“The true story of two best friends- geeky outsiders at a prestigious Ivy League University- who wanted nothing more than to get into one of the elite fraternities on campus, so they’d have an easier time getting laid.”
Thus poetically begins Ben Mezrich’s proposal about creating Facebook with Mark “I Just Want to Help” Zuckerberg as “dorky,” fencing-loving, Adidas shower shoes-wearing Harvard undergrads.
The book may not be the most rigorously factual account, as Mezrich’s Bringing Down The House… was debunked by the Boston Globe as “not a work of ‘nonfiction’ in any meaningful sense of the word.”
Rolling Stone’s recent profile of Zuckerberg is a bit more specific about his motivations. Facebook began as so many other brilliant ideas do, with drinking alone on a Tuesday night (ah, college). Recently dumped and feeling bitter, Zuckerberg wrote on his blog, “Jessica A— is a bitch.” (Does anyone know who Jessica A. is?) That night, he created Face Mash, a site for students to compare their classmates’ pictures with those of farm animals and rank them in terms of attractiveness. Charming!
Then he allegedly stole a bunch of code from another student networking site and launched Facebook while telling the creators he was still working on their programming. They wrote to Zuckerberg and Harvard President Larry Summers, claiming an ethics violation, and sued. Zuckerberg countersued.
Then Zuckerberg allegedly stole some stuff from Aaron Greenspan, another Harvard student with whom he had collaborated. Greenspan had started a website with a networking feature called TheFacebook a month before Zuckerberg launched Facebook. Way to be subtle there, Mark. Greenspan has since written in his “self-published autobiography” (awesome), “Mark was inarticulate and naive.”
Then Eduardo Saverin, the main source for Mezrich’s book, and Zuckerberg sued each other after a “mysterious falling out.”
Rolling Stone further confirms what we all feared — Zuckerberg’s ultimate goal is world domination: “‘I kind of want to be the new MTV,’ he declared.” Hm, MTV sort of sucks these days, Mark. But we take your point. Now Harvard is honoring the man with an Entrepreneurial Company of the Year Award. Hey, remember the halcyon days of yore when you could break up with someone without everyone getting a little broken heart on their minifeed, adding the element of humiliation to what had been simple, straightforward pain? We mourn for those days.
Tell-All Book: Zuckerberg Set Up Facebook To Get Laid [Gawker]
Who Founded Facebook? A New Claim Emerges [New York Times]
The Battle For Facebook [Rolling Stone]
SXSW: Mark Zuckerberg Keynote [Techipedia]