But nearly a semester after creating thefacebook.com, a social networking website launched on Feb. 4, Mark E. Zuckerberg ’06 doesn’t seem to have let things go to his head.
Wearing a yellow t-shirt, blue jeans, and open-toe Adidas sandals, Zuckerberg sits on a ragged couch in the middle of a messy Kirkland House common room, surrounded by strewn clothes and half-closed boxes.
Amidst this squalor, he smiles.
“I’m just like a little kid. I get bored easily and computers excite me. Those are the two driving factors here.”
Thefacebook.com allows university students to create personal profiles listing their interests, contact info, relationship status, classes and more.
It started locally at Harvard. It now has almost 160,000 members from across the country.
“I do stuff like this all the time,” Zuckerberg says in his relaxed tone. “The facebook literally took me a week to make.”
Coming from anyone else, the words may come across as arrogant. With Zuckerberg, they’re only a part of the demeanor he maintains when discussing what in today’s internet-saturated world qualifies as a phenomenal success.
He’s full of ideas: “Half the things I do I don’t release,” he explains. “I spent five hours programming last night, and came up with something that was kind of cool, showed it to a bunch of my friends, and the rest of campus will never know about it.”
He’s not in it for the cash: “I just like making it and knowing that it works and having it be wildly successful is cool, I guess, but I mean, I dunno, that’s not the goal.”
And, finally, he doesn’t know what’s next: “People a lot of times are like, ‘What is the next big thing that’s coming out?’” he says, a bit sheepishly.
The answer? Even after the success of thefacebook.com, he’s still not sure.
“I don’t really know what the next big thing is because I don’t spend my time making big things,” he says. “I spend time making small things and then when the time comes I put them together.”
When Zuckerberg starts a programming project, all else takes a backseat. He doesn’t eat, doesn’t sleep, doesn’t talk to friends.