Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Ryan Neal
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: RidiculouslyExtraordinary. Posted by Ryan Neal
Co-founder of Facebook
Currently Known For:
World's Youngest Billionaire
May 14, 1984
Co-founder of Facebook
Regardless of how you feel about Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, you have to admit that he’s been one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world, and helped usher people into the social media era. When Zuckerberg started Facebook in 2004, not many people knew just how popular it would become, and how popular it would still be more than a decade later.
Born on May 14, 1984 in White Plains, New York, Zuckerberg shone as a youngster having been near the top of his classes. Zuckerberg had a rather normal upbringing, with his mother that worked as a psychiatrist and a father who was a dentist. Along with three sisters, Zuckerberg would spend most of his childhood in Dobbs Ferry, New York.
Growing up, Zuckerberg had always had a mind for computer programming, starting back when he was a teenager that created an instant messaging system. Zuckerberg’s computer prowess was able to get him into Harvard, where professors expected big things from him. Before even turning 20 years old, Zuckerberg worked alongside several others to create a social networking site that would originally be used for Harvard.
According to those that he worked with, however, Zuckerberg would take many of the ideas and create his own site, calling it Thefacebook. Quickly, the site would become popular at Harvard and would then catch on with others, who wanted access to the site. Originally, you had to have a college e-mail address to sign up for the site that would then become simply Facebook, though that’s changed throughout the years.
When Facebook started up, Zuckerberg ran the website through his dorm room. He’d end up dropping out of school, however, as he wanted to focus all of his time on building the site that had quickly been gaining popularity. Within just a few years, Facebook’s popularity would skyrocket and become one of the most visited websites on the internet. Originally, Facebook would be a direct competitor of MySpace, but would quickly surpass the site’s popularity. Zuckerberg had thought that just a few hundred people would sign up upon launch, but Facebook would have more than 100,000 people using the site after a couple of months.
Facebook has made Zuckerberg incredibly wealthy, but he says that he didn’t start the company with the thought that it could be a business. “I was just trying to help connect people at colleges and a few schools,” he said. “That was a basic need, where I looked around at the internet and there were services for a lot of things that you wanted. You could find music, you could find news, you could find information, but you couldn’t find and connect with the people that you cared about, which as people is actually the most important thing.”
Unfortunately for Zuckerberg, his net worth would take a massive hit in July 2018 when he had lost more than $15 billion in one day. Facebook stock had collapsed, and it was Zuckerberg that took the brunt of the damage. The main cause for the shares dropping was because of the quarterly report that came out, showing that Facebook’s growth hadn’t been nearly as much as predicted.
Within just a few hours, Zuckerberg would see himself go from being the fourth richest person in the world, and nearly dropped out of the top 10. While problems did arise, Zuckerberg has been able to still be massively wealthy, and that’s not a title he’s expected to lose out on anytime soon. After all, he’s still worth north of $60 billion, and he’s bounced up and down depending on Facebook being in the news.
For Zuckerberg to bounce back from his major one-day loss, he’ll have to make sure that data for Facebook users is well protected. 2018 has seen the social media site come under a lot of scrutiny, and it’s caused Zuckerberg to have to appear in front of politicians both in the United States and the United Kingdom. “We’ve started off a little bit on the idealistic, and maybe naive, side,” he said. “What we’ve learned over time very clearly is that the most important thing always is making sure that people’s data is locked down.”
Still the youngest billionaire at 34 years old (for now), Zuckerberg is always a prime target in the media. As one of the most visible CEOs around, Zuckerberg is often depicted in popular culture in a multitude of ways. The story of how he co-founded Facebook was the plot for the film “The Social Network”, and he’s been shown in many other movies and TV shows, mostly from the world of satire.
Now a father of two and having been married for six years, Zuckerberg does put a lot of focus into his family. That doesn’t mean that he’s limited his time with Facebook, After Google and YouTube, Facebook is still the third most visited website in the world. Unlike other forms of social media that have gone by the wayside over the years, Facebook maintains its massive popularity, and figures to be a money maker for Zuckerberg for years to come.