A very worthwhile article/extract on the mid-early days of Facebook, an extract from an upcoming book…
Zuckerberg decided to relocate his company for the summer to the promised land of technology, Palo Alto. Searching Craigslist, he found a four-bedroom house to sublet as an office and bunkhouse, and persuaded roommate Dustin Moskovitz to give up a summer computer-lab job at Harvard to become essentially his chief operating officer. Keeping Facebook running, which meant constantly adding more servers, was starting to cost real money. Zuckerberg spent about $20,000 in the first few weeks in Palo Alto, using money he had saved from programming jobs. But clearly much more cash would soon be necessary.
The MTV president [Michael Wolf] kept up his pursuit after the holidays, flying to Palo Alto in January with an elaborate PowerPoint presentation and again the next month with a more personal appeal. He and Zuckerberg were becoming chums. They took a long walk around the palmy, well-groomed streets and stopped by Zuckerberg’s one-bedroom apartment. The place was messy, with a mattress on the floor, piles of books, a bamboo mat, and a lamp. Then they headed for dinner at a nearby restaurant. Wolf popped the same question he’d asked on the plane. “Why don’t you just sell to us?” he asked. “You’d be very wealthy.”
“You just saw my apartment,” Zuckerberg replied. “I don’t really need any money. And anyway, I don’t think I’m ever going to have an idea this good again.” Viacom would try money nonetheless, with a cash offer of $800 million and provisions that could make it worth as much as $1.5 billion. But like many other suitors, the Viacom executives discovered they were dealing with a formidable character.
Just one of the offers to buy the fledgling business. Read the full extract here at money.cnn.com
A Facebook page for the book: The Facebook Effect: the Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World by David Kirkpatrick looks very good.
I learned something just from the extract.