Mark Zuckerberg

“Move fast and break things. Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough” – Mark Zuckerberg

A former Harvard science student Mark Zuckerberg turned the path of technology towards an amazing view by launching the Facebook along with a few friends. Facebook became the most popular social network in the world in the year 2004. He was only 24 years when he achieved the distinction to be the youngest billionaire in the world in 2008 and was named the “Man of the Year” by the Time Magazine in 2010. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer and President of Facebook Inc.

Childhood

Mark was born on 14th of May 1984 in White Plains, New York. He was the second child of four children born to Edward Zuckerberg, a dentist and his wife Karen, a psychiatrist. Mark and his three sisters Randi, Donna and Arielle were raised in a reform Jewish household and brought up in Dobbs Ferry in New York.

School Life

Mark was a brilliant student at Ardsley High School. After two years, he transferred to the private school Phillips Extra Academy and won prizes in mathematics, astronomy, physics and classical studies. He attended the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth summer camp in his youth.

He could read and write French, Hebrew, Latin and ancient Greek by his high school graduation.

From the young days Mark was a programming enthusiast and to keep up with his passion, his parents got the assistance of a private computer tutor David Newman to mentor Zuckerberg. Mark was not easy to keep up with, and while still in high school, he created a music software, called Synapse. Synapse Media Player worked on artificial intelligence to learn the user’s listening habits and recommend other music. Several companies including AOL and Microsoft expressed an interest in buying this software and hiring Mark, but he declined these offers. He then enrolled himself at the Harvard University in September 2002.

University Years

The New Yorker noted that Mark had already achieved a “reputation as programming prodigy” before attending the University, where he studied psychology and computer science. While in university, he wrote Course Match, a program which permitted the users to make class selection decisions using the choices of the other students and to assist them to form study groups.

He also invented Facemash, which became quite a controversial application. This was a program for the purpose of finding the most attractive student in the university. It resulted in the use of the photos and images of the College students without their permission which was offensive particularly to women on campus. He ended the project and apologized stating that he thought of it as a computer experiment.

Facebook

Around the same time, perhaps inspired by the idea given by three Harvard seniors Cameron Winklevos, Tyler Winklevos and Divya Narendra to build a social network called HarvardConnection.com as a dating platform for Harvard students, developed “thefacebook” (Facebook was originally called this) on 4th of February in 2004. As soon as this was launched, the three seniors accused Zuckerberg of using their ideas to build another competing product as opposed to HarvardConnection.com. Due to the lawsuit filed against Mark he agreed to the settlement of 1.2 million Facebook shares. Over the years Facebook became the icon that the world would recognise Mark by, and today, it is the most widely used social network with over 2.5 billion monthly active users.

Family Life

Mark met his future wife Priscilla Chan while in Harvard at a fraternity party. She was a medical student at the University of California, and they got married on 9th of May 2012. The couple is blessed with two daughters.

Career

Currently, Mark manages day to day operations at Facebook, and has already invested in many other initiatives worldwide including internet.org. He works at the company situated in Menlo Park, California.

He missed the opportunity to graduate from Harvard, as he dropped out. However, he was awarded an honorary degree in 2017 by the university. He also delivered the commencement address at the university’s 366th Commencement on May 25, 2017.

Mark gets a one-dollar salary for being the CEO of Facebook and he was named as one of the “Top 10 Business Visionaries Creating Value for the world” in June 2016 by Business Insider. Mark was added to MIT Technology Review’s TR35 list as one of the top 35 innovators who are under thirty-five years of age in the world in 2007.

In late of the August 2013 he launched the internet.org where his primary aim is to provide internet access to the five billion people who are not connected as of the launch date. He is of the opinion that internet.org would provide new job opportunities and open new markets deploying a three-tier strategy.

Personal Life

Although Mark has stated that he is an atheist, he is from a Jewish heritage. His personal worth was estimated to be more than 60 billion dollars in 2019. He also has founded philanthropic Chan Zuckerberg Initiative with his wife to leverage technology to assist the aims of science, education, justice and opportunity.

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Kaushalya Wickramanayake

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