The name Mark Zuckerberg has known the world over these days, as he created something unique and became a billionaire in the process. Of course, his creation was the hugely popular social networking platform, Facebook, which is now used by individuals and businesses all around the world to connect with friends, share photos and videos, post updates, engage with customers, market themselves, and much more. Mark’s story is truly one of incredible success and catapulted him into a world of fame and fortune while he was still at a young age. So, just how did Mark go from being a Harvard sophomore to being one of the youngest billionaires in the world?
The early years
Born on May 14th, 1984 in New York, Mark has a comfortable upbringing with his father running a dental practice and his mother working as a psychiatrist. He began to become interested in computers as a child and even created a massage program at the age of twelve. This was a sign of things to come and his interest in computers continued as he got older.
While at Phillips Exeter Academy, he excelled at various subjects but his main interest was still computers. He graduated from the academy in 2002 and went on to Harvard. Here, he became known as the person to go to for any software development needs and he even created a program called CourseMatch to help students to make informed decisions about the courses they chose. Another of his creations around this time was Facemash, which allowed others to compare photos of two students and vote on the most attractive one.
The birth of Facebook
Mark was still at Harvard when several other students came to him for help in creating a social networking site for Harvard students. This was called the Harvard Connection and was primarily designed to be a dating site for students. While Mark did agree to help, he quickly decided to drop out of that project and work on his own social networking platform for a few friends.
This is when the site, which was first called The Facebook, was created. It allowed others to upload photos, profiles, and engage in communication with others. Mark and his friends worked from their dorm room at Harvard while creating this site and in 2004 Mark decided to drop out of university and focus more on the development of this social network. By the end of that same year, Facebook’s popularity had soared to the point where it had one million users.
How Facebook evolved
The following years, Mark received a huge investment for the network and While Facebook had been originally designed just for Ivy League students, this enables Mark to offer access to other schools and colleges. By the end of the year, Facebook’s user base had rocketed for more than 5 million. This piqued the interest of other companies looking to advertise with this hugely popular network and Mark also had interest from big names companies such as Yahoo! and MTV. However, he wanted to continue with the site himself and continue developing it.
Since then, Facebook has gone from strength to strength, with users all around the world logging onto the site on a daily basis. The site now has far greater capabilities and features compared to the initial concept. There has been controversy over recent years in relation to Mark Zuckerberg and his idea for Facebook being taken from the students that wanted to create the Harvard Connection. However, this has not halted Mark’s success or the success of his social networking site.
Today, Mark is worth an estimated $53 billion and his net fortune is expected to continue rising thanks to the ongoing popularity of Facebook. The site now has close to two billion monthly active users around the world. Considering Mark was still in his late teens when working on the site, which is now a household name, he has come a very long way in a short space of time. His computer skills and knowledge coupled with his determination and vision have enabled him to join the ranks of people like Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Warren Buffett.