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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Mark Zuckerberg's Journey to Becoming The World's Youngest Billionaire

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was born in White Plains, New York on May 14, 1984. He became interested in computers around the age of 12 and used Atari BASIC to create a messaging program he named “Zucknet.” His father, who was a dentist, used the program in his office to allow his receptionist to notify him when new patients arrived. Zuckerberg’s family also used the program inside the house to communicate with each other.

Zuckerberg also created games out of drawings done by his friends, and in an attempt to strengthen their child’s knowledge, his parents hired private computer tutor David Newman. While in high school, Zuckerberg created an early version of Pandora, a music software, which he named Synapse. He turned down offers to buy the software as well as employment opportunities with companies such as AOL and Microsoft.

In 2002, Zuckerberg enrolled at Harvard University, and by his sophomore year, he had become the go-to software developer on campus. It was during this time that Zuckerberg developed the programs that served as precursors to the internationally known social media site Facebook. These programs were CourseMatch, which allowed students to pick classes based on the classes other users had picked, and Facemash, which allowed users to vote between the attractiveness of two student’s pictures.


The next step in the birthing process for Facebook was the development of the networking site Harvard Connection which Zuckerberg worked on with fellow students Divya Narendra, Cameron Winklevoss, and Tyler Winklevoss. Zuckerberg soon decided to work on his own social networking site choosing to work with his friends Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes, and Eduardo Saverin. The site the four developed allowed users to create profiles and communicate with other people who had profiles on the site. By the end of 2004, Facebook had 1 million users, and Zuckerberg had dropped out of Harvard to move to Palo, Alto, California and run the site full time.

By December 2005, the site had more than 5.5 million users and Zuckerberg turned down offers from companies such as Yahoo! and MTV Networks to continue running the site himself. He decided to open the site to outside developers and began adding more features. The company continued to grow, and in 2010 Time named Zuckerberg Person of the Year and Forbes ranked him as No. 35 on its “400″ list, which ranks the country’s richest billionaires. Forbes estimated his net worth at that time to be $6.9 billion.

The company went public in May 2012 and became the biggest internet IPO in history raising $16 billion during its initial offering. In May 2013, at 28 years old, Zuckerberg became the youngest CEO to ever make the Fortune 500 list.

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