This past weekend I saw The Social Network. Not once….but TWICE! And what piqued my interest was, what I’m sure piqued everyone else’s: How the hell did Facebook get that damn popular???
Everyone and their mama has a Facebook page! Hell! Obama and his mama, probably have a Facebook page! So even though it my boyfriend’s turn to choose the movie this weekend, he agreed that The Social Network was the better choice!
Beside all the extra – ness that the media used to hype up the storyline I saw Mark Zuckerberg not as a some fluke success but a ridiculously smart guy who was able to act on an idea while adhering to some of the most basic entrepreneurial principles (Yes profs! It only looked like I had my head down in class):
1. Have a vision, never let money be your sole motivating factor but know the potential of your idea – In case you’re unaware, Mark was sued for his idea and responds to condescending questioning at his hearing in the movie – “Ma’am, I know you’ve done your homework…so you know that money isn’t a big part of my life, but at the moment I could buy Mt. Auburn Street, take the Phoenix Club and turn it into my ping pong room.”
2. Build your team – Eduardo Saverin was Mark’s best friend with an Economics background and Sean Parker was founder of Napster being one of the first to pioneer free, down loadable music. And even though Mark fired Sean for being cracked out, it initially made sense to have them on his team.
3. Secure financing – Mark made Eduardo CFO of Facebook and he contributed $1,000 to the initial start up and then another $18,000 as part of Facebook’s cash reserves. Mark later secured a bank loan for $500,000 towards Facebook’s expansion.
4. Be disciplined and commit to the success of your business – There were several instances where Mark was working hours upon hours on building his site – 36 hours straight of entering hundreds of thousands of lines of code into his website and rarely did they show him eating (not at all advocating by the way).
5. Have faith and pray often – After Facebook went live, Mark’s head fell to his chest, his eyes closed and he leaned back in his chair and Eduardo says, “Dude, are you praying?”
6. Don’t live beyond your means even if your business is doing well – Not once did I see Mark in anything other than flip flops, hoodies and shorts. Even in the winter.
7. Test the market – Mark’s test site was similar to the defunct Hotornot.com that pitted girls against each other, ranking them on their hotness. Within hours the website had garnered the response of practically the entire campus.
8. Timing is everything – Mark was in the throws of a lawsuit with 2 guys who claimed he stole their idea. Mark’s response: “If you guys were the inventors of Facebook, you’d have invented Facebook.” They had an idea, he had a better one and he acted on it.
9. Expand slowly – At the onset, Facebook was exclusively for Harvard students. Now, Facebook is available to everyone in more than 207 countries with more than 500 million users.
10. Protect your assets – To date, Facebook hasn’t went public and is structured in such a way that helps Mark retain the rights and control over his company.
OMG…IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY…RUN AND GO SEE THIS MOVIE! SERIOUSLY. RIGHT NOW!
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