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College Kid to Billionaire...Possibly


Mark Zuckerberg, creator of FacebookIf the dean of Harvard hadn’t told him to stop what he was doing, Mark Zuckerberg may not have been the multi-millionaire that he is today. Zuckerberg created www.facebook.com, an online social networking site that allows schools, companies, and friends to connect. Prior to creating that site he created Facemash, which basically rated the attractiveness of his classmates at Harvard. The dean didn’t like the idea and told him to stop the Facemash project immediately. As it turned out, that was the best thing that could’ve happened.

Since the dean didn’t like the original idea, Zuckerberg decided to change the setup a little bit. Instead of students rating the attractiveness of their classmates, they could go to a site and connect with each other. They were able to see if they had classes together, or what others were doing on Friday nights. They could post pictures and get a glimpse of another classmate’s life. The idea eventually took off and, instead of just being at Harvard, made its way onto other campuses such as Yale and UCLA.

Later, the site expanded to allow companies and even regions to connect. The site is so huge that it’s been rumored that Yahoo may buy it for $1 billion. That’s right…BILLION! Of course that’s just a rumor, but some in the industry say that’s a fair number. I’d say that’s fair considering Google’s recent acquisition of YouTube for 1.65 billion dollars. Unbelievable.

Zuckerberg obviously didn’t know he was going to create such a huge phenomenon with Facebook. He just wanted a way to connect with classmates. He enjoyed computer programming and knew that he could put something together that would accomplish that task. He has even said that it only took about a week to get the basic workings of Facebook programmed and operational. That’s pretty amazing.

Zuckerberg created Facemash, but was told to stop the project immediately. A lot of people would’ve become discouraged at that point and given up entirely. Zuckerberg decided to rework the idea and, in the process, came up with a billion dollar idea. Not bad for a college kid.

The problem is that they are buying only the traffic and users. Facebook itself isn't a unique piece of software and the company provides nothing on their own (the users do all the work). The other problem is that the users are apt to move to the next cool site just as quickly as they moved to face book.

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