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About the author:
Ekaterina Walter is a social innovator at Intel. A recognized business and marketing thought leader , she is a regular contributor to Mashable, Fast Company, Huffington Post, and other leading-edge print and online publications. Walter has been featured in Forbes and BusinessReviewUSA and was named among 25 Women Who Rock Social Media in 2012. She sits on a Board of Directors of Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) and is an active member of the Thunderbird Global Council at Thunderbird School of Global Management.
Find out more at: http://www.ThinkLikeZuck.com
In college. he was known for reciting lines from epic poems such as The Iliad. And in the early days of Facebook. he would pick up his foil and walk around with it. Mark Zuckerberg’s advice to young entrepreneurs in his March 25. no less). On hard days. Sometimes. thinking out loud. In the early days. Master and . it will make the world better.Chapter 1 Passion Find that thing you are super passionate about. Zuck’s dominance was indisputable. he was listed as “Founder. you could hear the word dominate thrown around often in conversations among the boys. people will have more understanding. a tagline accompanied every page of Thefacebook that read “A Mark Zuckerberg production. That’s the guiding principle for me. Mark sometimes perceived the world as a fencing match. Mark can read and write French. 2011. When he was a boy. Hebrew. appearance at Brigham Young University in Utah People call him “The new Internet prince. a video game in which the object is to build an empire that will stand the test of time.” and on the About page. and ancient Greek (or so it said on his college application). he favored Civilization. I really just step back. Latin.” Zuckerberg does have some imperial tendencies. more empathy. A fencer in high school (a captain of the team. A lot of founding principles of Facebook are that if people have access to more information and are more connected. delivering sudden thrusts here and there. trying to build the right strategy and figure out the next move. and that’s the thing that keeps me going. Some of his friends are convinced that it served as a valuable exercise to prepare him to run his company.
That was the computer Mark learned to code on. his father did. which was installed in Ed’s home office. a personal computer called the Atari 800 that was designed for the casual computing enthusiast. Zuck’s confidence is oftentimes interpreted as arrogance. Ed wasn’t afraid to dabble in technology and learned how to code himself.” Mark got the technology bug from his father. It became his passion. Says Ellen McGirt. Mark loved playing with machines as much as. A dentist by profession. he studied psychology and computer science. I conquered") just as Julius Caesar reportedly said when celebrating a victory in 47 BC. in one of her stories about Zuck: “But he’s not arrogant—he’s profoundly certain. “Veni. His direct stare can be unnerving. one can just imagine him proclaiming when reaching one billion users. His passion powered his confidence. His very first purchase was in 1978. At Harvard. His tendency to tune out if he isn’t interested in a conversation is well publicized. vici!” ("I came. But isn’t that what a man on a mission would do? From an early age. the Zuckerbergs purchased IBM’s XT.” One of Zuck’s first social coding experiments took place in the mid-nineties when his father got tired of hearing shouting from one room of his home dental practice to another . vidi. He bought every early computer he could. He created multiple little programs that explored the ways people connect with each other online. a writer for Fast Company.” Given his knowledge of Latin. and he learned something new with each one of them. He wanted to bring the ways we communicate offline to the exploding world of online interactions. Ed had an admiration for technology.Commander. if not more than. Enemy of the State. Shortly thereafter. Edward Zuckerberg. I saw. Ed cheered him on as well as his other kids: “You have to encourage them to pursue their passions. Zuck was smitten with the intersection of software and social connections.
” which allowed one computer in the house to message another. As David Kirkpatrick notes in his book.” In high school and during his first year of college. the program Zuck co-built in his senior year at Phillips Exeter Academy. They tried to recruit Mark. including Synapse. all used Zucknet to communicate with each other while working on their own computers in their rooms. Randi. The program he built was a simpler version of AOL’s Instant Messenger. Donna. and Facemash. His Harvard friends recall a T-shirt he wore often: it pictured a little ape with the words “Code Monkey. He would code into the wee hours of the night. used artificial intelligence to learn a listener’s habits so that it could suggest other songs that matched what the user liked. Mark enjoyed developing computer programs. but he chose to attend Harvard instead. and Arielle. The idea was to help students identify who took which classes on campus. Zuck created CourseMatch during his first week in college. the program appealed to the status-conscious students at Harvard. Zuck had created a program students wanted to use. The system was popular beyond Ed’s office: Zuck and his three sisters. The program caught the attention of both Microsoft and AOL. . which came out the next year. You could say Facemash was the reason he built Facebook. It was also extremely useful in helping students form study groups for particular classes. CourseMatch. Whether you wanted to hook up with a hot girl or hang out with the “cool” crowd.announcing the arrival of a new patient. But more on that later. Synapse Media Player. He wanted a more efficient approach. That’s when Mark built a messaging system he called “Zucknet. Mark built several smaller programs. especially ones that gave people the ability to interact with each other. The Facebook Effect.
It didn’t matter in what format or for what purpose. Mark couldn’t wait to try out new ideas. He was put on probation and asked to see a counselor.” Today. became an instant hit.000 pairs of photos.” At one time on his personal Facebook page. Before the site was shut down. The project. Harvard decided his actions constituted an inappropriate and unauthorized use of personal information. The success of these experiments clearly showed Zuck that he had a knack for creating simple and addictive software. the “About Mark” space on Zuck’s page simply states: “I'm trying to make the world a more open place. completed in an eight-hour stretch. People couldn’t stop using it. revolutions. he created Facemash. To create an open world. Harvard turned off Mark’s Internet access. a program aimed at finding out who was the hottest person on campus. He considered it a . and he was called before Harvard’s disciplinary administrative board (along with the other two students who helped create Facemash). to enrich their lives. He wanted to build a “social utility. To connect people. minimalism. Mark Zuckerberg had a strong desire to help people connect and. he invited users to compare two different faces of the same sex and vote for the hotter one. The next month. students voted on 22. through that. making things that help people connect and share what’s important to them.Encouraged by the success of CourseMatch. In a bold move. information flow. The problem was that he had hacked into the university system to obtain names and photos of the “participants” without permission from the university or students. Zuck listed his personal interests as “openness. He also had passion. He was able to get information on students from nine of Harvard’s twelve houses (either through hacking in or getting a log-in from his friends).” That passion is what helped him move on from the “failure” of Facemash toward the creation of Facebook. That is when the trouble started. Except he didn’t consider Facemash a failure.
Mark ensured that the sign-up was voluntarily and that students had the power to decide if they wanted to share any information with others. I believe. No hacking into systems or borrowing others’ log-ins this time. There is no such thing as “failure” if you really want to pursue your dream. When Facebook launched early the following year. it proved to him that there is a huge need for young people to bring their offline connections online. He learned a lot from his experience. This stunt also came at a time when students were asking their universities to develop a site that would include key information about each student to facilitate easier connections on campus.” Zuck has real vision. If you are passionate about something. Lesson here? An experience such as the one Mark had with Facemash could be either a failure or a learning experience. For one. your work is never done. Passion is a thin line between success and failure. you most probably consider such an experience a valuable lesson and will apply it toward the next iteration of your idea. and he wants to see that vision executed. “For us. That is the reason he has . engineering manager of Facebook’s site integrity team. If you truly believe in something. False starts are simply invaluable learning experiences toward the next iteration of an idea or a product.monumental success. That’s the core philosophy behind the “hacker way”: your product is never final.” says Pedram Keyani. nothing will stand in the way of making your idea a reality. were critical to the success of Facebook’s design and its early features. Students had to opt-in in order to participate and had the freedom to identify what types of information they wanted their friends to see. And those lessons. depending on how you decide to look at it. “hacking is about passionately working toward a goal and not being afraid of failure.
Or a bad five years.” Creating value (even if you make a bunch of mistakes in the process) trumps everything else. “So many businesses get worried about looking like they might make a mistake. and you have purpose. knowing Mark. Mark heard the pleas of students and decided that if the university wouldn’t provide something that students were asking for. he probably vowed to do it better than the university would anyway. He wasn’t about to sit on sidelines and watch that happen. Hence. I don’t have to worry about making things look good if they’re not. students worried that Harvard would reject similar projects altogether. There is another lesson in Zuck’s experiment with Facemash: perseverance. they get up. and there isn’t a lot that can stop them. even after its IPO. they find the storm and ride it. Some might call it “being a control freak. They fall.” but I regard it as sheer brilliance on his part. He knew that after his stunt with Facemash. I am not going to get fired if we have a bad year. What I noticed is this: the most successful entrepreneurs always have one trait in common: they never give up. he would be the one to build it for them. “Companies are set up so that people judge each other on failure. They cannot not do it! People with passion. they move on. don’t wait for the sunshine. You move on because you have a goal.” Passion fuels perseverance—one of the key ingredients of success. they become afraid to take any risk. In the words of Steve Jobs (during his 1995 interview with the Smithsonian Institute): “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance. along came Facebook.” Zuckerberg says with conviction. you have passion.never let go of his control of the company. I can actually set up the company to create value. propelled by their purpose. They know what they have to do. . And.
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