Countless success stories of the Silicon Valley emerge from Harvard and get to the top, and Facebook is the most famous example of this. The story of a college dropout who reached the top is an inspiration for so many. The social network is used by nearly 2 billion people around the world, and Mark Zuckerberg has emerged as the trendsetter of the tech industry fashion.These days, Facebook is worth $364 billion, with over 1.71 billion people using the site every month.
Beginning from a Harvard dorm in February 2004, Facebook has grown to a net worth of $364 billion today. We have gathered you the story of Facebook since its launch to this date.
Harvard’s Kirkland House Dormitory was the first house to Facebook. When Zuckerberg was a college sophomore, he built a program “Face Mash” using pictures of his classmates that he had hacked from the school administration’s ID files. In the first four hours of the app going up, it received 22,000 page views from 450 people. Harvard ordered to take it down in a few days due to copyright and security concerns, and Mark faced disciplinary action from the administration but was allowed to stay. A little while later, he launched “TheFacebook” on February 4, 2004.
Just six days after the launch of the website, three Harvard seniors; twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and Divya Narendra claimed that Mark Zuckerberg had stolen their idea after they had an agreement to create a website called HarvardConnection.com. The filed a lawsuit and received 1.2 million Facebook shares in a settlement in 2008. When Facebook had its IPO in 2012, the shares had a total worth of $300 million.
TheFacebook made half of Harvard students its members within the first month of launch and the network spread like wildfire spreading to Yale, Columbia, and Stanford by March. This was when he brought in Dustin Moskovitz, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, and Chris Hughes as co-founders to manage the fast-paced growth.
The first ad-sales pitch of Facebook happened a few months later showing the incredible growth of the network.
After this, Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of college in the same year. He hired Napster co-founder Sean Parker, as the first president of the company in the middle of 2004.
After leaving college, the Facebook office was moved to a tiny place in Palo Alto, California. It was considered a serious startup without a doubt, but the humble little place was a party hub nonetheless.
To compliment the place, Zuckerberg was as cool as a CEO can possibly be; hanging out in office barefoot and wearing shorts but always with a beer in hand. Not just him, the entire team was beer crazy.
The place was no nerd house, especially not with the hipster or rather improper graffiti.
As soon as the office moved to Palo Alto, Facebook got the first outside funding from the PayPal executive Peter Thiel totaling a $500,000.
By this time, Facebook had a very limited functionality, which was upgraded in 2006 with the launch of the breakthrough Newsfeed, after the company raised $13.7 million in funding by May 2005.
When Zuckerberg met a Google executive Sheryl Sandberg at a Christmas party in 2007, he considered that the company required the position of chief operating officer and convinced her to come aboard at the beginning of 2008.
Facebook began to grow at an even faster rate when the smartphones became popular bringing in countless new users. By 2009, Facebook moved again to a new office, slightly larger but still in Stanford Research Park, Palo Alto. The network managed to reach a trillion page reviews a month by 2010.
In the next one year, the new office was not enough to accommodate the explosively growing Facebook. The company moved to the old corporate campus of Sun Microsystems in Menlo Park.
The company named the entire campus place as “Hacker Way” which referred to Zuckerberg’s philosophy: “Move Fast and Break Things.”
By 2011, Facebook had become a political force and aided the Egyptian uprising in February 2011, organized via social networks. Zuckerberg continued to get more involved, meeting world leaders in support of spreading internet access all over the world.
As the company had established itself as a global force, it had the $5 billion initial public offering on May 18, 2012.
In the same year, Facebook gave its employees “Little Red Books” with propaganda slogans, in an effort to bring together all the employees.
On the next day of the IPO, Mark Zuckerberg married Priscilla Chan, who had been his girlfriend since his Harvard days.
Facebook has risen to a spot where it can get hold of any startup that makes an attempt to disrupt it. This includes the photo-sharing app Instagram that it bought for $1 billion in 2012, and later the most widely used chatting app, Whatsapp for $19 billion in 2014 making its co-founder Jan Koum a Facebook board member.
In March 2014 Facebook bought a virtual reality company Oculus for $2 billion.
The social network had managed to attract 1.23 billion monthly users by 2014; a billion of which were on mobile devices. The high paced growth brought the company to its new campus in 2016, designed by architect Frank Gehry, supporting accommodation for 2,800 employees in Menlo Park.
The CEO and founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg has made a stock scheme so that no matter what happens, he does not lose control of the company. With his famous statement, “We don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services,” we won’t expect him to.
Zuckerberg, along with his wife Priscilla announced the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative in December 2015, a corporation that will receive 99% of his wealth and reinvest it in world changing causes.