinates adopted the boss’s philosophy of Move Fast and Break Things. And they even managed to get the city’s main street renamed Haker Way.
By that time, Facebook was transformed from a platform for communication and advertising into a new, very important tool for the world. It becomes an arena for political battles and a way of organizing large-scale campaigns. This was very clearly manifested during the political upheaval in Egypt and the subsequent events of the “Arab Spring”. Social networks have a new role.
Zuckerberg himself is well aware of the gold mine he has unearthed and uses his status as the head of Facebook. He travels the world and makes useful contacts, promoting the idea of spreading the Internet to the most remote corners of the planet. And where there is the Internet, there will be a Facebook business machine.
The social network is gradually turning into a hotbed of a variety of philosophical concepts, trends, trends and cultures. Facebook is officially in favor of equality and freedom of thought – dastardly deeds and dubious deals of the company will not be revealed soon.
The placement of securities on the stock exchange took place on May 18, 2012. A historic moment in every respect. Facebook capitalization has reached $ 5 billion.
In the same year, Facebook employees began to give out the legendary Little Red Book. A code of conduct, a memo, a set of slogans with a meticulous description of the corporate philosophy.
The day after the IPO, Mark Zuckerberg was married to Priscilla Chan, a longtime friend from Harvard.
Facebook is constantly in a state of paranoid hunt, company managers analyze the industry and buy up startups that have a theoretical chance of becoming their competitors. It began, perhaps, with the acquisition of Instagram in the same 2012, for a solid compensation in the amount of $ 1 billion. Thanks to this purchase, the Facebook administration is now reliably keeping more than 500 million users on the hook.
The next “victim” was the startup Oculus – for the sake of control over a promising player in the market for virtual reality solutions, Facebook was not greedy to part with $ 2 billion.
Ukrainian developer Jan Koum, founder of WhatsApp, resisted temptation for a long time, until February 2014. He was seduced by a whopping $ 19 billion in reward, plus a post on the board of directors of Facebook itself. Not the highest price per billion active users.
On February 3, 2014, Facebook celebrated its anniversary – 10 years of fruitful work. The number of visits to the social network has grown to 1.23 billion monthly, more than a billion users visit it from their mobile devices.
To serve such a huge project, it was necessary to significantly expand the staff. And the task of accommodating 2,800 people was solved by building a new campus, designed by the legendary modern architect Frank Gehry.
Mark Zuckerberg, his vision of the world and his priorities at work, has been and remains the driving force behind Facebook. In one of his famous letters to investors, he described his mission as follows:
“We don’t create services to make money. We are making money to provide even better services. “
In December 2015, the creation of the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative under the patronage of Facebook was announced. A limited liability company whose task is to reinvest in new projects, taking into account the prospects of a dynamically changing world. 99% of its funds are intended for contributions to future projects.
Mark Zuckerberg may sound like a young, ambitious and naive leader, but in reality he has an iron grip on Facebook. Hasn’t missed the reins one iota since he first launched it in a dorm room. This is achieved with the help of a well-thought-out system of funds – Zuckerberg has a minimum of personal responsibility, but full control over all assets.