When 19 year old Mark Zuckerberg invented “The Facebook” in his ivy covered Harvard dorm-room, little did he realise that the invention will change his (and our) life forever and make him the youngest self-made billionaire in history (Beat that!).
A little look at Facebook’s interesting history will tell us how a raw idea would become a global venture to affect 500 million lives daily!
So, did he magically wake-up to see a billion users hitting “log-in” button or was it a meticulous plan to finally see it happening?
Great minds will put dibs on the second option!
Launched in 2004, ‘TheFacebook’ was initially supposed to be a friendship network for students of Harvard College, but gradually with course of time, it expanded to other colleges around the United States and today, needless to say, Facebook has quite made a mark in our lives. (Count the number of times you’ve judged a random person’s profile, have voiced your opinions for an issue you strongly felt about or just aimlessly surfed and scrolled pages to kill time.)
For those who haven’t seen “The Social Network” (a popular film based on early years of Facebook) wouldn’t know that geeky “Zuck” (Zuckerberg) had been approached by fellow Harvard seniors to develop a social network somewhat same as Facebook, but meant exclusively for Harvard students (Mark had something else going on in his mind, that’s another interesting story!).
EARLY DEVELOPMENTS OF FB
- Launched as “The Facebook” in February, 2004; originally for Harvard students.
- Mark dropped out of Harvard; moved to Palo Alto, California to work on the idea.
- Expanded the site to different universities like Columbia, Stanford and Yale.
- Found an angel $500,000 investment by Peter Thiel in summer 2004; which helped him expand the site at a much faster rate.
- Expanded the idea to connect not just students, but several big-shot companies’ employees(including Apple)!
- Connected the whole world! In 2006, Mark wanted it to be BIG. If you were above 13 and had an email address, you were welcome to join Facebook!
Consider a euphoric situation:
You start a website and it hits 0 to 1000k visitors in a few weeks, you high-five your team-mates and say,”How do we keep these users happy?”
What you’d do? What did Mark do?
I’m sure you must have noticed the ads popping out in you screens; most of the advertisers opt to promote their pages and pay for it. From advertisements, apps, games, promoting pages and services to investments by tech companies, Facebook has effectively managed to finance itself. Viral Marketing Strategy has worked as wonder for its growth!
How did Facebook get to this point?
- Small independent teams
- Measuring small changes to implement bigger ones
- Hiring best of engineers and operation teams that can handle anything
- Engineered growth into the product daily, viral marketing strategy at its best!
That’s pretty an insight of how Facebook survived (read: still rules) the internet. And there’s much more to come!
Now, I don’t know if there will ever be a success story as big as Facebook’s, I don’t know how many dropped out undergrads would become one of the most influential people of all times, I don’t know if there will ever come something so engrossing that effectively keeps us away from our real lives,
But one thing is for sure; we can always learn and grasp ideas to apply it to our unfinished dreams!