Worth 13.3 billion dollars, Mark Zuckerberg is one of the wealthiest people alive. At just 28 years old, the co-founder of Facebook is also one of the youngest billionaires in history. As of 2010, there were over one billion members of his social network, speaking 75 different languages and spending over 700 billion minutes online per month.
Membership is currently growing at a rate of about 700,000 people a day. Mark Zuckerberg, a self-made billionaire, created the largest social network in history through his talents and love of computers to connect people all over the world (Grossman).
There must have been something that influenced Mark’s accomplishments. His childhood actually played a key role in his success. Mark Zuckerberg was born May 14, 1984 in Dobbs Ferry, New York to Edward and Karen Zuckerberg. He was born into a comfortable, well-educated family. His father, Edward, ran a dental practice attached to their home, and his mother, Karen, was a psychiatrist until the birth of Mark and his siblings Randi, Donna and Arielle (“Mark Zuckerberg Biography”).
His father taught Mark the Atari BASIC Programming language in the 1990s (“Mark Zuckerberg”). Mark developed a love for computers at a very early age. In fact, when he was only 12 years old, he created a communication program called “Zucknet” using an old Atari.
It was so effective that his father used it in his office as well as around the house with the rest of the family. He and his friends also worked on several computer games together. His parents even hired a private computer tutor, David Newman, so Mark could learn more specifically about computers and technology.
Zuckerberg attended Phillips Exeter Academy, an exclusive prep school in New Hampshire. He became skilled at fencing, and eventually became team captain. While in high school, Mark created software similar to Pandora called Synapse, which selected music based on listeners’ preferences.
Companies such as AOL and Microsoft offered to buy the software and hire Mark before graduation, but he declined (“Mark Zuckerberg Biography”). By the time of his high school graduation, Zuckerberg could read and write French, Hebrew, Latin, and Ancient Greek (“Mark Zuckerberg”). He graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 2002 with a diploma in Classics and then attended Harvard University (“Mark Zuckerberg Biography”).
Zuckerberg continued to program and work with computers in college. By his sophomore year, Mark was referred to as the go-to software guy on campus. During his years at Harvard, he created a number of different programs and websites.
The first of these programs was called CourseMatch. CourseMatch allowed students to choose their classes based on selections of other students. Another website he invented in Harvard was called Facesmash. This enabled users to vote on which student was more attractive based on two pictures displayed side by side on the screen.
This website was quickly shut down since it was inappropriate according to Harvard authorities. Due to his skill in programming, Zuckerberg was asked by classmates Divya Narendra and Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss to work on an idea for a new website called Harvard Connection.
It was going to be a social network used for dating and meeting new people. Zuckerberg agreed to work on the website but then decided to drop out and work on his own idea along with Dustin Muskovitz, Chris Hughes, and Eduardo Saverin.
This was another social networking site originally called The Facebook. The group ran the website from a Harvard dorm room until 2004. Mark moved the company to Palo Alto, California to fully dedicate himself to the company. He dropped out of Harvard in 2004 to pursue his dream (“Mark Zuckerberg Biography”).
With Mark’s complete dedication, Facebook was able to reach its full potential. By the end of 2004, Facebook already had 1 million users. The company really grew after a $12.7 million investment by Accel Partners in 2005. Zuckerberg opened membership to others besides just Ivy League students. By December 2005, Facebook had over 5.5 million users.
Facebook was quickly on the rise and Mark Zuckerberg was becoming very successful. He ran into some problems, though, when Divya Narendra and Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, creators of Harvard connection, accused Zuckerberg of stealing their ideas. Their dispute was taken to court and Mark was sued for $65 million. Zuckerberg was also dissatisfied with a movie that portrayed the creation of Facebook called The Social Network.
The movie won eight academy awards, but Zuckerberg claimed that it was not based on the true facts. Despite his objections to the movie, Mark was able to move on fairly quickly and continue with his own success (“Mark Zuckerberg Biography”).
Zuckerberg has achieved a great deal at a young age. He was named “Time Magazine’s” “Person of the Year” in 2010. Also, “Vanity Fair” placed him at the top of their New Establishment list, and “Forbes” ranked him at number 35, ahead of Steve Jobs (“Mark Zuckerberg Biography”).
In less than seven years, Zuckerberg created a social network almost twice the size of the U.S. If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest, behind China and India (Grossman). In 2012, Zuckerberg married his longtime girlfriend, Priscilla Chan (“Mark Zuckerberg Biography”).
Mark Zuckerberg has certainly had a lasting impact on society. His energy, creativity, and many accomplishments are extremely inspiring, and many people look up to him. He is one of the youngest billionaires in history and one can learn a lot about business by studying Zuckerberg’s strategies and models.
Facebook had its initial public offering (IPO) which raised $16 billion making it the largest IPO in history. What really matters to Mark is following his passion and helping others. Zuckerberg donated $100 million to save a public school system in New Jersey from collapsing (“Mark Zuckerberg Biography”).
Zuckerberg thinks that education in the U.S. is poor. He said “It just strikes me as this huge issue that teaching isn’t respected or compensated in our society for the economic value that it’s actually probably producing for society” (Grossman). In December, 2010 he signed the “Giving Pledge” which states that he will donate at least 50 percent of his wealth to charity throughout his entire life. (“Mark Zuckerberg Biography”).
Mark Zuckerberg created many programs and websites through his talents and love of technology. He helped millions of people and is devoted to charity. He has already had a major influence and only at 28 years old, there is no telling what he has in store for the future.
By using his technological skill and following his passion for connecting people all over the world, Mark Zuckerberg has had a positive impact on society. He has used his wealth to improve education and help millions of people through charitable organizations. At only 28 years old, he has already had a major influence, and there is no telling what he has in store for the future.