8 July, 2020
What an Idea!
When: Launched on February 4, 2004
Who: Mark Zuckerberg founded ‘TheFacebook’ with his Harvard University classmates, Andrew McCollum, Chris Hughes, Eduardo Saverin, and Dustin Moskovitz.
How: In the first instance, Zuckerberg wrote the software for the website called ‘Facemash’ in 2003 which allowed users to rate the attractiveness of people. However, a few days later it was shut down by Harvard executives. Nevertheless, Zuckerberg achieved fame on Harvard Campus. The Harvard Administration Board thereby reneged Zuckerberg on an agreement to help them build their own social media site at the campus. Thus, he created ‘TheFacebook.com’ specifically for Harvard University. It took less than a month for the website to become popular. Within a month more than half of all students were on the site. Gradually the site’s reach and popularity spread to other universities and schools. In 2004, Napster founder and angel investor Sean Parker became the company’s president. The company changed the site’s name from ‘TheFacebook’ to just ‘Facebook’ after purchasing the domain name facebook.com in 2005 for $200,000.
Act, not just ideate: Zuckerberg was successful in launching ‘TheFacebook’ for the Harvard students. However, after six days of the launch, Zuckerberg and other co-founders faced accusations by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and Divya Narendra that the idea for the site had been copied. In defense, Zuckerberg claimed that the idea was not copied, but was inspired by multiple sources. Following the lawsuit filed against the founders, eventually, all three received a settlement in 2008. On Harvard Campus, many had the idea of a social network but nobody actually executed it. According to author Helen Keller, ‘’Ideas without action are worthless’’. It was only Zuckerberg who was ambitious enough to make a vast social network a reality.
Evolve and Innovate: For any company to be a success, in the long run, it is important to keep evolving and innovating continually. It is remarkable to witness the way Zuckerberg has iterated the Facebook model. It is amazing to see what was earlier a social network for friends, is now a profit-making platform for business. The reason why Facebook never has fallen flat in its ongoing scaling and innovation. In 2010, Facebook was voted as the world’s most innovative company. Constant improvisation is the key reason for its success.
World’s most popular social network: Facebook complements our social lives, by making social networking easily accessible and easy to use. You can share the information with your family and friends within seconds. With the increase in users of Facebook, the number of employees also increased. Facebook’s success also involves its acquisitions of 82 other companies including ‘Whatsapp’ and ‘Instagram’. Thus, withholding the status of being the most popular social networking website.
Surely, Creativity has no bounds!
“Ideas don’t come fully formed. They only become clear as you work on them. You just have to get started.” – Mark Zuckerberg