12:51:00 AM

Mark Zuckerberg, founder, CEO and president of Facebook, launched what became the world’s most popular social networking website in 2004. Just four years later, he was the planet’s youngest billionaire.
Born in 1984, Zuckerberg was interested in computers from an early age and could write software code before he was 12 years old. At high school he wrote a program he called ‘ZuckNet’, which allowed all the computers between the family home and his father’s dental office to communicate by ‘pinging’ each other. His next venture, which caught the attention of both Microsoft and AOL,
was a music player that used artificial intelligence to learn the user’s listening habits.
While studying computer science and psychology at Harvard University, Zuckerberg, aged 19, began working on a program which would allow students to contact one another via an online website. At first called ‘The Facebook’, the site launched from his dorm room on February 15 2004. Within two weeks, more than half of Harvard’s students had signed up for the service, and Zuckerberg, with the help of his roommate, opened it up to universities across the United States and Canada. In June of that year, after an influx of investment, he dropped out of Harvard and moved to Palo Alto in California to devote all his time and energy to the skyrocketing social network site. In September 2005, the high school version of Facebook was launched and by the following year anyone with a valid email address was allowed to access it.
“I don’t pretend that I had any real idea what I was doing at first,” Zuckerberg tells “You’re going to make a ton of mistakes, but you don’t get judged by that. In a world that’s changing really quickly, the biggest risk is not taking any risks.”
Creating and sustaining a startup is beyond difficult, he says, and the one essential quality for success is passion. “The demands and the amount of work it takes, if you weren’t completely into what you were doing and didn’t think it was an important thing, it would be completely irrational. You really have to believe and love what you’re doing.”
Zuckerberg has had many number of opportunities to sell the site for vast amounts of money, but has resisted them all. “As a company we’re focused on what we’re building rather than on the exit,” he says. “We believe we’re adding a certain amount of value to people’s lives if we build a very good product.”
In May 2012 investors were giddy with expectation when Facebook went public, but the outcome was disappointing and share prices plummeted. Stocks have begun a gradual recovery since then, and Zuckerberg remains confident about his mission - to make the world more open and connected. “When you give everyone a voice and give people power, the system usually ends up in a really good place,” he says. “What we view our role as, is giving people that power”

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