This is a very fascinating artifact from the annals of Internet History. In 2005, Mark Zuckerberg went back to Harvard — where he founded Facebook just a few years earlier in his dorm — to give a speech to an empty lecture hall about Facebook’s early days. It’s particularly amazing for someone like me who first signed up for a Facebook account in 2004 before my freshman year of college, when you could only get an account with a .edu. People like me love to wax nostalgically about the glory days of Facebook, when it was limited just to college students who would use it for college student things: Hitting on cute girls, sharing pictures of ourselves having a grand ole time at whatever parties we happened to be going to, posting about how fucking awesome Entourage was, inviting each other to parties, etc.
People love to lionize (and/or demonize) Zuckerberg for all things they love or hate about Facebook and how The Social Network is intertwined in their daily lives. But when you hear him talk about it to his college-aged peers Facebook’s early days, you really get a feel for how his product was really just a thing that become a thing, something that happened out of pure chance, opportunity, and founders passion. This isn’t Jesse Eisenberg’s Mark Zuckerbeg, who was over-the-top and melodramic about certain dickish choices a company’s founder and CEO had to make. Because of that characterization, Zucks has earned reputation for being a control freak and a little bit of a maniac, but he really comes across as a mad chill dude in this lecture.
It’s amazing to see how barely anyone at his alma mater came out to see him talk in 2005. He’s now arguably one of the most famous people on the planet and it’s hard to imagine him not drawing thousands and thousands of people at any public event in the social media age he helped create. If you like the Internet — and you should because you’re on it right now! — I highly recommend giving this a watch. Zucks, beers on me next time you’re in Soho to chill with the BroBible crew.
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