On Saturday, I decided to go see The Social Network with some friends. I had heard a few reviews of the movie prior to going, but really didn’t know much about it besides that it was based on the story of Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook. I must say after seeing the move, that I would highly recommend seeing it! It is such a fascinating story of how someone sitting in a Harvard dorm room can take a brilliant idea and turn it into one of the largest companies in the world.
The movie is based on the true story of Mark and his Harvard classmates Dustin and Chris, who come up with the idea of creating a website where people can vote on which Harvard girl is hotter, when put side by side. The original name was called Mashface, but it soon would be called “The Facebook”, and then just “Facebook” as everyone knows it today. When they first put Mashface live, they were able to send enough traffic to the website to crash the Harvard servers…at 4am in the morning. As you can probably tell, they knew at this point they had something special.
Here is a clip from the movie of Mark talking to Edwardo about why people will want to go to The Facebook.
During the movie it goes through how he hacked into the Harvard servers to get pictures of the students to create Mashface, the legal actions a few other Harvard students took, when they asked Mark to program a social network, called “The Harvard Connection”, which was suppose to be a spin off of Mark’s Mashface, and the legal debacle the Facebook creators went through to get to where they are today.
Something I Did Not Know About Facebook
I had no idea how Shawn Fanning (Shawn Parker in the movie) was such a big part of the growth of Facebook during the early days. In the movie you learn how Shawn was like a mentor to Mark and convinced him that if he wants to make it big, he needs to move out to San Francisco. He also helped financially with startup capital and finding a VC company to help fund the growth.
This clip shows Shawn and Mark talking about what it takes to take Facebook to the next level.
Great Business Lessons
After watching the movie, it really gave me and I’m sure other entrepreneurs, the motivation to work hard at what you are passionate about and realize how much easier it is to make it big in this modern day. All it takes is an idea and demand for a product to become the next Facebook. You don’t need to be part of a large corporation anymore to spread your idea to the masses.
One thing I loved was that Mark realized that when Facebook was growing by leaps and bounds, that he resisted the temptation to put advertisements on the website. He knew that the reason why Facebook was so popular, was because it was “cool” and its something that students demanded. By added ads to the social network, it would make it “less cool” and would turn students off. Besides the social viral aspects of Facebook, this is what helped Facebook keep the social network entertaining.