Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is a 24 year old American computer programmer. He was born on the 14th May in 1984 in Dobbs Ferry, New York. He created Facebook and launched it from his dorm room in Harvard in 2004. However he was not alone is this venture, he received help from his fellow student Andrew McCollum and his roommates Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. Later in 2004 after the release of Facebook he left Harvard when he received $500,000 investment from the cofounder of PayPal Peter Thiel. Now Facebook has 66 million users with an estimated annual income of $150 million. It also connects 55,000 schools, businesses and city networks together and it all started from a college-only message system and photo album. Now Zuckerberg is rumoured to be the youngest self-made billionaire ever with an estimated net worth of $1.5 Billion.
Moving To California
Mark Zuckerberg in the summer of 2004, moved with his Harvard roommate, Dustin Moskovitz, his girlfriend, Priscilla Chan, and some friends to Palo Alto in California. The group of friends had planned to return to Harvard in October time; however they decided to remain in Palo Alto. Still to this day, Mark Zuckerberg has not returned to Harvard University. Together, they leased a small house which acted as their first ever office. Mark met one of the investors, Peter Thiel, over that summer. Soon after, they got their first office together in Palo Alto, on University Avenue.
Controversy Surrounding the Origins of Facebook
In the early days of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg was accused of copying another website by emails verified by the New York Times. The emails suggested he might have taken a lot of his ideas for Facebook from Aaron Greenspan’s houseSYSTEM website. Aaron Greenspan, a former classmate of Zuckerberg’s site held many of the features Zuckerberg’s Facebook did as early as late September, 2003, several months before Facebook was founded.
Following this Greenspan’s company petitioned to have the “Facebook” registered trademark cancelled as its existence prevented Greenspan from marketing his book, which discusses the company’s origins and contains “Facebook” in the subtitle. The proceedings are still pending.
Marks’s Harvard classmates, Divya Narendra, Cameron Winklevoss, and Tyler Winklevoss, claim they recruited Mark to help finish the code on their own social networking website (for students and alumni of colleges and universities), ConnectU and that he stole their idea, design, business plan, and source code. They filed a lawsuit in 2004 claiming that there was a breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, copyright infringement, as well as several other claims. ConnectU maintained throughout the duration of the case that they had no intentions of closing Facebook down.
On 28th March 2007, after its original filing in Massachusetts, the case was dismissed without prejudice but was never ruled on. Soon after it was refiled in a U.S. District Court in Boston, with a preliminary hearing scheduled for 25th July 2007. At the hearing the judge gave ConnectU the ability to refile an amended complaint after informing them that parts of their complaint were not sufficiently defended.
After the case lasting over 4 years, Facebook agreed to pay an undisclosed amount of cash and stock to settle the legal battle with ConnectU on 25th June 2008. The terms of the deal were confidential but agreed that no further claims were made by the Winklevoss’ Narendra or ConnectU.
News feed and Microsoft
In early September 2006 Facebook launched a News Feed feature which provided users with a list of what friends were doing on the site. Zuckerberg got criticised as this feature was considered unnecessary and a tool for cyberstalking. Zuckerberg then apologised to the Facebook community for the unwelcome feature with an open letter and introduced new privacy options but he defended the feature and his belief in free information flow.
On October 24 2007 Facebook Inc. sold 1.6% of their investment to Microsoft for $240 million after rejecting a challenging offer from online search leader Google Inc.
Zuckerberg was a student at HarvardUniversity. Whilst at Harvard, Zuckerberg continued to create projects. One of his early projects was called course match. This gave students the opportunity to view a list of all of the other students on the same course. Another of his projects was a Harvard-specific image rating site similar to hot or not. This was called facemash.com. A form of this site was online for approximately four hours before his internet access was canceled, he was then brought before the administrative board and charged with breaching computer security and violating rules on internet privacy.
In November 2007, a number of personal court documents, websites and letters were put on the Harvard alumni magazine 01238. They included information on Zuckerberg such as his social security number, his parent’s home address and his girlfriend’s address. Facebook filed a suit to get the documents removed but the judge Douglas Woodlock ruled in favor of 02138.
Mark Zuckerburg was born into a Jewish-American family and was raised in Dobbs Ferry New York City. His father was a dentist and his mother a house wife. He first attended Ardsley High School, New York. When he finished High school he attended the Phillips Exeter Academy. While at this academy he was a resident of Browning House and from here he was taken on by Microsoft and AOL in his senior year. He was spotted by AOL and Microsoft due to a hacking project but instead of signing up and changing his entire life he opted to then attend Harvard University.
Zuckerburg launched Facebook from his Harvard dorm room on the 15 of February 2004. Within the first 2 weeks of being online, two-thirds of the university’s students signed up and so made it an instant success. However, Zuckerburg then decided that his university was not enough and decided to spread Facebook to other University’s and so enlisted in the help of his roommate Dustin Moskovitz. They first spread it to Stanford, Columbia and Yale colleges and then onto other Ivy League Colleges and schools in the Boston area. By the beginning of the summer of 2004, in a space of 5 months, Zuckerburg and Moskovitz had released Facebook at almost 45 schools.