Talking of one of the most influential and successful entrepreneurs in the world today, Mark Elliott Zuckerberg holds a top spot position. This young man is one of the great minds of this generation; his story needs to be shared to encourage youths get their acts together and use their time judiciously. Mark is known for his simple and tacit lifestyle, with little or no sign of extravagance in his way of life.
The story of Mark Zuckerberg is a very inspiring one, to encourage all naive minds to get started and make better use of their life.
Born May 14, 1984 into the family of six, Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is the only male child of his parents. He was born in White Plains, New York. He has three sisters: Randi, Donna, and Arielle; they were all brought up in Dobbs Ferry, New York. Their parents were both medical practitioners, He is the son of dentist Edward Zuckerberg and psychiatrist Karen Kempner. Mark grew up as an intelligent and animated boy, he was called a prodigy by his private programmer teacher, he said it was tough to stay ahead Mark. What a remarkable expression!
Mark penchant for computer programming grew from his elementary school; at age 12, he was taught Atari BASIC Programming by his father and later hired a personal teacher to enhance his programming study. As Mark grew, he was enamored with computer and had a limitless affection for computer programming, especially communication tools and games. His first acid test on programming was “ZuckNet”. The software program connected all the computer in their house and his father’s dental office to each other and allowed the exchange of messages between the house and his father’s dental office. He also developed games from the drawings of his friends during his elementary school years.
Mark attended Ardsley High School, where he aced the classes. He was later transferred to the exclusive private school Phillips Exeter Academy, in New Hampshire. In his junior year, he won prizes in sciences, mainly: math, astronomy, and physics; and classical studies. He showed an astute dexterity in fencing, this made him the captain of the school team. During his high school years, he had developed his programming skill well that he had gained fame among his peers. He worked with a company called the intelligent media group, where he built a music player called the Synapse Media Player.
After his graduating in style from Exeter Academy and known for his proficiency in computer programming in 2002, Mark enrolled at Harvard university to study Phycology and Computer science. In his second year in school, known as sophomore year, he wrote a program that he named CourseMatch. This program allowed his peer to make class selection decisions based on their choice and also to help them form study groups. This software got the eye of students and set Mark on his feet; he was known for his student-aids software. After a short while, he created another program, at that time called Facemash; that software allows students select the best looking person from a choice of photos.
The site’s traffic grew tremendously that it prevented his fellow students from accessing the internet and it also engulfed one of Harvard’s network switches, many students lamented that their photos were used without permission; it was almost chaotic, this made the college management shut down the site even when Mark had apologized in public.
In January 2004, precisely the following semester, Mark began to write codes for a new website. By February 4 2004, the new site was on air and it was named “thefacebook.com”. About a week after the site was launched, three Harvard seniors, Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra, criticized and accused Zuckerberg of intentionally deluding them that he would help them develop a social network called HarvardConnection.com, but used their ideas to build a competing product, thefacebook.com. The case was reported to the appropriate authority for investigation.
Mark dropped out of Harvard in his second year to pursue his dream, which he recounted in January 2014, he said “I remember really vividly, you know, having pizza with my friends a day or two after—I opened up the first version of Facebook at the time I thought, “You know, someone needs to build a service like this for the world.” But I just never thought that we’d be the ones to help do it. And I think a lot of what it comes down to is we just cared more”.
After the halt in his study, he relocated to Palo Alto, California with Moskovitz and some friends, they leased a small apartment to serve as an office, During the summer, Mark met Peter Thiel. he invested in the company and his support got Mark and his company their first office in mid-2004. Fulsome offers came to purchase the company but they staunchly refused all the offers. Later in 2007, he disclosed the reason for the refusal; he said “ 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.” He also reinstated his goal for his brand in 2010, Facebook; he said “The thing I really care about is the mission, making the world open.”
2007 was the beginning of an overwhelming achievement for Facebook and Mark; Microsoft bought a 1.6% stake in Facebook for an astounding amount of $240 million dollars. This agreement made Bill Gates signed up on Facebook to get his account on air, he used to spend quite good number of his hours on Facebook but later closed his account as people turned out massively online to chat with him. Facebook and Bill Gates had reached an advertising agreement, which was meant to culminate in 2011. This agreement assisted both parties as they both got wide publicity to improve their services and sale.
On July 21, 2010, Mark disclosed that the company had reached 500 million-user mark; he thought of monetizing the brand, he had earlier, in April 2009, met former Netscape CFO Peter Currie about financing strategies for Facebook. He had made several visits across the world to orientate citizens about the need for Facebook and this initiative was gleefully welcomed. He built management team at Facebook that was “focused on building high quality and good things to keep the brand above its pack.
How facebook was monetized
Facebook started making money as far as 2007 but in 2013, Facebook broke the jinx as it recorded a $7.87 billion worth of turnover and net income of $1.5 billion. The basic source of revenue for Facebook comes from contextual ads on the pages of the social network. The parameters used to get advertisers are simply: the growing number of users and the time they spend on the site. 85% percent of the revenue comes from contextual advertising, others are through the purchase of virtual goods on Facebook. Other ways Facebook generates income is through text message on Facebook; earlier in January 2013, Facebook started charging for text messages; facebook charges $1 for messages to be sent to users that are not on the senders list; it doesn’t stop at that, Facebook went further to stipulate a whooping fee of $100 for any message to be delivered to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. What a laudable strategy.
Mark and his other companies
As Facebook grows, Mark thought of expanding the outreach of connectivity; this quest led to the purchase of giant social networks: WhatsApp, Instagram and Oculus rift. In April 2012, Mark acquired the popular mobile photo sharing app, Instagram, for $1 billion in cash and stock from Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom. Two years later, precisely March 2014, Facebook purchased 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 an addition $300 million in incentives with a condition of its success rate in future. Later in 2014, October to be precise, Mark Zuckerberg completed the purchase of instant messaging application founded by Jan Koum and Brian Acton in 2009, WhatsApp, for $22 billion. Facebook paid $4.59 billion in cash and 177,760,669 shares in the company.
His Marriage and achievements
On May 19, 2012, Mark Zuckerberg tied the knot with his heartthrob and longtime girlfriend, Priscilla Chan in Palo Alto, California and finally they happily live together. On December 1, 2015, Mark Zuckerberg and Dr. Priscilla Chan welcomed their daughter, Maxima Chan Zuckerberg, to life. They are now a family of three living happily in Palo Alto, California USA.
Today, Mark Zuckerberg worth $53.6 billion and he is the fifth richest person in the world. Currently, his dream, Facebook, now worth about $350 billion, making it the sixth most valuable company in America. What a great entrepreneur he is.
- In 2010, Vanity Fair magazine named Zuckerberg number 1 on its list of the Top 100 “most influential people of the Information Age”.
- Zuckerberg ranked number 23 on theVanity Fair 100 list in 2009.
- In 2010, Zuckerberg was chosen as number 16 in New Statesman’s annual survey of the world’s 50 most influential figures.
- He was ranked 10th on the Forbe list of the world’s most powerful people.