What a difference 17 years can make.
When a young Mark Zuckerberg appeared on our television screens nearly 17 years ago to discuss his new venture, The Facebook (it had a “The” back then), few would have imagined the impact this cocky 20-year-old would have across the globe.
Today, Facebook plays an integral part of our daily lives; not only does it continue to connect people from different corners of the world but it is also a major platform in world business and politics.
Facebook’s significance in these areas should not be underestimated.
The 36-year-old multi-billionaire regularly appears before the US Congress to explain how the company he built from his Harvard dorm room is battling misinformation and fake news on the platform.
During the extraordinary rise of the social media giant over the last decade not only has the company changed beyond recognition but so too has its founder.
In a rare early interview with CNBC back in 2005, when Facebook’s growth was taking off, the young Zuckerberg was one of many aspiring young entrepreneurs looking to build the next MySpace (remember them???).
In a brief but informative appearance, Zuckerberg appears alongside another internet business hopeful, Dan Stillman, looking to build the next big dating website under the name “Wesmatch.com”.
Had the CNBC presenters known just how big Facebook would go on to be I’m sure they would have asked it’s Founder more pertinent questions but given that they had no idea what social media was (who did back then) they try their best to get a young Zuckerberg to explain it to them like he would do to his grandparents.
Check out the interview below.
Compare the 2005 Zuckerberg with today’s robotic, monotone (“That’s a great question senator”), stale and anodyne Zuckerberg that we see in the US hearings. and the difference is remarkable.
Does business success come at the price of your personality?
In 2005 the Harvard dropout came across as a relaxed and charismatic individual excited to see where his latest internet creation would take him.
This is a far cry from how he is depicted in the 2010 movie, The Social Network, which essentially portrayed him as a reclusive geek who would betray his closest friends for success.
At the time of the interview Facebook had just over 100,000 users but was growing at a rapid pace. In just five years it would have over 500 million active users.
Has success in business come at the price of Zuckerberg’s personality and charm that he clearly had in the early days.
But would you rather have no personality or be the founder of Westmatch.com?