Sunday, October 23, 2011

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg

The US Trends | Mark Zuckerberg | Mark Elliot Zuckerberg, well known Mark Zuckerberg, was born May 14, 1984 in Dobbs Ferry, New York, into a pleasant, well-educated family. His father, Edward Zuckerberg, ran a dental practice related to the family home. His mother, Karen, worked as a psychiatrist before the birth of four children, Mark, Randi, Donna and Arielle.

Mark Zuckerberg developed an interest in computers at an early age when he was about 12 years. Zuckerberg was using Basic Atari to create a mail program he called "Zucknet." His father, Edward  Zuckerberg used the program in his dental office, so the receptionist could inform him of a new patient, without shouting across the room. The family also used Zucknet to communicate within the home. With his friends, Mark also created computer games just for fun. "I had a bunch of friends who were artists," he said. "They came over, draw things, and I want to build a game out of it."

Mark Zuckerberg

To keep up with Mark's burgeoning interest in computers, his parents hired private computer tutor David Newman to come to the house once a week and work with Mark. Newman later told reporters that it was hard to stay ahead of the prodigy, who began taking graduate courses at nearby Mercy College around this same time.

Mark Zuckerberg later studied at Phillips Exeter Academy, an exclusive preparatory school in New Hampshire. There he showed talent in fencing, becoming the captain of the school's team. He also excelled in literature, earning a diploma in classics. Yet Zuckerberg remained fascinated by computers, and continued to work on developing new programs. While still in high school, he created an early version of the music software Pandora, which he called Synapse. Several companies—including AOL and Microsoft—expressed an interest in buying the software, and hiring the teenager before graduation. He declined the offers.

Mark Zuckerberg

In 2005, Zuckerberg's enterprise received a huge boost from the venture capital firm Accel Partners. Accel invested $12.7 million into the network, which at the time was open only to ivy league students. Zuckerberg's company then granted access to other colleges, high school and international schools, pushing the site's membership to more than 5.5 million users by December 2005. The site then began attracting the interest of other companies, who wanted to advertize with the popular social hub. Not wanting to sell out,  Mark Zuckerberg turned down offers from companies such as Yahoo! and MTV Networks. Instead, he focused on expanding the site, opening up his project to outside developers and adding more features.

Mark Zuckerberg seemed to be going nowhere but up, however in 2006, the business mogul faced his first big hurdle. The creators of Harvard Connection claimed that Zuckerberg stole their idea, and insisted the software developer needed to pay for their business losses. Zuckerberg maintained that the ideas were based on two very different types of social networks but, after lawyers searched Zuckerberg's records, incriminating Instant Messages revealed that Zuckerberg may have intentionally stolen the intellectual property of Harvard Connection and offered Facebook users' private information to his friends.

Mark Zuckerberg later apologized for the incriminating messages, saying he regretted them. "If you're going to go on to build a service that is influential and that a lot of people rely on, then you need to be mature, right?" he said in an interview with The New Yorker. "I think I've grown and learned a lot."

Mark Zuckerberg

Although an initial settlement of $65 million was reached between the two parties, the legal dispute over the matter continued well into 2011, after Narendra and the Winklevosses claimed they were misled in regards to the value of their stock.

Mark Zuckerberg faced yet another personal challenge when the 2009 book The Accidental Billionaires, by writer Ben Mezrich, hit stores. Mezrich was heavily criticized for his re-telling of Zuckerberg's story, which used invented scenes, re-imagined dialogue and fictional characters. Regardless of how true-to-life the story was, Mezrich managed to sell the rights of the tale to screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, and the critically acclaimed film The Social Network received eight Academy Award nominations.

Mark Zuckerberg was ardently opposed to cinematic storytelling, and later told reporters in The New Yorker, many of the details of the film were inaccurate. For example, Zuckerberg has been dating for a long time girlfriend, Priscilla Chan, a Chinese-American medical student, met at Harvard since 2003. He also said he was never interested in joining a final clubs. "And It was interesting what stuff that they focused on getting right - like every single shirt and fleece that I had was that the film is actually a shirt or sweatshirt that I own," Zuckerberg told a reporter for the start-up conference in 2010. "So all the stuff that was wrong and a series of random details that they were right."

Mark Zuckerberg

But Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook continued to be successful, despite criticism. Time magazine named him Person of the Year in 2010, Vanity Fair has placed Zuckerberg in the top of its list of the New Establishment. Forbes also ranked Mark Zuckerberg at number 35, beating out Apple CEO Steve Jobs in Forbes 400 list, estimating his net worth of $ 6.9 billion.

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