Happy birthday, Mark Zuckerberg! 13 quotes that show how he built the social network that took over the world

Happy 31 birthday, Mark Zuckerberg!

Regardless of what you think of Facebook, it’s one of the most popular social networking sites in the world.

And regardless of what you think of Zuckerberg, he’s the one who built the company into the behemoth that it is today.

These quotes exemplify how Facebook became so massive and why Zuck was the guy to make it happen.

On his early passion: 'I got my first computer in the 6th grade or so. As soon as I got it, I was interested in finding out how it worked and how the programs worked and then figuring out how to write programs at just deeper and deeper levels within the system.'

On Facebook's real founding history: 'I mean, the real story is actually probably pretty boring, right? I mean, we just sat at our computers for six years and coded.'

But there was a dark side to the founding story, too...

On people giving him their personal information when Facebook had just got started at Harvard (via instant message): 'I don't know why ... they 'trust me' ... dumb f*cks.'

Zuckerberg was 19 at the time.

Much later, in 2010, he said the following to explain:

'When I was in college I did a lot of stupid things and I don't want to make an excuse for that. Some of the things that people accuse me of are true, some of them aren't. There are pranks, IMs. I started building this when I was around 19 years old, and along the way, a lot of stuff changed. We went from building a service in a dorm room to running a service that 500 million people use.'


On relevance and what you see on Facebook: 'A squirrel dying in front of your house may be more relevant to your interests right now than people dying in Africa.'

On Facebook's purpose: 'The question isn't, 'What do we want to know about people?', It's, 'What do people want to tell about themselves?''

Mark Zuckerberg and friend in Noe Valley


On what people are doing on FB: 'They're keeping up with their friends and family, but they're also building an image and identity for themselves, which in a sense is their brand. They're connecting with the audience that they want to connect to. It's almost a disadvantage if you're not on it now.'

On growing:'Move fast and break things. Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough.'

On his motivation: 'My goal was never to just create a company. A lot of people misinterpret that, as if I don't care about revenue or profit or any of those things. But what not being 'just' a company means to me is building something that actually makes a really big change in the world.'

On why we're social: 'It feels better to be more connected to all these people. You have a richer life.'

U.S. President Barack Obama takes off his jacket as he attends a town hall meeting at Facebook headquarters with CEO Mark Zuckerberg in Palo Alto, April 20, 2011.


On privacy: 'People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people -- and that social norm is just something that has evolved over time.'

On doubters: 'This is a perverse thing, personally, but I would rather be in the cycle where people are underestimating us. It gives us latitude to go out and make big bets that excite and amaze people.'

On Facebook's talented employees: 'People can be really smart or have skills that are directly applicable, but if they don't really believe in it, then they are not going to really work hard.'

On how connecting the world to the internet will create a global community: 'Today we can only hear the voices and witness the imaginations of one-third of the world's people. We are all being robbed of the creativity and potential of the two-third of the world not yet online. Tomorrow, if we succeed, the Internet will truly represent everyone.'

Now, to learn more about another major company...

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