|Estimated value:||€74 billion|
|Country of origin:||United States of America|
|Source of Wealth:||entrepreneur|
Mark Zuckerberg is an American entrepreneur and former Harvard computer science student who founded the social network Facebook with some friends in February 2004. In 2008, at the age of 24, Zuckerberg became the youngest billionaire in the world.
Mark Zuckerberg was born on May 14, 1984 in White Plains, New York into a well-educated family. He grew up in the nearby village of Dobbs Ferry. Zuckerberg’s father, Edward Zuckerberg, ran a dental practice. His mother Karen worked as a psychiatrist before the couple’s four children, Mark, Randi, Donna and Arielle were born. Zuckerberg developed an interest in computers from an early age. When he was about 12 years old, he used Atari BASIC to create a messaging program called “Zucknet”. His father used the program at his dental office so the receptionist could inform him of a new patient without yelling across the room. The family also used Zucknet to communicate within the home. He also created computer games for fun with his friends. To keep up with Zuckerberg’s growing interest in computers, his parents hired private computer tutor David Newman to work with their son. Around this time, Zuckerberg was also taking graduate courses at nearby Mercy College.
While still at school, he developed an early version of the music software Pandora, which he called Synapse. Several companies, including AOL and Microsoft, have expressed interest in buying the software and hiring the teenager before he graduates. He turned down the offers. In 2002, Zuckerberg enrolled at Harvard University. By his sophomore year, Zuckerberg was already well known as the leading software developer on campus. It was around this time that he created CourseMatch, a program that allowed students to choose their classes based on other users’ course selections. He also invented Facemash, which compared the photos of two students on campus and allowed users to vote on which photo was more attractive. The program was very popular but was later discontinued by the school administration after it was deemed inappropriate. With three of his fellow students, he came up with an idea for a social network called Harvard Connection. The site used information from Harvard’s student networks and used it to create a dating site for Harvard’s elite. However, he soon left the project to work on his own social networking site, The Facebook. After his sophomore year, Zuckerberg dropped out of college to pursue his new company, Facebook, full-time.
Zuckerberg and his friends Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes, and Eduardo Saverin created The Facebook, a website where users could create their own profiles, upload photos, and communicate with other users. The group ran the project from a student residence at Harvard University until June 2004. That year, Zuckerberg dropped out of college and relocated the company to Palo Alto, California. By the end of 2004, Facebook had 1 million users. In 2005, Zuckerberg’s company received backing from venture capital firm Accel Partners. Accel invested $12.7 million in the network, which at the time was only available to Ivy League students. Zuckerberg’s company gave access to other colleges, high schools, and international schools, growing the site’s membership to more than 5.5 million users by December 2005. The site attracted interest from other companies interested in promoting the popular social network. Zuckerberg didn’t want to sell his project and turned down offers from companies like Yahoo! and MTV Networks. Instead, he focused on expanding the site, opening up his project to external developers, and adding more features. 2.4 billion active members used Facebook in 2019. Today, Zuckerberg holds a 28 percent stake in his company and is one of the richest people in the world. The creation of Facebook was portrayed in the 2010 film The Social Network.
Time Magazine named him Person of the Year in 2010. In May 2012, Facebook went public, raising the company $16 billion, making it the largest Internet IPO in history. In 2013, Facebook made the Net Worth 500 list for the first time. At 28, Zuckerberg was the youngest CEO on the list. In 2019, Zuckerberg was ranked 8th on the Forbes list of billionaires.
“I’m here to build something for the long term. Anything else is a distraction.”
“People don’t care what you say, they care what you create.”
“When we figure out what the next big trend is, we’ll know what to focus on.”
tips for success
“Find the one thing you are passionate about.”
“You’re better off trying something, it doesn’t work and you learn from it than if you don’t do anything at all.”
|Estimated value:||€74 billion|