Mark Zuckerberg is not only one of the world’s youngest billionaires but also one of its youngest co-founders and chief executive officers of the social networking website Facebook.
Who Is Mark Zuckerberg?
Mark Zuckerberg, a student at Harvard University, is credited with co-founding the social networking website Facebook when he was still an undergraduate. After completing his second year of college, Zuckerberg dropped out to devote his full attention to the site. Since then, the network’s user base has expanded to include more than two billion individuals, making Zuckerberg a multi-billionaire many times over. The story of how Facebook came into existence was told in the movie “The Social Network,” which came out in 2010.
On May 14, 1984, Zuckerberg was born into a prosperous family in White Plains, New York. His family had a strong educational background. Dobbs Ferry, a small community not far away, was his home throughout his childhood.
Edward Zuckerberg, Mark Zuckerberg’s father, owned and operated a dentistry business linked to the family home. Before the arrival of the couple’s four children, Mark, Randi, Donna, and Arielle, his mother, Karen, practised mental health as a mental health professional.
Early on in life, Mark Zuckerberg showed an interest in computers. When he was approximately 12 years old, he used Atari BASIC to design a messaging application called “Zucknet.” His grandfather utilized the application in his dental practice so that the receptionist could notify him of a new patient without yelling across the room. In addition, the family communicated with one another through the use of Zucknet.
He collaborated with his close circle of pals in his spare time to develop computer games. “I had a bunch of pals who were artists,” he recalled. “Creative people surrounded me.” They would come over and draw stuff, and then I would design a game based on it.
Mark Zuckerberg’s Education
David Newman, a private computer teacher, was engaged by Zuckerberg’s parents to have one-on-one instruction with Zuckerberg at their home once a week. This was done to accommodate Zuckerberg’s growing interest in computing. Later, Newman shared with reporters that it was difficult to keep one step ahead of the prodigy, who started attending graduate school at the adjacent Mercy College simultaneously as Newman.
In later years, Zuckerberg received his education at Phillips Exeter Academy, a prestigious boarding and preparatory school in New Hampshire. He showed talent in fencing and eventually became the school’s team captain. In addition, he was a literary prodigy who graduated with a certificate in the classics.
But despite this, Zuckerberg never lost his interest in computers, and he never stopped working on inventing new software. Even though he was still in high school, he developed an early version of the music software Pandora and named it Synapse.
Some businesses, including AOL and Microsoft, have expressed an interest in purchasing the software and hiring young people before graduating high school. He did not accept any of the offers.
Mark Zuckerberg’s College Experience
After receiving his diploma from Exeter in 2002, Zuckerberg pursued his education at Harvard. After completing his second year at Harvard, Zuckerberg decided to leave school and focus his full attention on developing his new firm, Facebook.
By the time he was a sophomore at the Ivy League school, he had already established himself as the most sought-after software engineer on campus. It was around this time that he developed a software application that he dubbed CourseMatch. This application allowed students to select their classes by analyzing the class preferences of other users.
In addition, he came up with the idea for the website Facemash, which allowed users to compare the appearance of two students at the university and vote for their favourite. The school administration decided that the program should not continue to run since it was thought to be inappropriate, even though it quickly became extremely popular.
As a result of the excitement surrounding his earlier efforts, three of his fellow students, Divya Narendra, the Winklevoss twins, and Cameron Winklevoss, sought him out to collaborate with them on an idea for a social networking site that they referred to as Harvard Connection. This site was developed to create a dating platform for Harvard’s upperclassmen using data collected from Harvard’s many student networks.
After giving his word to assist with the project, Zuckerberg soon abandoned it to focus on developing his own social networking website, which he named Facebook.
Mark Zuckerberg and Founding Facebook
Facebook was a website that allowed users to establish their own accounts, upload images, and communicate with other users. It was founded by Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes, and Eduardo Saverin, who were all friends of Zuckerberg. Until June 2004, the group was based in a dorm room at Harvard University, where they managed the website.
The same year, Zuckerberg relocated Facebook’s headquarters to Palo Alto, California, and dropped out of college. By the time 2004 came to a close, Facebook had one million active users.
In 2005, the venture capital firm Accel Partners significantly assisted Mark Zuckerberg’s company, which resulted in the company’s rapid expansion. Accel contributed 12.7 million dollars to the network, which was exclusive to students enrolled at Ivy League universities at the time.
After that, the corporation that Zuckerberg founded offered access to other educational institutions, including high schools, colleges, and international schools. As a result, by December 2005, the website had more than 5.5 million registered users. The website started drawing the attention of other businesses, and they expressed interest in advertising opportunities with the well-known social centre.
Because Zuckerberg did not wish to give up control of Facebook, he declined proposals made by businesses such as Yahoo! and MTV Networks. Instead, he prioritized the website’s expansion, which included adding new features and opening the project to outside developers.
‘Harvard Connection’ and Legal Hurdles
It seems that Mark Zuckerberg had nowhere to go but up. However, in 2006, the business magnate was confronted with his first significant challenge: the founders of Harvard Connection asserted that Zuckerberg had stolen their idea and requested that the software developer be obligated to compensate them for their financial losses.
Zuckerberg insisted that the concepts were derived from two distinct social networks. Following a check of Zuckerberg’s records by attorneys, incriminating instant messages indicated that it is possible that Zuckerberg purposefully stole the intellectual property of Harvard Connection and gave the private information of Facebook members to his buddies.
After the fact, Zuckerberg apologised and said he deeply regretted the incriminating communications. In an interview with The New Yorker, he stated, “If you’re going to go on to establish a service that is influential and that a lot of people rely on, then you need to be mature, right?” “I feel like I’ve matured and gained much knowledge.”
After Narendra and the Winklevosses claimed they were misled about the value of their stock, the legal struggle over the subject continued well into 2011, even though the two sides had reached an initial settlement agreement for $65 million.
‘The Social Network’ Movie
The film The Social Network, written by screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, was released that year (2010). The picture that was met with acclaim from the film community was nominated for eight Academy Awards.
Ben Mezrich’s book, “The Accidental Billionaires,” published in 2009, inspired Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay. Mezrich’s retelling of Zuckerberg’s story, in which he utilized made-up situations, re-imagined dialogue, and fictional characters, received much backlash from readers.
The film’s narrative was something that Zuckerberg vehemently objected to. He later informed a reporter for The New Yorker that much of the information presented in the film was false. Take Mark Zuckerberg as an example; they started dating in 2003 and have been together ever since. In addition to that, he stated that he had no intention of joining any of the final clubs.
At a conference for startup companies in 2010, Mark Zuckerberg told a reporter, “It’s funny what stuff they focused on getting right; like, every single garment and fleece that I had in the movie is actually a shirt or fleece that I own.” “So there’s a bunch of random details that they got right, along with a bunch of stuff that they got wrong,” you could say.
But despite all of the criticism, Zuckerberg and Facebook have continued to remain successful. In 2010, he was selected as Person of the Year by Time magazine, and Vanity Fair ranked him first on their list of New Establishment power players.
Facebook held its initial public offering in May 2012 and raised $16 billion, making it the largest initial public offering (IPO) in the history of the internet.
Following the initial success of the initial public offering (IPO), the price of a Facebook stock decreased considerably in the early days of trading. Despite this, it is anticipated that Zuckerberg will be able to weather any ups and downs in the market performance of his company.
Facebook was included on the Fortune 500 list for the first time in 2013, making Mark Zuckerberg, then 28 years old, the youngest CEO among the companies included.
Fake News and Cambridge Analytica Scandal
In the run-up to the presidential election in the United States in 2016, Zuckerberg came under fire for the proliferation of false news stories on his website. At the beginning of 2018, he announced that he will take on the personal challenge of developing stronger methods for protecting Facebook users from abuse and interference by nation-states. (His previous personal challenges began on New Year’s Day in 2009 and have included learning to speak Mandarin and restricting his diet to only the meat he had slaughtered himself.)
On his Facebook page, he stated, “We won’t prevent all mistakes or abuse, but we currently make too many errors enforcing our policies and preventing misuse of our resources.” If we can achieve our goals this year, we will finish 2018 much stronger than we started.
A few months later, when it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica, a data firm with ties to President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, had used private information from approximately 87 million Facebook profiles without the social network alerting its owners, Mark Zuckerberg came under fire once more. This time, he was criticized for failing to protect Facebook users’ privacy adequately. The subsequent uproar appeared to affect investors’ trust in Facebook, as seen by the 15% reduction in the company’s share price when the revelation was made public.
After remaining silent for a few days, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared in various media outlets to explain how the firm was trying to limit access to user information by third-party developers. He also said he would be delighted to testify in front of Congress.
Facebook published full-page advertisements on Sunday, March 25, in seven British and three American newspapers. The ads were written in the style of a personal apology from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. He guaranteed that the organization would investigate all of its apps and notify consumers of the ones they can disable from their devices. In his letter, he expressed regret that “we did not do more at the time.” “I pledge to do better for you in the future.”
Ahead of his two-day hearing, which is slated to take place on April 10 and 11, Zuckerberg went to Capitol Hill and met with senators in advance of the fact that investor organizations are increasingly demanding that he step down from his position. The first day of hearings, which took place before the Senate Commerce and Judiciary Committees, was considered a rather calm event, with some senators having difficulty understanding the financial model that fueled the enormous social media platform.
The subsequent hearing in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee was far more contentious than the first one, as members of the committee interrogated the CEO of Facebook about data privacy issues. During the day’s hearing, Mark Zuckerberg disclosed that Cambridge Analytica had accessed his personal information and suggested that legal regulation of Facebook and other social media companies was “inevitable.”
The unfavourable public relations surrounding the 2016 election and the Cambridge Analytica issue appear to have had minimal effect on the company’s progression: on July 6, 2018, Facebook’s stock closed at a record high of $203.23. After the spike, Zuckerberg surpassed Warren Buffett, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, to become the third-richest person in the world. He is now trailing only fellow tech titans Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates regarding wealth.
Any gains were wiped out when Facebook shares plunged an astounding 19% on July 26, following an earnings report that revealed a failure to achieve revenue projections and slowing user growth. The report was in response to Facebook’s failure to meet revenue estimates. A single day’s events wiped out about $16 billion of Mark Zuckerberg’s fortune.
The stock came back, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is still among the wealthiest individuals on the planet. Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, is listed as the second richest person in the world, while Larry Page and Sergey Brin, co-founders of Google, are ranked tenth and eighth, respectively, on Forbes’ list of billionaires for 2019. (No. 14). The magazine estimated that he had a net worth of approximately $62.3 billion at the time.
Facebook announced in June 2019 that it would be entering the cryptocurrency market with the introduction of Libra, which is scheduled for 2020. Along with developing blockchain technology to power its financial infrastructure, Facebook established an oversight entity based in Switzerland called the Libra Association. The Libra Association comprises technology giants such as Spotify and venture capital firms such as Andreessen Horowitz.
As a result of the revelation, Zuckerberg found himself back in the crosshairs of Congress, which ultimately resulted in the CEO of Facebook being asked to appear in front of the House Financial Service Committee in October. Despite Zuckerberg’s assurances that Facebook would withdraw from the Libra Association if the project failed to garner approval from regulators, he was subjected to pointed questioning from sceptical lawmakers who cited the Cambridge Analytica scandal and other instances of the company’s past infractions.
Mark Zuckerberg’s Wife
Since 2012, Zuckerberg has been happily married to Priscilla Chan, a Chinese-American medical student whom he initially met while attending Harvard. The long-term couple finally married the wedding the day after Facebook held its initial public offering.
About 100 guests gathered for the wedding at the couple’s Palo Alto, California home. The attendees were under the impression that they would attend a party to honour Chan’s graduation from medical school; instead, they were present for Zuckerberg and Chan’s wedding.
Mark Zuckerberg’s Daughters
Max Zuckerberg, born on November 30, 2015, and August Zuckerberg, born on August 28, 2017, are Zuckerberg’s daughters.
The couple shared the news on Facebook that they were simultaneously expecting their children. Following the birth of his son Max, Mark Zuckerberg announced that he would be taking a two-month paternity vacation to spend time with his family.
Mark Zuckerberg’s Donations and Philanthropic Causes
Since amassing his considerable fortune, Mark Zuckerberg has donated millions of dollars to numerous charitable organizations and causes. The most notable instance occurred in September 2010, when he donated one hundred million dollars to save the failing public school system in Newark, New Jersey.
Then, in December 2010, Zuckerberg signed a document called the “Giving Pledge,” in which he committed to donate at least half of his wealth to charitable organizations throughout his lifetime. Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and George Lucas are three more notable individuals who have signed the Giving Pledge. After donating, Zuckerberg challenged other young, successful businesspeople to do the same.
“With a generation of younger people who have thrived on the success of their companies, there is a big opportunity for many of us to give back earlier in our lifetime and see the impact of our philanthropic efforts,” he said. “There is a big opportunity for many of us to give back earlier in our lifetime and see the impact of our philanthropic efforts.”
In a public letter addressed to their daughter published in November 2015, Zuckerberg and his wife committed to donate 99% of their Facebook shares to charitable organizations.
In the open letter published on Zuckerberg’s Facebook page, the pair stated, “We are dedicated to doing our modest part to help create this world for all children.” “During our lifetimes, we intend to donate 99 percent of our Facebook shares, worth approximately $45 billion, to collaborate with many others to make this world a better place for future generations.”
In September 2016, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan announced that the company into which they had invested their Facebook shares, known as the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), would put at least $3 billion into scientific research for the next decade to “cure, prevent, and manage all diseases in our children’s lifetimes.” Cori Bargmann, a renowned neuroscientist from Rockefeller University, has been appointed president of science at CZI.
In addition, they announced the establishment of the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, an independent research centre located in San Francisco. This centre will be a meeting place for engineers, computer scientists, biologists, chemists, and other scientific community members. Biohub will get initial investment of $600 million spread out for ten years. The partnership between Stanford University, the University of California, San Francisco, and the University of California, Berkeley, will be known as Biohub.
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