Image by b_d_solis via FlickrIn the Telegraph Magazine of 19 July 2008, there is an interesting article on Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, detailing (again) how he has fallen out with college friends and others on the way to building Facebook. It ends with a comment from Kara Swisher. a columnist on the Wall Street Journal “….The number of people he’s had problems with at a young age is remarkable- not in a good way.”. I bet he would not have had the problems if he had not been so successful; in a variation of the old saying “Money keeps you in touch with your friends”. As Reid “Glug” Hoffman said on his flying visit to Cambridge, it is easy to have the idea but so difficult to make it fly, something Facebook has certainly done. Besides lots of different groups of people from pop stars to footballers who get very rich very quickly find life difficult, both family and professional so why should geeks by different. ConnectU still only boasts 15,000 members at 200 colleges/universities.
The article gives some figueres of interest to Equity Fingerprint, the business plan resource, but omit any reference to an angel round in which Reid “Glug” Hoffman claimed to be an investor. But now Facebook is registered in Delaware so it is difficult extract information unlike Companies House in the UK. The details from the article show the normal chopping and changing of ownship in start-ups as people come and go and others do not stay close, very close to the action.
- Zuckerberg and his Harvard room-mate, Saverin agree to invest$1,000 with ownership 2/3 to 1/3
- With the site taking off, ownership is now Z 65%; Saverin 30% and Moskovitz (around 13 April 2003?)
- Z moves to Silicon Valley and Saverin stays in New York (“That decision would prove ill-judged) – summer 2004
- Z meets Parker who co-founded Napster at age 20yrs
- Z attends meeting with Sequoia Capital in his pyjamas and turns down offer of investment
- In July 2004, Z claims that Savarin never matched an agreed investment of $20,000 in seed money and et al. Z transfers all IP and membership interests to a new versin of the company in Delaware. “The value of Savarin’s stock was unhinged from any further growth of Facebook, and Savarin was expunged as an employee”.
- Parker leaves
- In spring of 2005, a VC(who?) invested $12.7million in Facebook and users amounted to 5.5million
- Microsoft invest $240million, valuing Facebook at $15billion.
I think that the parties have made settlements recently. When Google floated, lots of “friends” and “consultants” appeared out of the woodwork and were appeased with stock.
I do not the details but I do know that if you have a good idea, you quickly find friends who want a stake for no effort and no risk. But it was never easy.
I wish that I had had a free ride with Facebook and Google!