Still, he is maintaining the same approach: don’t sell.
“That’s just like not something we’re really interested in,” he says, referring to selling out thefacebook.com. “I mean, yeah, we can make a bunch of money—that’s not the goal...I mean, like, anyone from Harvard can get a job and make a bunch of money. Not everyone at Harvard can have a social network. I value that more as a resource more than like any money.”
Last month, Zuckerberg faced allegations that he stole the idea for an online Harvard social directory. Three Pforzheimer seniors asked Zuckerberg to help program ConnectU, a site similar to thefacebook.com that launched last month. Zuckerberg briefly worked for the site but soon left—after which the facebook debuted.
Zuckerberg denies the allegations of intellectual property theft, saying the ConnectU creators’ claims are baseless.
CLUBS AND JOBS: JOBS ARE FOR THE WEAK
If selling thefacebook.com isn’t in Zuckerberg’s game plan, how does he intend to survive?
“My goal is to not have a job,” he says matter-of-factly. “Making cool things is just something I love doing, and not having someone tell me what to do or a timeframe in which to do it is the luxury I am looking for in my life.”
Who will be funding this leisurely lifestyle?
“I assume eventually I’ll make something that is profitable,” he allows.
The site is currently running some advertisements, but Zuckerberg says they are only being used to offset server costs. Nonetheless, the facebook’s business manager has posted notices soliciting ads on multiple websites, and a thefacebook.com rate card shows that the site is interested in attracting national advertisers. Ads for AT&T Wireless, America Online and Monster.com have been displayed, along with promotions for Harvard organizations such as the Seneca Club’s Red Party, the Harvard Bartending Course and the Mather Lather dance.
“There are a couple ads on the facebook because [the site] costs money and servers don’t grow on trees,” Zuckerberg says.
But will the facebook ever be auctioned off to the highest bidder?
“Maybe when I’m bored with it, then we’ll work something out,” he says. “But I don’t see that happening anytime in the near future.”
Zuckerberg pauses for a moment.
“And ‘near future’ being like anytime in the next seven or eight days.”
—Staff writer Michael M. Grynbaum can be reached at email@example.com.