When you think of Facebook, one of the first people you automatically think of is its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.
35-year-old Zuckerberg is known for starting the biggest social network in the world from his Harvard University dorm room in 2004, but as with every business that starts from humble beginnings, he needed help.
The First Developer Team That Started Facebook, Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes And Mark Zuckerberg (Left To Right)
The initial success of “The Facebook” (as it was known back in 2004) was down to the team of developers Zuckerberg enrolled in developing his idea earlier on.
You may think that so long as he just gets his idea up and running all of the code and marketing can be improved as the company grows.
Whilst that has merit to it you only have to look at the story of MySpace to realize that the decisions you make early on in the technology sector can come back to bite you if they are the wrong ones.
Zuckerberg’s Problem: He Needed Engineers Quick
After its launch, The Facebook was growing faster than any of the college students had ever imagined and could have easily overwhelmed the young Zuckerberg with the level of activity the site was generating.
Rather than putting an advertisement out in The Crimson (Harvard’s newspaper) for some colleagues who were taking computer science courses, he agreed for his roommate, Dustin Moskovitz, to come on board and manage the site.
There was one problem…he was an economics major who didn’t know how to code a website.
The Power of an Open Mind
Ask yourself this? If your friend had a few thousand people signed up to his new app – would you go out of your way to join them? Would you learn a new computer language without getting paid?
It was at this point many would have given up as helping out now meant learning a new programming language from scratch for what ultimately looked like a side project, albeit a very popular one.
Within a weekend Dustin had taken a “Perl For Dummies” book home and studied it over a weekend, telling Zuckerberg on his return that he was “ready to go”.
Although the site was actually written in PHP Zuckerberg didn’t have the heart to turn the self-taught engineer away and since the languages were very similar they ploughed on together growing the company to different colleges.
The End Result
Moskovitz picked up PHP along the way but little did he know that his initial enthusiasm to help out a friend would change his life forever.
As a founder of Facebook he became one of the youngest self-made billionaires in the world. As if that wasn’t enough he has also founded another successful software company, Asana, demonstrating that an abundance of wealth and possessions that he acquired when Facebook went public were not the primary motivators behind his career.
Passion, vision and a love of what you do is a common theme through all successful people which is exemplified with Moskovitz.
Not every opportunity that comes your way will be the next Facebook but it is the open-mindedness and determination when there are not any immediate rewards that can determine whether you take on the next big thing or you don’t.