Where are you from? “Dobbs Ferry.” What’s your major? “Mostly computer science but also psychology.” Where did you live? “Kirkland House at Harvard.”
I’m meeting with Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, and have already run through the extent of my social networking skills from college. If that didn’t start a conversation, I usually headed back to the bar. Fortunately, Mr. Zuckerberg is not only a programmer, but a talker as well.
On the third floor of your average downtown Palo Alto building, I meet Mr. Zuckerberg after walking through a large room filled with tables and lots of large screen monitors manned by mostly young men wearing the only thing that distinguished this workplace from a hedge fund—T-shirts.
Mr. Zuckerberg’s creation, an Internet service that allows students to post personal information and photos, is nothing short of a twister sweeping college campuses, keeping millions up to date on their friends’ lives and dating status. There was a reputed $1 billion plus offer from Yahoo!, turned down, natch.
Even more remarkable is that Mr. Zuckerberg is all of 22 years old. What is it that made Facebook become so valuable in less than three years? And will 22-year-olds with 200 employees come up with all the good ideas from now on?