Friday, October 9, 2009

Secrets of Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates

In response to The New York Times article entitled Who’s Smarter: Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg? by John Markoff, I made a comparison of two of the world's most successful tech heads or technology leaders, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Bill Gates of Microsoft.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, dropped out of Harvard so he could pursue his vision of improving what used to be thefacebook.com. Bill Gates, CEO of Microsoft, dropped out from school with the same reason. These two visionaries and achievers followed their dreams and left what which is keeping them from reaching their dreams.

Mark just proved that history repeats itself when he became the second man to drop out of school, next to Bill Gates, whom later became successful. In life, success is not really measured by how much we earn but what we learn. It's not about doing something just for money but doing something that really makes you happy. It would be an icing to the cake if you do both though...

I DO NOT suggest that we drop out of school but if something is standing in the way of realizing our dreams that we know will make us happy, then why stay? Besides, being at school doesn't guarantee that you will learn everything that you will need in life. Being at school doesn't guarantee success later on. We get to pick up the pieces that will help us build our dreams, yes they start at school, we need to learn the basics but then sometimes if it's just delaying us from reaching our dreams, maybe it's about time to move a little faster, dream a little higher and work a little smarter.

Just as my favorite Sidney Sheldon character, Dana Evanston said,

"If something can stop you, you might as well let it go."

The secret to success? Pursue that which is make you happy and don't be afraid to take risks.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Mark Zuckerberg: Innovating and Inspiring

Who: Mark Zuckerberg
What: What?! You've been using Facebook and you don't even know who's the genius behind it?!
When: February 4, 2004
Where: Harvard dorm
Now: Palo, Alto
How: Start-up and development of Facebook

Here's the interesting part of the story. Mark founded Facebook together with his classmates, Dustin Moskovitz, Eduardo Saverin and Chris Hughes. The idea of Facebook came from an annual directory which most colleges and prep schools are publishing. They made an electronic version of this student directory then known as the Facemash, then "thefacebook" and eventually became the famous social networking site, Facebook. The site became a hit to his co-Harvard students as it allows them to compare students' dorm photos and works similarly to that of HOTorNOT.

The administration of the said school were not as enthusiastic and amused with his creation as Mark managed to "hack" and obtain photos of the students from the school's students information database. He faced subsequent disciplinary actions due to his actions and creation. Being a man who loves to create things, he was never undaunted. He continued improving the site together with his co-founders and in less than three months later (beginning of the summer) Facebook was launched. It started as thefacebook.com with Harvard students taking it as the hottest thing. Later they spread it to other Ivy League schools which includes Stanford, Dartmouth, Columbia, Cornell and Yale.

In order to pursue the development of their project, Mark and his friends moved to the technology capital of the United States--Palo Alto, CA. You may not imagine how a company currently serving over 300 million users started with a humble small house. Well, from small and simple things, great things will come to pass.

Just like any other start-up companies, Facebook needed an investor in order for them to continue covering for their expenses and improvements. Mark met with Peter Thiel over the summer and later had their first office during the summer of 2004.

Mark Zuckerberg has a wide computer programming background and it's not surprising that he created such a networking site which would later become such a hit as he started programming when he was in middle school. He also developed a program which helps the workers in his office to communicate while he was attending Phillips Exeter Academy. He also built a music player named Synapse which uses artificial intelligence to learn the user's listening habits and a version of the game Risk.

What lack I yet?

1. Downtimes

Just like any other social networking sites with growing members and avid users almost every second around the world, what features or development does it lack? Lately, there have been successive attempts of DoS(denial of service attack) to both social networking giants, Facebook and Twitter. Many users have been experiencing downtimes and unable to log in to their sites. It is vital part of the service which Facebook has to continue to monitor and continually struggle to prevent.

2. Automatic Account Deletion
Many users have been rumbling as their accounts are automatically being deleted because of some violations to the Facebook Terms and Conditions without further investigations or giving the user the chance to defend himself or his actions. With its growing users, they should have a special team just for settling these increasing concerns. For such a huge company, they should also strive to improve their customer service and user interaction. Well it was a good move for them that they allowed the users to vote on the terms and conditions that they want. I guess it would also be a good move to know what the users concerns are.

3. Contacting

Did I mention that it's difficult to coordinate with them when you want to report bugs or spams? I think it is something they need to work on.

Mark Zuckerberg developed a project that changed the world and the way communication works. He pioneered and engineered a platform wherein everybody could interact and share their own ideas and implement them real-time. As he puts it, "If you're not breaking things, you're not moving fast enough".

Way to go Mark! Indeed as you said, "We still have a lot to build and do."