Who are the founders of Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook founder, multi-billionaire and super nerd

From a purely visual point of view, he is a run-of-the-mill type, but if you showed a picture of him to Internet-savvy people, the recognition rate would probably be very high: Mark Zuckerberg hardly stands out from the crowd because of his inconspicuous appearance, and yet he is probably one of the most famous CEOs the world, not least because of the numerous data scandals and the associated public appearances in the past two years. But who is this youngest self-made billionaire of all time?

That's how it all started

In 2004, when he was only 20, Zuckerberg founded his now multi-billion dollar company Facebook as a student at Harvard University. At that time it was launched under the name “TheFacebook” and was initially only accessible to students at Harvard University. After a few weeks, half of all students became members, together with his friends Dustin Moskovitz, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum and Chris Hughes, Zuckerberg continued to develop the network and finally made it accessible to students from other US universities. In the same year, Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of his studies, moved out of the Harvard dormitory and moved into his first office in Palo Alto. In 2005, the restrictions on registration were relaxed, and every user over 13 years of age has been able to create a profile since then. The News Feed was launched in 2006, which helped Facebook its final breakthrough.

A lot has happened since those beginnings. The social network currently has around 2.3 billion monthly active users, but the many ups and downs of recent years have increasingly focused on its founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The 2010 film The Social Network in particular received a lot of attention. This thematizes, among other things, the genesis of Facebook and the subsequent legal dispute with co-founder Eduardo Saverin and the Winklevoss twins. The latter accused Zuckerberg of stealing the idea for Facebook from them. Shortly before Facebook was launched, the twins asked their Harvard classmates to program the ConnectU online network. Mark Zuckerberg is said to have secretly developed Facebook from this.

The person behind the Facebook founder

Although Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO, is extremely well known, relatively little is known about the person as such. The 35-year-old keeps his private life largely out of the public eye. Zuckerberg was born in White Plains, New York and studied computer science and psychology at elite Harvard University. After founding Facebook in 2004, he finished his studies without a degree in 2006. In 2012 he married his uni love Priscilla Chan, with whom he now also has two daughters. He is considered the youngest self-made billionaire of all time, according to the Forbes list 2018, his fortune is around 71 billion US dollars, which gives him fifth place in the list of the richest people in the world. What many do not know: Mark Zuckerberg is red-green-blind and therefore opted for blue when choosing the color for Facebook.

Zuckerberg's annual challenges

There is no question that Mark Zuckerberg is an amibioed person. Otherwise, he wouldn't have been able to build the most successful social network (yet). But the CEO also faces new challenges in his private life. Since 2009, the Facebook boss has given himself a new task every year, his personal challenges. Since he also announces these publicly, the 35-year-old is always under public scrutiny to ensure that they comply. For example, before the gray T-shirt became his trademark, he wore a tie every day to work in 2009. The background was the economic downturn in 2008, by wearing a tie he wanted to draw attention to the fact that Facebook is taking the problems seriously and emphasizing the importance of the situation.

In the following year he learned the Mandarin language, in 2011 it got a bit strange, but with a serious background: For a year he only had meat on his plate if he had actually killed the animal himself. With this, he not only wanted to live healthier, but also to deal more with the topic of sustainability. In the years that followed, he made a goal to meet someone new every day who doesn't work for Facebook, read a new book every two weeks, write a thank you note every day, and visit all 50 states in the United States. In 2018 he shifted the focus away from personal achievements and concentrated fully on the business: After a year marked by crises and scandals, Zuckerberg wanted to fix Facebook.

Public appearances and missteps

The many scandals surrounding Cambridge Analytica and wrongly passed on user data that overtook Facebook in the summer of 2017 meant that Zuckerberg could not avoid justifying himself to the public. In an interrogation lasting several hours, he had to face the US Congress and once again made it clear in his appearance that he is not a fan of public appearances, but secretly still the nerd who founded Facebook in 2004. With his almost robot-like facial expressions and gestures paired with the meaningless statements, he quickly became a mockery on the Internet.

While some compared him to the artificial intelligence Data from the science fiction classic Star Trek, the fact that he sat on a seat cushion also caused some snappy comments. The fact that the entire debate was largely a flop was not only due to Zuckerberg and his vague statements and the often said phrase "My team will get in touch with you". It was mainly due to the senators, who shone with their considerable ignorance about the topics of the Internet, Facebook, digitization, data protection and online advertising. At times it seemed as if Zuckerberg had to explain the basics of the Internet to his 80-year-old grandparents instead of providing well-founded statements about the data protection of billions of people worldwide.

# Zuckerberg # ZuckUnderOath # ZuckerbergHearing # WednesdayWisdompic.twitter.com / vfJ0DFlXsW

- Way of the World (@wayotworld) April 11, 2018

An even bigger PR disaster was his virtual reality appearance in the disaster area of ​​Puerto Rico in October 2017. The Facebook CEO wanted to promote the new Oculus products together with Rachel Franklin, head of Facebook's social VR department. To do this, the two were virtually transferred to Puerto Rico, where Hurricane Maria had previously raged violently. The fact that such a natural disaster is used to promote the company's latest technologies backfired and was widely criticized in the media.

Wolf in sheep's clothing?

It is difficult to make a final judgment on Mark Zuckerberg. On the one hand, with his childlike facial features and his jeans-t-shirt combination, he still looks like a nerd from university who, by the way, has built the largest social network in the world and who always prefers to sit behind his PC instead of being in public. On the other hand, he has become the youngest self-made billionaire of all time for a reason and created a huge empire with Facebook. Of course, he also has certain responsibilities to protect the data of his billions of users and not to sell it for advertising purposes. Zuckerberg and Facebook have often vowed to improve in the past few months, it is time they kept their promises.