No one ever said it was easy being an entrepreneur. Whether you're in the early stages of your statrup, just secured funding for your startup or you are ready for product launch, there will always be those three components when you ask yourself if this whole entrepreneur thing is worth it. Instead of giving up and throwing-in the proverbial white towel, this forum will help in giving you all the motivation you need to achieve your result.
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STORY AND LESSONS FROM THE YOUNGEST BILLIONAIRE: MARK ZUCKERBERG
Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is an American computer
programmer and Internet entrepreneur. He is a co-founder of Facebook, and is currently its chairman and chief
executive officer. Zuckerberg
launched Facebook from his Harvard
University dormitory room on February 4, 2004 with college
roommates and fellow Harvard students Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes. The group then introduced Facebook to other college
campuses. Facebook expanded rapidly, reaching one billion users by 2012. During
this time, Zuckerberg became involved in various legal disputes brought by his
friends and cofounders, who claimed they were due a share of the company based
upon their involvement during its development phase.
Mark Elliot Zuckerberg was born on May 14, 1984, and
grew up in the suburbs of New York, Dobbs Ferry. He was the second of four
children and the only son in the educated family. Mark’s father, Edward
Zuckerberg, is a dentist and mother, Karen Zuckerberg, is a psychiatrist. His
father owned a dental practice next to the family house. Mark and his three
sisters, Arielle, Randi, and Donna, were raised in Dobbs Ferry, New York.
got interested in programming yet in elementary school. The fact that the world
is divided between programmers and users, Mark found out when he was 10 years
old and got his first PC Quantex 486DX on the Intel 486.
Getty Images/ Mark at young age
From Mark Zuckerberg biography we found out he was taught
Atari BASIC Programming by his father, and when Mark was about 12, he used
Atari BASIC to create a messenger, which he called “ZuckNet.” It made all the
computers connected to each other and allowed to transfer messages between the
house and dental office. His father installed the messenger on his computer in
his dentist office, and the receptionist could inform him when a new patient
arrived. Mark also enjoyed developing games and communication tools and as he
said he was doing it just for fun. His father, Edward Zuckerberg, even hired a
computer tutor David Newman, who gave his son some private lessons.
Also being at high school, Mark wrote an artificially
intelligent media player Synapse for MP3-playlists that carefully studied the
preferences of a user and was able to generate playlists ‘guessing,’ which
tracks a user wanted to listen to. Microsoft and AOL got an unusual
interest in Synapse media player and wanted to acquire it. However, the young
talent rejected the offer of the IT-giants and then politely rejected their
invitation to cooperate. Just like that, Mark Zuckerberg refused from dozens,
maybe even hundreds of thousands of dollars, and work at one of the top
2002, after graduating Phillips Exeter, Zuckerberg entered Harvard University.
By his second year in the Ivy League, he had gained a reputation as a software
developer on campus. It was then when he wrote a program CourseMatch, which
helped students choose their subjects on the basis of lists of courses from
– A Fun Site for Voting
In 2003, once summer evening when
Mark Zuckerberg suffered from insomnia in the Harvard dormitory room, he got an
idea to create a site called FaceMash. Mark decided to hack the database of
Harvard, where the students uploaded their profile pictures. He quickly wrote a
program that randomly selected two pictures of two random female students and
put them next to each other, asking “Who is hotter?”, giving the option for
The process was in full swing and
site was visited by most of the students at Harvard. When the number of
visitors exceeded the limit, the server crashed due to overload. Mark appeared
before the committee on computer hacking. Of course, nobody told Mark
Zuckerberg ‘Well done!’ and he received a disciplinary action, and had noticed
that such kind of things cause stormy interest in society. By the way, Harvard
has refused to comment on the incident up till now.
Rising of Facebook
ten months before the Zuckerberg’s FaceMash epic, one of the students of
Harvard – Divya Narendra – had already spoken with the idea of creating a
social network exclusively for Harvard students, many of whom were suffering
from emotional stiffness. And not have ‘aliens’ engaged into the network,
Narendra suggested using Harvard email address as the main username.
Divya Narendra’s partners were twins Tyler and Cameron
Winklevoss. The father of the Winklevoss twins, Howard Winklevoss, is a
successful financial consultant and put in his sons a lot of efforts and money
– so the problem with the initial capital for the future network could be
How Facebook Makes Money
In 2013, the turnover of Facebook, Inc. reached $7.87 billion
and net income – $1.5 billion. The growth rates are also impressive: three
years turnover has increased six-fold.
The basic earnings of Facebook come from contextual ads
on the pages of the social network. Growing number of users and the time
they spend on the site is converted into advertising revenues. 85% percent of
cash-flow that went through the company last year was earned through contextual
The most of the rest 15% are deductions from purchases made
through the Facebook payment system. These are mostly not real, but virtual
goods. For example seeds, fruits and vegetables, purchased by fans of the popular
game Farmville developed by Zynga
the apparent frivolity, virtual goods is a serious business, and the Facebook
report confirms that. The company estimated that in 2010 the global market
turnover for virtual goods reached $7 billion, and by 2014, it rose to $15
At the beginning of January 2013, Facebook Inc. started
testing the service of paid private messaging. Facebook charges $1.00 for a
private message that you can send to the users who are not in your friend list.
And the message goes directly to their Inbox folder, instead of Other one. But
Facebook went further and realized that some users are worth more than a $1. If
you want to send a message to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and get into his
inbox, you might have to pay $100 for this exclusive option. This is another
very simple way to generate additional revenue.
Zuckerberg is a great strategist, and he keeps acquiring companies that
continue their operation as independent entities under Facebook’s umbrella.
In April 2012, acquired mobile photo sharing app Instagram
for $1 billion in cash and stock. Initially, it was an iOS application
developed by Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom. Now the Instagram application is
available on Android OS as well.
In March 2014, Facebook closed the acquisition of
Oculus Rift for $2 billion. Oculus Rift is a virtual reality hardware
engineered by Oculus VR Company headed by Palmer Freeman Luckey. Facebook paid
$400 million in cash plus 23.1m Facebook shares, with a further $300 million in
incentives if it hits certain milestones in the future.
In October 2014, Mark Zuckerberg completed the
purchase of WhatsApp for $22 billion. Facebook paid $4.59 billion in cash and
177,760,669 shares in the company. WhatsApp is an instant messaging application
founded by Jan Koum and Brian Acton in 2009.
Zuckerberg lives in the Palo Alto in a $7
million estate that features 5 bedrooms a saltwater pool, and over 5,000 square
feet of property.
On May 19, 2012, Mark
Zuckerberg married his longtime girlfriend Priscilla Chan in Palo
Alto, California and finally they happily live together.
1. Believes in his Product
Facebook was all of four months old when an
investor offered Zuckerberg close to $10 million dollars for the website. As
tempting as the offer was, he declined and stuck with his baby. After that
there was Google, Viacom, News Corp. Then, Yahoo came by in 2006 and decided
that millions were just not good enough and offered Zuckerberg a cool $1
billion. But, Zuckerberg knew that Facebook was his baby and he hadn’t even tapped
its potential yet. He stuck with Facebook and watched it rise in popularity. In
2007, Microsoft came knocking with a $15 billion offer, but this, too just
didn’t cut it. Even though these were still early days for Facebook, Zuckerberg
believed in his product and he believed in his vision. And then, a few years
later, the Facebook surge conquered the world and how. Suddenly, $15 billion
seemed like poor man’s play!
2. Eye on the
You could have an IQ that challenges Albert
Einstein but you’ve got to have an uncanny knack to own time. Mark Zuckerberg
has aced this and made it an art almost. Whether it came to ignoring Facebook
buyouts or buying Instagram – time was of essence and in both cases, Zuckerberg
owned time. The fact that he didn’t sell Facebook has made him one of the most
powerful and wealthiest individuals on earth and of course his ability to buy
Instagram for half its asking price is proof enough that Zuckerberg knows when
to wait and knows when to move. Besides this, he has an innate ability to
recognise the one thing, maybe two that really matter and he acts. This is a man
who knows all the cards he holds but knows what someone else is holding even
3. Do what it takes
to get what you want
If you have ever watched an interview with the
Facebook founder you will notice how determined and focussed he is on driving Facebook
perpetually forward. This has been true since day one. To get the growth he
wanted Mark used his computer programming skills as a type of currency to trade
for exposure or favours, offering hours of coding time in exchange for a
contact or other favours. To get what you want, and to take your vision in the right direction, you have to be able to use what you’ve got.
Without this smart use of social currency, Facebook may not have been as big as
it is today.
4. Go Big or Go Home
may be a huge internet and social media phenomenon now, but it wasn’t always
that way, and while it grew quickly, what made it stand out was Zuckerberg’s
drive and vision for where his dorm room start-up would end up. When you are building
a company, you have to dream so big that you fear
telling small minds. Zuckerberg dreamed of connecting hundreds of millions of
people around the world, and he succeeded. Working towards a goal takes a
lot of small steps, but they all add up. Use Mark as an example and go big.
The question Zuckerberg asks himself to make
sure he’s going big: “The question I ask myself like almost every day is,
‘Am I doing the most important thing I could be doing?’”
5. Listens to His Employees
They say that good bosses follows his instincts but great bosses listens to their
employees. As far back as 2005, when Mark Zuckerberg was busy meeting with
venture capitalists for Facebook, he was known to disappear for long stretches
of time, leaving his employees with no plan and no vision for the future.
Seeing that most of his then staff was getting demotivated, a senior executive
told him about his lack of CEO-like behaviour. Zuckerberg listened, found
himself mentors who helped him improve his communication skills and now, he’s a
pro. In fact, current Facebook employees laud him for giving them a clear
picture of where the company is and where it’s going.
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you are going to start a company you need so much energy that you use to
overcome your feeling of risk. At the beginning it’s going to look so scary
especially given that you don’t have any experience as in the case for most
startups, you are going to make a lot of mistakes but if you have so much
energy rushing through you, you will be able to overcome your mistakes and that
of your team, you will also be able to guide your team into achieving the
desired result because energy is contagious. 2. Have
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