The Journey of Facebook

Posted by | November 28, 2007 | Entrepreneurial | No Comments

Startups, what do they have in common apart form a great brainwave, for one it is great team effort, the other is the belief in the Product and belief in oneself; this is what is attributed to ‘Facebook’ founded by Mark Zuckerberg.

An article by Fred Vogelstein titled ‘Facebook’ in ‘Wired’ traces the journey of Facebook and its founder Zuckerberg from its inception to its present day. Vogelstein starts of with the story of young Mark Zuckerberg who wanted a social site to connect friends and which proved to be a revolution in itself. Unlike other sites ‘Facebook’ wanted to reach out to friends and colleagues who were known to each other well enough for a peek into their activities and life. Facebook did not intend to connect unknown people and hence information for one was available for everyone in the group to see. Well Mark and his colleagues decided to add that little something into ‘Facebook’ which seems to be in rage in 2006; the outcome was ‘Newsfeed’ where an addition to a members activity would be known to everyone in the group automatically as it was updated and this seems to to do the trick. Well by now everyone wanted ‘Facebook’ and hence its value had soared and like other bidders Yahoo had offered a proposal of $1 billion in cash. But what happened was that the timing, as Yahoo itself was going through a case of slower growth and sales through advertisements were all time low and hence Terry Sebel(the then CEO of Yahoo) reduced the price from $1 billion to that of $800 million; but Mark Zuckerberg wouldn’t accept and just turned down the offer and refused to renegotiate even when Sebel increased the price back to $1 billion; many thought that Zuckerberg was doing a grave mistake, well everyone else were mistaken!

The story goes like this by early 2007 Zuckerberg had decided to open ‘Facebook’ to the highschool community and soon the membership soared to 14million from 8 million in 2006. The major setback was that while students both in Highschool and college enjoyed using Facebook to connect, sadly they had to log off when they needed to do other stuffs like check the auction price at ebay or something like that. Well for one Facebooks employee couldnt handle the responsibility of developing a platform on everyone’s likes because it might be too large to do handle, so the next best option which Zuckerberg opeted was to to open Facebook to Independent developers so that applications which suited individuals could be devleoped, this was done in May of this year. Not only that Developers could charge for their wares and collected revenues. This does make ‘Facebook’ the most sought after platform.

But all said and done Vogelstein does observe that there is no killer application for facebook yet which could land it on top! If it could be developed there is no stopping for “Facebook”

I completely relate to Mark Zuckerberg and his willingness to show courage under extreme pressure, afterall it is these characters that helps us to stand apart!

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