How much is Mark Zuckerberg worth?
|Net Worth:||$60.6 Billion
|Date of Birth:||May 14, 1984 (age 38)|
|Country:||United States of America|
|Height:||5 ft 7 in (1.71 m)|
About Mark Zuckerberg
“The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” — Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg is best known as the co-founder of the Facebook social network. He was born in White Plains, New York, on May 14th, 1984, and attended Harvard University. While there, together with his roommates, he created and launched what would later become known as Facebook. Currently, he acts as its chairman, chief executive officer, and de facto controller of the company.
The Facebook CEO is also the co-founder of a spacecraft development project called Breakthrough Starshot, serving as a board member.
Mark Zuckerberg proved to be an exceptional student from an early age. He first attended Ardsley High School, but after two years he was transferred to the Phillips Exeter Academy, a private school. Here, he excelled in mathematics, physics, astronomy, and classical studies in particular and won prizes in all these subjects.
He began writing computer software in middle school. His first remarkable program was one that allowed computers in his house and his father’s dental practice to communicate with each other. It is a first, primitive version of instant messaging.
By the time he joined Harvard university, he was already very advanced and could build interesting software and websites. One such website was Facemash.com which used the database of the years facebook to compare female students as a prank.
He started working on a new website in January 2004 together with his roommate Dustin Moskovitz and financed by Eduardo Saverin. In February of the same year, he launched Facebook right from his dormitory. The social network was initially meant to connect only students on campus, but it quickly extended to other campuses as well. By mid-2004, they had already moved to Palo Alto, where they got their first office.
After seeing the success Facebook had on the Harvard Campus, Mark Zuckerberg and his partner quickly decided to try and extend it to other campuses as well. They started with Columbia University, followed by New York University. Yale, Stanford, Dartmouth, and more.
Once the social network began to be more and more successful, they moved to Palo Alto. It is here that Mark met Peter Thiel, who saw Facebook’s potential and decided to invest $500,000 in it. Thanks to this investment, they got their first official Facebook office.
Soon after that, they began receiving offers from several corporations who wanted to buy Facebook. As Mark himself says, for them, it wasn’t about the money, so they rejected all these offers and focused on constantly improving their social network.
In April 2005, Accel made a $12.7 million venture capital investment. This deal saw Facebook’s value at $98 million.
By October 2005, the social network had extended to 21 universities in the US, UK, and around the world, and by December of the same year, it had 6 million users.
The following big investment for the company came from several venture capitalists, such as Meritech Capital, or Graylock Partners, and totaled $27.5 million.
In September 2006, Facebook was available for anyone over the age of 13 who could provide a valid e-mail address, and you could say, its rise, and the rise of Mark Zuckerberg, was unstoppable.
In July 2007, Microsoft expressed its interest in buying a 5% stake in the company. Their offer is estimated to be $300-$500 million. In the same year, Google approached Facebook, with the intent to buy a portion of the company.
In September 2007, Microsoft bought a 1.6% share of Facebook for a total of $240 million. At this point, Facebook’s estimated value rose to $15 billion. Later that year, in November, Facebook’s received another investment of $60 million from a Hong Kong billionaire, Li Ka-Shing.
Despite the huge success, Mark Zuckerberg didn’t focus his energy solely on Facebook. He also created a file-sharing service, Wirehog, which would be a precursor to Facebook apps.
He also launched Internet.org, in August 2013, an initiative meant to provide internet access to the about 5 billion people who didn’t have access to it at the time of the project’s launch.
Through his continued stewardship of Facebook, and its increased share value. Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth has continued to grow and sits at about $60.6 billion give or take.
While many controversies surround Mark Zuckerberg, including a few lawsuits, the admirable thing about him, which also helped him succeed when others didn’t, is that he held on to his vision and worked hard until he saw it turn into reality.
He started working on building websites and software from an early age and constantly persevered. And when he finally started to become successful, he didn’t stop at the first chance to make quick money. He rejected the first purchase offers when his company was only just starting to get famous, and believed he had the potential to make it a lot bigger.
Once his company, Facebook, became a true authority in the world of social networks, Mark began purchasing several other companies. He started in 2009 with FriendFeed, a real-time news aggregator. The most famous purchases, however, are those of Instagram and WhatsApp, which took place in 2012 and 2014 respectively. Both acquisitions were paid in cash and stock. Instagram was bought for $1 billion, while WhatsApp for $19 billion. Some would say these are some of the best acquisitions of all time.
All in all, Mark Zuckerberg’s fortune was made through a combination of intelligence, concentration and attention to detail, and a flair for business and investments in general. He had the skills to create a social networking site as no one had ever done, he was driven enough to expand it. He was also confident enough to meet with and sell his idea to his first investor, Peter Thiel. This investment as well as some of the knowledge and know how that came along with it, some would say was the key that turned the lock for Facebook. Taking it to the next level.
People have often speculated on why he is so determined. But I once heard Mark Zuckerberg say it best, “sometimes we just want to build something”. I think more than anything it’s the pleasure of the creative process that others might not understand.
The Social Dilemma
Not all of Zuckerberg’s fame and success has been viewed positively however. In fact in the award-winning feature picture The Social Network a version of events leading up to the founding of Facebook painted Zuckerberg in a very questionable light.
While his genius was undeniable it tells a tail of lies, betrayal and deceit. Mark’s role is played by Jesse Eisenberg and in the movie, to me, it made it appear that Zuckerberg deliberately deceived and diluted the value of the original Facebook shares owned by Eduardo Saverin (played by Andrew Garfield). It also implicates Napster founder, Sean Parker who is played by Justin Timberlake and who seemingly greased the wheels for this major betrayal to take place. While Zuckerberg has publicly said that the movie “made up stuff that was hurtful,” it is known that at very least the lawsuit brought by Saverin, is true.
Mark Zuckerberg started his young adult life as a passionate, smart, computer programmer. It was his drive and passion that we see, allowed him to bring many amazing ideas to life much quicker than any of his competitors could.
He held on to a bigger vision, which allowed him to take the company further, instead of selling it to the first potential buyers. Once he was good enough to find the first investors, things began to move quickly and his fortune snowballed from there.
Even when the money started flooding in, he continued to hold on to his vision, he never stopped, and through the bringing of new improvements to his platforms, increased the share value by a factor of five fold.
“By giving people the power to share, we’re making the world more transparent.” Mark Zuckerberg