14 May-2014, TOI: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg turns 30 on May 14. While Zuckerberg is not the first tech Titan to join billionaires’s club before his 30th birthday, he is certainly among those whose work has changed the world forever.
Here are a few little-known facts about the Social Network ‘hero’.
While studying at the Harvard university Mark Zuckerberg, a psychology sophomore, developed “Facemash,” a website that asked users to judge students’ attractiveness based on their dorm-directory photos.
However, the site didn’t go well with authorities and many students. On February 4 2004 Zuckerberg launched Thefacebook.com, a social network that allowed users to create basic profiles including personal information and photos. Initially, Facebook was supposed to be a networking site for university grads, but was thrown open for everybody in 2006.
Accused of cheating
Harvard students Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss and Divya Narenya sent Zuckerberg a cease-and-desist letter, accusing him of independently developing thefacebook.com while he was hired to work on their social networking project, HarvardConnection.
According to promotional material later published by ConnectU’s lawyers, Facebook settled with the founders of “ConnectU”, the Winklevoss twins and Divya Narendra, for a purported $65 million.
Facebook has three other co-founders, all college roommates and fellow students of Harvard University; Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes.
Facebook CEO is red-green colour blind, which means that the best colour he can see is blue. Zuckerberg reportedly once said, “Blue is the richest colour for me. I can see all of blue.”
No prizes for guessing why blue is the most dominant colour on the world’s top social networking site.
Declined job offers from Microsoft, AOL
While in high school, Zuckerberg co-developed a music app called Synapse Media Player.
Tech giants Microsoft and AOL reportedly offered Zuckerberg a million dollars to further develop the app as well as wanted to hire him. Zuckerberg instead chose to join Harvard University.
His Facebook profile
Wondering what the founder of world’s No. 1 networking giant likes? As per his Facebook profile, Zuckerberg likes McDonalds, In-N-Out Burger, Daft Punk, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Kate Perry among others.
Doesn’t own a TV, calls himself atheist
Born to Jewish parents, Zuckerberg considers himself an atheist. According to a report in Business Insider, Zuckerberg doesn’t own a TV.
In the year 2011, Zuckerberg topped the GQ’s worst-dressed men in Silicon Valley list. Zuckerberg got the top honour for ill-fitting hoodies, jeans, t-shirts and Adidas sandals. GQ wrote, “Oblivious to the fact that jeans and ties come in skinny sizes — or that suits exist — the father of Facebook (and we do mean father) loves to recycle the fresh-from-Stats-class look.”
Zuckerberg is mostly spotted in his trademark jeans with black tie over a t-shirt at most press events or special occasions.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg only lists one book on his Facebook profile: Orson Scott Card’s “Ender’s Game.” But apparently, that’s not his favorite book.
According to Zuckerberg’s official Facebook page, his three favourite quotes are:
*Fortune favors the bold: Virgil, Aeneid X.284
*All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once you grow up: Pablo Picasso
*Make things as simple as possible but no simpler: Albert Einstein
Married to Priscilla Chan
On May 19, 2012, Mark Zuckerberg married his longtime girlfriend Priscilla Chan. The two reportedly met at a party while waiting in line for washroom. In September 2010, Chan moved into his rented Palo Alto house.
Incidentally, Chan was one of the first people to join Facebook, on February 5, 2004. Chan was also among the first few people to join Facebook, on February 5, 2004 (the day after it was launched).
Became youngest billionaire at 23
Zuckerberg became the youngest billionaire in the world at the age of 23 in the year 2008, according to a Forbes estimate. He was ranked 785 on the World’s Billionaires list.
Zuckerberg scored initial $500,000 investment from PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel.
Takes $1 as salary
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg joined the symbolic $1-a-year club for CEOs like Steve Jobs and Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. He decided to drop his salary to $1 in 2013 from $503,205 in 2012. And his total compensation of $651,165 in 2013, which includes bonus and other pay, fell 67% from $2 million in 2012.
He owns 426.3 million shares of Facebook stock, which are currently valued at $25.68 billion.
Gets special security
Zuckerberg receives special security protection paid for by Facebook, according to the company’s SEC filing. This includes a security system at his house in Palo Alto, California, and the annual cost of security personnel.
“We require these security measures for the company’s benefit because of the importance of Mr Zuckerberg to Facebook, and we believe that the costs of this comprehensive security programme are appropriate and necessary,” according to the filing.
Has a pet dog named Beast
Zuckerberg owns a pet dog named Beast. A Hungarian Sheepdog, Beast too has his own Facebook page with over 1.8 million fans.