On December 15 2010, Time Magazine named Mark Zuckerberg the 2010 person of the year. The Magazine argued that the award served as recognition to Mark Zuckerberg’s power to shape the world (Bahareth 13). Zuckerberg is an extraordinary person who has not only changed the world but as well positively influenced the way the world communicates. Earlier on, in the same year, Forbes Magazine had named Mark Zuckerberg as one of the youngest billionaires in the United States (Lusted 6). Recently in December 2013, Zuckerberg was announced the winner of the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. The prize recognizes individuals who have made transformative achievements in fundamental Physics (PRNewswire). Mark Zuckerberg’s achievements are propelled by his skills with computers, his ambitions, and excellent timing.
Mark Zuckerberg is the second born to dentist Edward and psychologist Karen. Mark was a relentless child whose questions could not be answered by a mere “Yes” or “No”. According to his father, “a no” to toddler Mark was to be backed up with facts (Lusted 17).The encouragement provided by his family became Mark’s strongest foundation in his future life. Mark was an outlier from the start. He outdid his three sisters in all their endeavors. Mark only needed this ability to be nurtured. He was lucky that his well – educated family offered him the encouragement to have self-confidence (Lusted 17).
One of his unique talents was computer programming. He could program his middle school’s computers so magnificently that his teachers and parents alike were stunned (Lusted 19). His father consequently hired a software developer – David Newman to coach him in computer programming.
Zuckerburg created his first computer network ZuckNet at a tender age of thirteen. The network-connected his father’s computers at work and their home computers and sent each other’s messages through pinging(Lusted 21).Mark’s success in networking was enhanced by the availability of a large number of computer resources. He could use his father’s computer at work, their computers at home, and the middle school’s computers at his will.
In his high school days at Phillips Exeter Academy, Zuckerburg cherished working with his colleagues and skillfully created an intelligent music program “Synapse,” which had the ability to analyze the listener’s habits and apply the information to recommend other music (Lusted 21). His teamwork ability was portrayed in his roles as the school’s fencing team captain. Along with his computer skills, Mark was also good at timing his next action. Immediately after the launch of the “Synapse,” AOL and Microsoft proposed to buy the program and hire him. According to Lusted (27), it was not yet Mark’s time to join the corporate world. He had to continue with his education in psychology and computer studies at Harvard University. His choice to study psychology was another calculated move. He knew that he would require the knowledge in constructing products that would be liked by everyone. In fact, he was able to create simple and addictive software like “Course match” and “Facemash.” “Course match” program enabled Harvard University students to choose the courses, basing on their friends’ choices (Lusted 28). Facemash was only to last for four hours before the university administration ordered its closure.
At the time Facemash was launched Divya, Cameron, and Tyler were working on a dating website called HarvardConnection, and was urgently in a need for a computer prodigy who would assist them write code for their upcoming website. The trio recognized Mark. He agreed to work with them but later pulled out to work on his own social networking site “the facebook.”
The creation of the facebook required a lot of dedications, thus could not be done together with the schoolwork (Dobinick 7). On June 2004, Mark suspended his schoolwork to build exhaustively his new site at the Silicon Valley. His action was influenced by Bill Gates encouraging words. Again, it was about timing and risk taking. It was risky for Mark to halt his education to venture into a business that none had experienced. However, Bill Gate’s encouraging words made him move towards the achievement of his goal. He argued that if his project would fail then he would go back to Harvard and finish his education (Lusted 28).
The facebook got its jump-start at an entrepreneurial panel in Stanford University, attended by Mark and other US businesspersons. It was here that Mark decided to change “thefacebok” to “Facebook.” During the function, the students could not hide their interests’ on Facebook. In fact, the students’ interests encouraged Accel to invest $ 12.7 million (Dobinick 9). Later on in 2005, Harinayan and Anand proposed to invest in Facebook. Mark had realized that he needed funds to launch his company. Therefore, he could not turn away these initial investors. He later denied other companies from joining Facebook. According to Mark, he turned down their offers since his goal was“…create an open information flow for people…” (Bahareth 15), and that was never to be done by “a media corporation owned by conglomerates” (Bahareth 15).
Mark Zuckerberg story is an interesting story that flows freely from his tender age to his current position as one of the youngest billionaires in the US. Mark is an ambitious person who would do anything to achieve his dreams. His simple idea to connect computers at their home was later magnified to a worldwide social networking site. When he realized that his Harvard life would hinder him from achieving his ambitions, he chose his ambition over school. Mark has a recommendable timing attribute (Gladwell 7). He refused Microsoft’s lucrative offer since he knew that the deal would enhance Microsoft business and destroy his ambitions. Apart from that, Mark’s choice to launch his site in university and colleges is worth noticing. He knew very well that the students would embrace easily his programs. Moreover, he could read their psychology on the products they would favor (Gladwell 3).
The story of Mack Zuckerberg improves on the American notion that the American political and social system makes everyone successful. This story indicates, that even though, being in an encouraging environment at the right time will contribute to one’s success, an individual needs to be an outlier on his/her own. He/she needs to be ambitious, hold skills in his/her field and move only at the right time. Mark’s success began as his inward effort. If it could have been the social system alone as perceived in the American dream, then even his sisters could have been as successful as he is (Gladwell 3). However, the inner thrust to perform extraordinarily requires favorable conditions as those provided to Mark in his home, high school, Harvard University and in the business field. Finally, for one to be successful, the society and the inner person must work hand in hand.
Bahareth, Mohammad. Kings of the Internet: What You Don’t Know about Them, Bloomington: iUniverse, 2012. Print.
Dobinick, Susan. Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook, New York: Rosen Publishing Group, 2012. Print.
Gladwell, Malcom. Outliers: The Story of Success,New York: Penguin Books Limited. 2008. Print.
Lusted, Marcia. Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook Creator, North Mankato: ABDO, 2011. Print.
PRNewswire. 2014 Breakthrough Prizes Awarded in Fundamental Physics and Life Sciences for a Total of $21 Million. 2013. Web.