If you know the history of Facebook, you know that it was originally developed and launched by Mark Zuckerberg and a few of his friends while they were students at Harvard. That was February 4, 2004. Since that time, Facebook has grown to over 600 million members, becoming the largest social media website on the planet.
With the success of Facebook, Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard. But that doesn’t seem to have hurt him any. In 2008 he became the world’s youngest billionaire. There have been at least three books that have been written about Zuckerberg and/or Facebook (The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World, Public Parts, and The Accidental Billionaires). In addition, Zuckerberg has been featured on The Simpsons, South Park, and Saturday Night Live.
But wait… there’s more.
In 2010, Vanity Fairidentified Zuckerberg as number one of the list of the top 100 “most influential people of the information age.” New Statesmanmagazine in the U.K. conducted a 2010 survey identifying Zuckerberg as the sixteenth most influential person in the world. And Timemagazine named him their 2010 Person of the Year.
The Zuckerberg/Facebook story has also been made into a major motion picture called The Social Network. When the movie was released in theaters on October 1, 2010, it debuted at number one. Then when it was released on DVD in January 2011, it again debuted at number one. That same month at the 2011 Golden Globes, The Social Networkwon in the “best motion picture” category while also picking up three other awards, making it the big winner of the night and paving the way for the Oscars.
All this and Zuckerberg is only 27 years old! (He was born May 14, 1984.)
So what is it that motivates Mark Zuckerberg? On his own Facebook profile, Zuckerberg states, “I’m trying to make the world a more open place.” He wants to enable people to connect with each other in open and honest ways. It is this motivation that has led him to turn down lucrative offers from media conglomerates seeking to purchase Facebook. Instead, he has chosen to keep Facebook independent to ensure its openness.
Zuckerberg has not been without his detractors. He has endured criticism over issues of privacy and has faced lawsuits from people claiming Zuckerberg stole their ideas. Even the movie The Social Networkportrayed Zuckerberg in a less-than-positive light.
But despite these issues, Facebook continues to thrive and Zuckerberg remains at the helm. Zuckerberg has established himself as a powerful figure in this age of multimedia and social networking.