Photo: Robert Scoble via Flickr
A computer consultant who was a student at Harvard with Mark Zuckerberg, has dug up some alleged, never-before-seen IMs from 2004 with the founder of Facebook.For the past eight years, the consultant, Aaron Greenspan, has said that Mark Zuckerberg stole the idea for Facebook. He says Zuckerberg made Facebook from Greenspan’s own software creation, something called houseSYSTEM Facebook.
In a 71-page timeline of Facebook’s early history which includes the alleged, never-before-seen IMs between Greenspan and Zuckerberg, Greenspan says Zuckerberg said there were only “6 people in the world with good ideas.” One of them was Zuckerberg. One of them was Greenspan. And one of them was Facebook’s former CTO, Adam D’Angelo. Zuckerberg wrote that he still had to meet the other three.
Zuckerberg also allegedly wrote that Adam D’Angelo “taught him most of what he knows.”
“For every good thing I make he has like six,” Zuckerberg supposedly professed to Greenspan.
D’Angelo later left Facebook and created Quora. But Greenspan says D’Angelo left because he and Zuckerberg came to odds.
“Adam can correct me if I’m wrong (though he may now be contractually prohibited from doing so), but his departure from Facebook was reminiscent of the situation with houseSYSTEM,” Greenspan writes.
“Adam and Mark were close friends, by then even working toward a common goal for the same company—their own—which had earned them both plenty of money. Adam wanted to work on a feature set involving questions, and Mark apparently wanted to do it a different way. They decided to part ways, giving rise to Quora, at which point Mark decided not to do the obvious thing and focus on Facebook’s social networking features and out-of-control platform, but to actually compete with Quora! Fortunately for Adam, Facebook Questions was a dud.”
We have reached out to Facebook for comment and will update this story as soon as we hear back.
Here’s an excerpt of the four-part conversation Greenspan has posted from 2004 on his blog:
zberg02: there are only like six people in the world who have decent ideas
zberg02: and it’s the job of the rest of the people to accuse us of taking their ideas haha
zberg02: while we just continually kick arse
zberg02: ho dude
zberg02: you know doug sherrets?
ThinkComp: he emailed me out of the blue.
ThinkComp: then he wanted to be my friend
ThinkComp: you know how it goes.
zberg02: haha yea
zberg02: he like made an exact replica of thefacebook
zberg02: it’s so ghetto
ThinkComp: that’s interesting.
zberg02: he called it facebook
ThinkComp: yet another “young entrepreneur.” [sigh]
zberg02: haha seriously
zberg02: there’s only six
zberg02: i’m telling you
zberg02: i still need to meet the other three though
ThinkComp: do you have names in mind
zberg02: well i’d like to think i’m OK
zberg02: you’re good
zberg02: there’s this kid out in caltech who’s sick
zberg02: and that’s like it for people in college right now
ThinkComp: what’s the caltech kid’s name
zberg02: adam dangelo
zberg02: he taught me most of what i know haha
zberg02: for every good thing i make he has like six
zberg02: i know a lot of kids who should be good though
zberg02: and they just don’t cut it
zberg02: maybe it’s a maturity thing
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