photo © 2008 Marco Paköeningrat | more info (via: Wylio)
Last night my husband and I watched 'The Social Network'. Probably this post is years behind the rest of the blog world, but hey I only just watched it! It required some concentration I have to say, but I enjoyed it. Now, I recognise the film was based on a book and I have no idea how accurate it is to the real Facebook story, so when I talk about Mark Zuckerburg I am referring to the character played out in the film.
What staggered me most was the ability of this young guy to programme something initially (face-mash), when drunk, and not only that, that within hours he had crashed the entire Harvard server, (the movie cites 20,000 hits in 2 hours...) This from a guy who had an argument with his girlfriend - and they say hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!
Regardless of the controvery surrounding Facebook and its invention and various court cases this guy is incredibly gifted. I mean in high school he was head hunted by Microsoft and AOL after he wrote some music software... And the thing that seems to stand out about him (and now I refer to the actual Mark Zuckerberg) is his integrity, he is really only interested in his product, the thing he has invented, the money is irrelevant. How many other teenagers would have turned down a job with Microsoft or AOL to go to college (even if it is Harvard)?!
According to Wikipedia:
Zuckerberg & co turned down offers by major corporations to buy out Facebook. In an interview in 2007, Zuckerberg explained his reasoning:
It's not because of the amount of money. For me and my colleagues, the most important thing is that we create an open information flow for people. Having media corporations owned by conglomerates is just not an attractive idea to me.
And although Facebook itself is a huge organisation now at least Zuckerberg remains President and CEO.
So, less than 10 years after it was started Facebook has over 500million members. It has a massive influence, is discussed by governements, even banned in some cases, used to get information out from areas where the media can't get in, hey even help to bring down corrupt goverments in the case of recent riots... I wonder if Zuckerberg had any idea of how powerful this open flow of information could be? I suspect he might actually...
But still he remains true to his cause, as it were. How many other 'prodigies' or gifted people out there would use their talents in this way?
Again according to Wikipedia:
On December 9, 2010, Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and investor Warren Buffett signed a promise they called the "Giving Pledge", in which they promised to donate to charity at least half of their wealth over the course of time, and invited others among the wealthy to donate 50% or more of their wealth to charity.
Now that is one heck of a lot of money...
The film does not portray him in the best light it has to be said, but then that's Hollwood for you I guess. And actually I supect that it is rather unfair in places but you know they say God knows people everywhere and whether he is an atheist (as he professes) or not, look at how much good has come out of this...