Presenting Mark Zuckerberg, the coder who decoded our lives by creating Facebook and in the process became one of the most talked about people in the world of business.
Mark Zuckerberg’s Biography (based on information “leaked/sold” by Facebook?)
When Mark was born on May 14, 1984, people around the world saw their walls disappear. They suddenly found themselves sharing their most private moments with the world. Though this phenomenon lasted only a few seconds, many thought that it foretold the future of Mark Zuckerberg and the world. Accordingly to my sources, Zuckerberg’s childhood was uneventful except for the sudden flashes of brilliance that he let escape. When he was little (well, he still is – perhaps, when he was littler,) his dad engaged a computer tutor for him. The tutor tells us the Little Mark was a child-prodigy (note – he has superior mathematical, logical, and linguistic intelligences.) Little Mark loved to make computer games and applications.
Around 2001, Mark built the Artificially intelligent Synapse Media player that could figure out the listener’s musical preferences. As it usually happens in cases such as these – the biggies came treasure-hunting. Both Microsoft and AOL tried buying it from the kid – but the kid said “NO!” Now that’s another thing that I like in this guy – his ability to say NO to something that looks so obviously appetizing. It requires significant willpower…no?
Anyway, in 2002, Mark joined Harvard. Here he made a couple of other networking applications including Facemesh in which students could choose the hotter male/female from two pictures (according to the movie, The Social Network, he did this to spite his girlfriend who had fallen out with) – this met with some disapproval, perhaps from those who were voted down in the hotness race. Undaunted, Mark went on to create Facebook, which was launched Feb 4, 2004. The rest, of course, is history.
Mark’s Personal Life:
Mark lives in Palo Alto, California – with his girlfriend Priscilla Chan and his dog-friend Beast (beast? He looks like a soft-toy!). Mark’s New Year resolution for 2012 is that he’s going to code every day of the year. Now that resolution makes the caricaturist rather sentimental. I really admire programmers! (not the code-lifters – so if you’ve been lifting code from the web or from the books, and you call yourself a coder, don’t start sending me love-notes and flowers. Also note that I’ve had my share of those goodies about half-a-century ago – so scat!)
The Social Network – The Movie
I think that the essence of what I feel about Zuckerberg (and also about Steve Jobs) is:
“You don’t get to 500 Million Friends without making a Few Enemies.”
While the movie (with Jesse Eisenberg playing Zuckerberg) has colored people’s perception of Zuckerberg and Facebook, the movie may have painted a picture of Zuckerberg far more colorful (and dirty?) than he actually is. According to Mark Zuckerberg, “this is my life, so I know it’s not so dramatic.”
About Facebook’s IPO
When you read this post, the Facebook IPO for the retail investor must either be a few hours away or it must’ve already hit the stock market. Facebook’s Initial Public Offering was priced at USD 38.00 a share (the price at which it was offered to the institutional buyers) and it is expected to raise 16 Billion! It is expected that the Facebook share may debut on the stock market at a much higher price. While there’s a flurry of expectation in the market, everything mightn’t be going right for Facebook. The fact that General Motors has decided to pull its advertisements out of Facebook is being touted about and some say that this may spark off a trend, which obviously could result in Facebook’s revenues going downhill. However, I think that Facebook must have some plans of using the cash it’d generate from the IPO, and with Mark back at the keyboard (I know, I know – whether he’d be a good CEO of such a big company is something that’s being debated), we may see some new stuff coming out of the Facebook menagerie.
Facebook Privacy Concerns
There have been concerns that Facebook sells the personal information of its users to advertisers and companies (and perhaps, even to the government.) When Mark was 19, he sent an email in which he bragged about how he could share the information of thousands of students, if he chose to do so. And then other emails have been leaked too – some more recently. Surprisingly, we have come to know about a lot of bad-stuff only after the IPO was announced. The point to note here is that despite such concerns we aren’t able to wean ourselves away from Facebook…why? Are we zombies?
Warning: You are perilously close to reading explosive stuff. Read further only if can handle your emotions and promise that you won’t break my blog, in a fit of misdirected rage.
The Caricaturist’s Personal Opinion on Zuckerberg and Facebook!
The caricaturist thinks that:
- being a genius doesn’t make you a robot and that only robots can be perfect (if at all.) Ego, greed, and genius, they are all human traits – and to expect that one who built a multi-Billion dollar company will be immune to these foibles only because he built a multi-Billion dollar company, is sheer stupidity.
- there’s no free lunch. Only fools would expect an organization to provide us “social networking” for free. If we want to post our most personal thoughts and experiences to social-networking sites, we are the ones who are delusional. What does a site like Facebook has, that it can sell? It can sell focused advertisements – and how can the companies focus the ads on us? By knowing about us. Google does it all the time – except that makes those connections on its own. LinkedIn openly sells our details. What’s wrong with Facebook doing it? Nothing. Except that some dis-satisfied soul who either couldn’t convince MZ to part with his F/B stock, or whose mom perchance wasn’t greeted by MZ, decided to set a spark, which was blown up into a blazing fire by the media.
- there’s nothing wrong with Zuckerberg. We’ve got a child prodigy here, who did such stuff at 22 that we couldn’t at 44 or at 66! Let us face it – we hate prodigies unless they are ours, or we ourselves are one of them. Even if we were prodigies ourselves, we hate the successful prodigies because they had opportunities that we didn’t. So when we look at Mark Z, we exclaim, “Hey, he may be brilliant, but he’s a shallow human being,” “He’s selling our information, he’s making money using our information,” or as one of the CNN anchors put it, “he’s selling you, he’s selling me, he’s selling our information.” And yet, we are same people who are responsible for all this action and…if at all…the over-pricing of the Facebook stock.