Motivational Leaders: Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Facebook (FB). Here's how he built the vastly successful social media business.
While many intelligent people attend Harvard University, Mark Zuckerberg became known quickly as the go-to computer programmer on campus. By his sophomore year, he had already built two programs: CourseMatch and FaceMash. Both programs became wildly popular, but the university shut down the latter program after it was deemed to be inappropriate.
Based on his acclaim on campus, Zuckerberg partnered with friends to create a social networking site that allowed Harvard students to connect with each other. The site officially went live in June 2004 under the name "The Facebook," and Zuckerberg ran it out of his dorm room.
After his sophomore year, Zuckerberg dropped out of college to pursue what was then called Facebook, full-time. The website reached one million users by the end of 2004.
This explosion of user growth attracted the attention of many venture capital (VC) firms, and Zuckerberg eventually moved out to Silicon Valley in 2005. Facebook received its first round of venture capital investments from Accel Partners, which invested $12.7 million in the site that was still only open to Ivy League students.
By the end of 2005, however, Facebook had opened up to students attending other schools, causing the website to reach 5.5 million users. Since 2005, Facebook received numerous acquisition offers from the likes of Yahoo and Microsoft, has been through legal battles, and has greatly increased its user base.