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Facebook is a classic Silicon Valley success story: It’s gone from an idea hatched in a Harvard dorm to one of the most powerful and influential companies in the world.
Mark Zuckerberg, its CEO and founder, celebrated his 34th birthday on Monday — and, as CNBC calculates, has made an average of $ 6 million for every day he’s been alive so far.
Indeed, these days, Facebook is worth around $ 536 billion, and more than 2.2 billion people use its social network every month.
Here’s the story behind Facebook’s insane rise from February 2004 through today.
Spoiler alert: It involves a lot of beer.
Facebook got its start at Harvard’s Kirkland House dormitory.
That’s the same dorm where Wallace Shawn, who played Vizzini in “The Princess Bride” and the voice of “Toy Story’s” Rex, lived during his Harvard years.
In 2003, Mark Zuckerberg, then a sophomore at Harvard, built a website called Facemash.
“Facemash” was a Hot or Not-style site. Zuckerberg used pictures of his classmates that he hacked from the school administration’s dormitory ID files. The site got 22,000 page views from 450 people in the first four hours it was up.
A few days later, Harvard ordered it to be taken down, citing copyright and security concerns. Zuckerberg faced disciplinary action from Harvard but was allowed to stay at the school.
Undeterred by the Facemash debacle, Zuckerberg launched “Thefacebook” on February 4, 2004.
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