Published On: 20 December 2010
World's youngest billionaire Mark Zuckerberg becomes the second youngest person to be honoured with Time Magazine's Person of the year title. 2010 has definitely been Mark's year, here's a look why…
The city That Never Sleeps: Mark Elliot Zuckerberg, born on May 14, 1984 is a typical New York kid. Mother Karen, a psychiatrist and father Edward, a dentist, raised Mark and three sisters, Randi, Donna, and Arielle, in a typical Jewish family.
After his bar mitzvah at the age of 13, Mark lost all faith in the Supreme Being and has since claimed to be an atheist.
In school Mark was always a straight - A student, dazzling everyone in his junior year at Ardsley High School with academic brilliance. A multi-lingual Mark recited lines from Greek epic poems such as The Iliad ‘just for fun', and even captained the fencing team. Jack-of-all-trades!
Love blossomed in sophomore year when Zuckerberg met Priscilla Chan and, contrary to popular belief, she has been his girlfriend ever since. Doing things the normal way keeps the spice intact in the couple's relationship. Going out for a ‘cheap yet cheerful meal at their favourite Mexican restaurant', even if they have to wait in line for minutes at end, is the couple's idea of a good day-out.
Style Statement? Tailored suits aren't really this billionaire's style. Mark likes it easy and laid back in torn jeans and casual Tees.
Relaxing with a beer with work-mates and eating junk in the canteen, he sure does sound like a cool boss!
Zuckerberg launched Facebook from his Harvard dorm room on February 4, 2004. Reportedly, earlier inspiration for Facebook could have come from Phillips Exeter Academy, the private high school from which Zuckerberg graduated. The school published its own student directory, "The Photo Address Book", but the students called it "The Facebook".
Facebook, at first The Facebook, was just a "Harvard thing" until Mark decided to spread it to other schools, like Stanford, Dartmouth, Columbia, New York University, Cornell, Brown and Yale. And the rest, as they say, is “the social network”.
Based on Facebook and its founding years, “the social network” unfolded a fictionalized account of Zuckerberg's life. Though Jesse Eisenberg playing Mark seemed quite convincing, how much of it is true is yet unknown. When asked about the truth in the critically and commercially acclaimed film, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin told New York magazine, "I don't want my fidelity to be to the truth; I want it to be to story telling. What is the big deal about accuracy purely for accuracy's sake, and can we not have the true be the enemy of the good?"
When told about the film, Smart Alec Mark responded by saying "I just wished that nobody made a movie of me while I was still alive."
The Social Network is based on the book The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich. The book is largely publicized for being "big juicy fun" rather than "reportage."
Zuckerberg has turned down many offers by large corporations to buy Facebook. One of his profound reasons is, “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."
In 2010 Facebook hit the 500 million users mark and Vanity Fair magazine named Zuckerberg number 1 on its 2010 list of the Top 100 "most influential people of the Information Age".
But all was not a smooth ride for Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg. Harvard students Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra accused Zuckerberg of intentionally making them believe he would help them build a social network called HarvardConnection.com (later called ConnectU). Seems like all wasn't fiction in “the social network.”
Winklevoss twins along with Divya Narendra filed a lawsuit in 2004 but it was dismissed on technical grounds on March 28, 2007. It was re-filed once again in federal court in Boston. On June 25, 2008, the case settled and Facebook agreed to transfer over 1.2 million common shares and pay $20 million in cash.
Zuckerberg made an appearance on The Simpsons as himself and true to his style told Lisa Simpson that one doesn't need to graduate from college to be wildly successful, referring to Bill Gates and Richard Branson as examples.
Mark is quite the efficient Facebooker himself. Posting pics for general delight is one of his favourite past-times!
In India last year, Mark discovered the explorer in him as he roamed the streets. He captions his Facebook image as, "I'm in India this week for vacation. I'll be attending a good friend's wedding and checking out a few cities while I'm here."