The Roller Coaster Ride of Mark Zuckerberg

February 1, 2011
“You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies.” Zuckerberg had a unique early life with numerous accomplishments and experiences that the average kid does not encounter growing up. The most interesting parts of his life include his college years and the road to creating Facebook. Zuckerberg had a huge interest in computers and he has stuck with what he is good at for his whole life so far. Mark Zuckerberg was an average guy who was successful in becoming the youngest billionaire ever.

Zuckerberg had an interesting early life that included things the average kid never even thinks about doing. Zuckerberg’s was born into a family that could be considered upper middle class. His mother Karen was psychiatrist and his father Edward was a dentist. Zuckerberg was born in White Plains, New York but he grew up in Dobbs Ferry, New York with his three sisters. Zuckerberg’s childhood and teen years can be considered unique because he began writing software when he was in middle school. Most kids go to the movies with their friends or play sports. Zuckerberg’s friends were artists and when they would come over to his house, he would create computer games based on what they drew for him. In an interview, Zuckerberg recalled, "I had a bunch of friends who were artists. They'd come over, draw stuff, and I'd build a game out of it." Zuckerberg was a naturally gifted kid. His computer tutor, David Newman said, “He [Mark Zuckerberg] was a prodigy. Sometimes it was tough to stay ahead of him” (Wikipedia 2). Before he went to college, he took a college class on computers and he submitted a program called “Synapse” that was much like today’s “Pandora.” AOL and Microsoft found out about his program and they wanted to buy the program and recruit Zuckerberg to work for them (Vargas 4). Zuckerberg turned the offers down and he went on to Harvard. The average teenager does not get offered a job with Microsoft and then turn it down. Most people would say that a teenager that turns down a job for Microsoft is crazy. In this specific case, Mark Zuckerberg isn’t crazy, he is a genius. This is what makes Mark Zuckerberg’s story so unique.

After messing around with computers in high school, Zuckerberg went on to college and started to get serious. As soon as Zuckerberg started at Harvard, he was known around campus as a programming prodigy. He was in a Jewish fraternity when he was in college. At one of the frat parties, he met his current girlfriend Priscilla Chan. Zuckerberg created a site called “CourseMatch” when he was at Harvard (Vargas 4). The site helped students figure out what classes to take based on the ratings of students that previously took those classes (Vargas 4). He also made “Facemash” when he was at Harvard (Vargas 4). Zuckerberg was a very gifted individual. Students at Harvard saw his talents and wanted to take advantage of them before Zuckerberg was smart enough to use them for only his own benefit and profit. Zuckerberg was one of the most popular kids at the school because of the popularity of Facemash. Facemash showed pictures of people that went to Harvard and the user got to rate which person was “hotter.” Within days, Harvard shut the website down because the sites popularity caused the servers to crash. The site was supposed to be “for fun” but it was such a success that Zuckerberg realized the potential he had to create a multi-million dollar website (Wikipedia 2).

Zuckerberg started his journey down the road to creating Facebook when he was a sophomore at Harvard. “Zuckerberg was asked by three upperclassmen—an applied-math major from Queens, Divya Narendra, and twins from Greenwich, Connecticut, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss—approached Zuckerberg for assistance with a site that they had been working on, called Harvard Connection” (r13sharma 4). Zuckerberg would then find himself in legal troubles with these students because they claim Zuckerberg stole their idea and made his own site. An email from Zuckerberg to a friend quotes him saying, “They made a mistake haha. They asked me to make it for them” (Carlson 4). Zuckerberg still claims his innocence to this day. The truth will never be known because the damaging evidence claimed to be on his hard drive was never made public (Carlson 2). He would later make a settlement with the Harvard students for approximately 65 million dollars. In, my opinion, Zuckerberg did steal their idea but most people would have done the same thing. He probably doesn’t care about the 65 million dollars at this point. Zuckerberg now resides in Palo Alto California where he operates Facebook. Mark’s net worth is now approximately 6.9 billion dollars (Biography.com 2).

Mark Zuckerberg is now one of the greatest success stories ever and he is the youngest billionaire in the world. He grew up with a unique teenage lifestyle and his college story can be described as a roller coaster ride. He would go on to create Facebook and later drop out of Harvard. Mark Zuckerberg’s story is more impressive than Bill Gates and his story will never be forgotten.





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