Back in Facebook’s early days, Mark Zuckerberg used to carry a business card that read, “I’m CEO…Bitch.”
So yeah, he had an attitude.
Take, for instance, that time Mark took a meeting with top venture capital firm Sequoia Capital in his pajamas and presented a PowerPoint deck titled “The Top 10 Reasons You Should Not Invest.”
David Kirkpatrick explains in Fortune’s excerpt of his upcoming book The Facebook Effect:
As the Facebook boys started dealing increasingly with real business professionals, a reputation for rambunctiousness spread throughout the valley. “It’s Lord of the Flies over there,” one executive told an executive recruiter. Zuckerberg had to be careful which business card he handed out at meetings. He had two sets. One simply identified him as “CEO.” The other: “I’m CEO…bitch!”
One of the crew’s edgiest pranks in those days was a presentation made to the blue-chip venture-capital firm Sequoia Capital, known in the Valley for a certain humorlessness. Sequoia éminence grise and consummate power player Michael Moritz had been on Plaxo’s board. Parker saw him as having contributed to his downfall. “There was no way we were ever going to take money from Sequoia, given what they’d done to me,” says Parker. The firm wanted to invest in Facebook, so as a joke the boys offered to pitch the partners a Zuckerberg side project called Wirehog, a peer-to-peer file-sharing program.
Zuckerberg and another partner showed up deliberately late for an 8 a.m. meeting, in their pajamas. They didn’t even make a pitch for Wirehog. Zuckerberg showed a PowerPoint presentation David Letterman-style: “The Top 10 Reasons You Should Not Invest in Wirehog.” It started out almost seriously. “The number 10 reason not to invest in Wirehog: we have no revenue.” Number 9: “We will probably get sued by the music industry.” By the final few points it was unashamedly rude. Number 3: “We showed up at your office late in our pajamas.” Number 2: “Because Sean Parker is involved.” And the number one reason Sequoia should not invest in Wirehog: “We’re only here because [a Sequoia partner] told us to come.” The partners seemed to listen respectfully, recalls Zuckerberg, who says he now regrets the incident. “I assume we really offended them and now I feel really bad about that.”