Yes, I’m fully aware of the fact that until yesterday I was one of the very few that had not seen “The social network” yet. And yes, I know I should be ashamed because of that, being an internet marketeer and bit of entrepreneur myself. But hey, let’s just say I was waiting for the right moment!
Flying to Vegas for the Affiliate Summit West 2011 I was flipping channels on my
private 55″ full-HD LED entertainment system 2.5″ in-flight entertainment system, when I came across a documentary about Zuckerberg. I think I missed most of it but I did learn some things that also featured in the movie. Zuckerberg being one of my biggest internet heroes back then, at that point already took some damage in my respect for him. Let’s just say the movie didn’t help him in that aspect.
When you watch ‘The social network’, it is hard not to go on believing that he is a awkward, selfish, antisocial guy who really just stole the whole idea of Facebook from 2 of his fellow students. And we are led to believe that he is a cold hearted guy who puts money and success above everything else, and in the process of building his billion dollar project has no problems ditching his best friend and co-founder of Facebook. That being said, in the movie emphasis is put on the fact that he is very much influenced by Napster founder Sean Parker (who was excellently portrayed by Justin Timberlake, kudos!) in many of his private and business decisions.
So, where does it leave us now? What should we, viewers of the flick, have to believe now? Zuckerberg dismissed the movie as “a work of fiction”. In an interview he did he said that the small details were correct, like the clothing he wears, the fact that he has been dumped many times by the ladies and that Facebook started out as a way to get some sort of personal social attention. But the main plot was absolutely wrong according to Zuckerberg.
But based on all the facts we’ve seen and heard, and the fact that there is no clear evidence that he did NOT steal the idea for Facebook, were do I put him right now. I don’t know. Do I place him in my personal list of the world’s best entrepreneurs right next to Bill Gates, Steve jobs, Sergey Brin and Larry Page? No. Not for now. There are too many unknown factors to the whole Facebook legacy for me.
Besides that, Facebook is Zuckersbergs only project right now. Granted, it has no match in terms of value that has been created at lightning speed, but take Bill Gates, Jobs and the Google guys. They have all branched out to loads of products. Gates has Windows, Bing, Xbox and so on. Jobs has the Apple, Iphone, Ipod, Ipad, Apple TV, Itunes and numerous other things and look at the products Google rolled out in the last 10 years, Gmail, Chrome, Android, Youtube, Google Earth etc. I know they have been around longer, but I do like to challenge the thought of what Mark would be doing right now hadn’t he started Facebook.
So, now you tell me what you think. Is Zuckerberg a billion-dollar hit wonder who shouldn’t be credited at all, or is he simply a genius that should deserve all the respect in the world?
Here are some recent stats about Facebook you might find interesting: