Mark Zuckerberg is a key figure in the technology world who has transformed the way we interact and communicate. This article will delve into the complete profile of Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, and the significant role and impact he has brought to the world of technology and social media.
Biography of Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg, born with the full name Mark Elliot Zuckerberg, was born in Dobbs Ferry, Westchester County, New York. He is the second of four siblings to Edward and Karen Zuckerberg.
Growing up as the second child of Edward Zuckerberg, a dentist, and Karen Kempner, a psychiatrist, Mark Zuckerberg showed an early interest in tinkering with computers. He enjoyed experimenting with various computer programs and learning how to create them.
His father bought him a computer when he was eight years old. While attending Phillips Exeter Academy, a high school, he and his friend D’Angelo created a plug-in for the Winamp MP3 player.
A plug-in is a computer program that can interact with host applications like web browsers or email for specific purposes. Zuckerberg and D’Angelo developed a plug-in to gather people’s preferences for various types of songs and then create playlists based on their tastes.
College at Harvard
They sent the program to various companies, including AOL (American Online) and Microsoft. In his final year at Phillips, Microsoft and AOL recruited him for a project.
As they continued their education, D’Angelo enrolled at Caltech, while Zuckerberg entered Harvard. Ultimately, Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard to concentrate on developing Facebook.
Genesis of Facebook
It was at Harvard that Zuckerberg came up with the idea of creating an online student directory because the university did not distribute facebooks (student directories containing photos and identities of students) to new students as a means of fostering friendships among them.
However, every time he offered to create the directory, Harvard rejected him, stating reasons for not collecting such information about students. Despite the rejections, he continued to find ways to bring his idea to life. His first project was CourseMatch (www.coursematch.com), allowing classmates to communicate with each other on the website.
One night during his second year at Harvard, Zuckerberg hacked into Harvard’s student data and inserted it into a website he created called Facemash. It displayed photos of his fellow students, and visitors were asked to determine which of these photos was the “hottest.”
The bait worked. Within four hours of launching the website, 450 people visited Facemash, viewing a total of 22,000 photos. Harvard authorities found out, and the internet connection was cut. Zuckerberg faced legal action for allegedly stealing data.
The curly-haired young man apologized to his peers whose photos were on Facemash but did not regret his actions. “I think information like that should be available online,” he said.
Facebook offered easy navigation for its users, providing each account owner with space to display their photos, friends, network, and perform other actions such as messaging.
Rather than giving up, Zuckerberg created a new website called Facebook (www.thefacebook.com). He launched this website in February 2004, which was an improvement over Facemash.
His target audience remained fellow Harvard students. The current explanation on the website mentions that Facebook is a social tool to help people communicate more efficiently with friends, family, or colleagues.
The numerous applications available for its members made Facebook popular. Reportedly, over 20,000 applications have been added to Facebook, and at least 140 new applications are added daily. Furthermore, 95% of Facebook account owners have used at least one application.
The inclusion of many applications set Facebook apart from earlier social networking websites like MySpace. People flocked to the website, and within two weeks of its launch, half of Harvard’s students had an account on Facebook. It wasn’t just Harvard students; several campuses around Harvard requested inclusion in the Facebook network.
Rapid Growth of Facebook
This overwhelming demand led Zuckerberg to seek help from two friends to further develop Facebook. Within four months, Facebook had expanded to cover 30 campuses.
By the end of 2004, the number of Facebook users had reached one million and continued to grow. The high demand prompted Zuckerberg and his friends to open Facebook to high school students in September 2005.
Soon after, they also opened the network to office workers. The tremendous success led Zuckerberg to drop out of Harvard.
“What I wanted is already in hand. I don’t want to have a degree and then work. In my opinion, work is only for the weak.” – Mark Zuckerberg.
Zuckerberg and his friends then expanded Facebook even further. In September 2006, Facebook opened registration for the general public with the requirement of having an email. From then on, the number of Facebook members soared.
The network, which Zuckerberg had gathered, included six million networks (friendship groups) comprising 55,000 networks based on demographics, employment, schools, collegiality, and more.
Every day, hundreds of millions of photos are uploaded to Facebook. In terms of traffic, Facebook became the 6th most active website in the world and the second-largest social networking site according to camScore.
The millions of Facebook members became a tempting goldmine. Zuckerberg and his friends seized the significant business opportunity. So, when the number of users exceeded one million, they partnered with Accel Partners, a venture capital company, to fund its development.
The invested capital was $12.7 million, marking the second investment in Facebook after receiving $500,000 from the founder of PayPal in June 2004.
The first improvement with the additional funds was changing the domain from www.thefacebook.com to www.facebook.com in August 2005. Following that, its membership outreach was expanded internationally. By December 2005, the membership had reached 5.5 million.
Abundant Funding from Investors
Despite the sharp increase in users in 2005, Facebook reportedly incurred a loss of $3.63 million. Facebook then secured $25 million in funding from Greylock Partners and Meritech Capital Partners. The funds were used to launch its mobile version.
In September 2007, Microsoft approached Facebook and offered to buy a 5% stake for around $300 million to $500 million. If accepted, the valuation of Facebook would have reached $6 billion to $10 billion, approximately IDR 54 trillion to IDR 90 trillion.
However, Microsoft eventually announced that it would only purchase a 1.6% stake in Facebook for $240 million in October 2007. This transaction revealed that Facebook’s valuation was even higher, around $15 billion (approximately IDR 135 trillion).
Following this, several offers surrounded Facebook. Li Ka-shing was rumored to invest around $60 million in November 2007.
Later on, there were reports that Viacom, Yahoo, Google, and others were also bidding to buy Facebook. Until now, Zuckerberg has stated that Facebook will not be sold. The booming business of Facebook has made Zuckerberg immensely wealthy.
Forbes magazine reported that Zuckerberg’s wealth reached $1.5 billion or approximately IDR 13.5 trillion when Facebook went public.
Even for an adult, such wealth is extraordinarily large, let alone for someone of Zuckerberg’s age. Hence, Forbes dubbed him as “The Youngest ‘Self-made’ Billionaire on the Planet.”
Zuckerberg’s achievements were not without controversy. He faced several legal issues related to Facebook, including allegations from his Harvard peers who claimed that the design of Facebook was actually copied from ConnectU.
Despite ConnectU losing the initial lawsuit, the company filed a new lawsuit in March 2008. Controversies also arose in countries like Myanmar, Bhutan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc., accusing Facebook of promoting attacks against their governments, leading to the closure of Facebook access in those countries.
Despite these controversies, the names Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg continue to be revered by many. Despite his popularity and immense wealth, Zuckerberg remains humble. He still lives in a rented apartment, with only a desk and chair in his room. His bed is placed on the floor. When coming to his office in Palo Alto, Zuckerberg often walks or rides a bicycle, not appearing like a billionaire (in US dollars, of course) or trillionaire (in Indonesian rupiah).
Wealth of Mark Zuckerberg
In Mark Zuckerberg’s biography, Forbes notes him as the youngest self-made billionaire, not through inheritance but his own efforts, in recorded history.
In early 2009, Mark Zuckerberg received the Young Global Leaders award. At the age of 30, he had amassed $44 billion USD.
The success of the founder of Facebook, one of the world’s renowned social networking sites, placed him among the top 10 richest individuals in the world according to Forbes.
Youngest Billionaire in the World
Not only that, but he was also recognized as the youngest person on the list. In 2018, according to Forbes magazine, Mark Zuckerberg’s total wealth was approximately IDR 1,018 trillion or $72.3 billion USD, making him the world’s wealthiest young individual.
Regarding Mark Zuckerberg’s personal life, as reported by Kompas.com, he has a girlfriend named Priscilla Chan. On Saturday, May 19, 2012, one day after Facebook traded its shares on Nasdaq, Chan officially married Zuckerberg.
The two were adept at keeping their relationship private, even though their marriage had been planned several months earlier. Since dating Zuckerberg eight years ago, Chan has not been extensively covered by the mass media. Zuckerberg’s strong inclination towards privacy is one of the reasons.
In 2015, their first child, named Maxima Zuckerberg, was born. Two years later, in August 2017, their second child was born, named August Chan Zuckerberg.
In 2018, Mark Zuckerberg occupied the fifth position in Forbes’ list of the richest people in the world. His total wealth reached $72.4 billion or approximately IDR 1.034 trillion.
Facts About Facebook
- Facebook has over 1 billion users worldwide.
- There are over 110 million Facebook users in Indonesia as of 2017, according to Hootsuite data.
- Facebook was the first global social media to open an office in Indonesia.
- The founder of Facebook once visited Indonesia.
- You get paid when you successfully hack into Facebook.
- If the Facebook website is down, Facebook reportedly loses $25,000 per minute.
- Many people are addicted to the wrong things.
- Numerous criminal activities and even murders have occurred because of Facebook.
- Facebook can track your online activities even after you log out.
- In 20 minutes, there are 1,851,000 new status updates on Facebook.
- On average, smartphone users check their Facebook accounts 14 times a day.
- The basic color of Facebook is blue because Mark Zuckerberg, the owner of Facebook, is red-green color blind.
- You cannot block Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook.
- Nowadays, many people hire internet marketing experts to defame others.
Facts About Mark Zuckerberg
- Facebook belongs to Mark Zuckerberg. Reading articles about Mark Zuckerberg in Indonesian may not provide complete information about him. Reading articles about Mark Zuckerberg in English provides comprehensive details about the Facebook creator.
- Who is the actual founder and CEO of Facebook? He is a Harvard University student and an active member of Alpha Epsilon Pi. What is Alpha Epsilon Pi? Alpha Epsilon Pi is like a Jewish student association in North America, with a mission to train and find new leaders for their community, namely the Jewish community.
- Mark Zuckerberg always wears the same gray-colored T-shirt every day when he works. This doesn’t mean he has only one T-shirt; he has many T-shirts of the same color. He was even labeled as having the worst fashion by some lifestyle magazines in the United States.
- Zuckerberg is suspected of being color blind; he cannot see red and green colors clearly. The color blue is the most visible to him. This may explain why he chose blue as the primary color for Facebook.
- He is a vegetarian. However, strangely, he is known as a big fan of the business models of McDonald’s and In-N-Out Burger.
- “The Social Network” is a film based on Zuckerberg’s life in building Facebook, released on October 1, 2010. After watching the film, Zuckerberg reportedly said, “I just hope that no one makes a movie about me while I’m still alive.”
- In 2011, Zuckerberg’s wealth was claimed to have surpassed that of Larry Page and Sergey Brin (the two founders of Google), with a wealth of $17 billion.
- Zuckerberg was once charged under California law as a hacker who infiltrated Harvard University’s computer system, leading to his expulsion from the campus.
- When President Barack Obama met Zuckerberg on one occasion, he said, “It is an honor for me because Mark is willing to wear a suit when meeting me.” Until now, Zuckerberg has been ‘anti’ wearing a suit; he prefers to wear his favorite T-shirt while working.
- Facebook was once offered to Microsoft for $15 billion, but Zuckerberg, rather audaciously, counter-offered Microsoft with only $240. The deal did not materialize.
- Mark Zuckerberg is the big boss at the Facebook office, but he chooses to sit at the same desk as his employees rather than in a luxurious chair and desk.
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