Author – Joe Mulumba
The social Network is the story of a obsessive compulsive, brilliant, program writer Harvard sophomore then drop out who faces a dilemma: How do you get in the most exclusive clubs of Harvard that will assure you wealth and fame when you don’t have the connections or the willingness to jump through the hoops they establish for you? Create facebook where all the students who are part or not of those clubs could be friends with each other with the simple click of “Add me as friend”. Despite the fact that it took Mark Zuckeberg played by Jesse Einsenberg six months to get the website going, it was the easiest part to do. “Facebook”, which is visited everyday a millionth time by millions of visitors who are friends and stalkers between each other, started out in the spirit of competition and camaraderie.
According to the movie, it was competition between Wicklevoss twins and Mark Zuckerberg and camaraderie between Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin. I say camaraderie between Mark and Eduardo because Mark as portrayed in the movie doesn’t have a “normal” understanding of friendship. Friendship is only meaningful when he’s able to get something out of it and when Eduardo, who has been generous to Mark, can’t keep up with the charming, internet guru, partygoer Sean Parker, founder of Napster, Mark goes on with the winner. But not before Mark takes Eduardo’s money to expand and grow and then pulls him out of main shareholders of the company. They were a great team: Eduardo provided the cash flow while Mark took care of the programming, but when all the chips were on the table, Mark proved a more cunning business partner thanks toShannon. The movie goes back and forth between the “present” where Mark is dealing with the lawsuits coming from Eduardo and the twins and the “past” of how everything started.
For the sakes of a captivating narrative, facts were twisted here and there to provide the audience a thrilling story. Mark Zuckenberg had and still has a girlfriend while in Harvard. Her name is Priscilla Chan and she is currently finishing internship to become a pediatrician. Mark Zuckerbeg did actually helped the twins start Harvard Connection, but then left them to start facebook. It’s true that he wasn’t entirely honest with all his associates when he started his venture, but in the end he outsmarted them even though he settled with all of them. According to him, it has never been about the money, he’s been offered millions for Synapse, software that’s like an early version of Pandora, by AOL and Microsoft but he turned them down. MTV offered him seventy-five million in 2005; Terry Semel, former CEO of Yahoo! proposed 1 billion but he kept saying no. Responding to an interview by Jose Antonio Vargas, New Yorker writer, Zuckerberg said : “it’s not about the price. This is my baby, and I want to keep running it, I want to keep growing it.”
About the movie he admits that people wouldn’t believe he has changed from the way he’s portrayed in the movie: “ I think a lot of people will look at that stuff, you know, when I was nineteen, and say, ‘Oh, well, he was like that…He must still be like that, right?” Sorkin, the screenwriter behind “The West Wing” and for “The Social Network” admits that he didn’t know much about facebook before he was given the project and he says: “The movie is not meant as an attack. Zuckerberg spends the first one hour and fifty-five minutes as an antihero and the last five minutes as a tragic hero.
I don’t want to be unfair to this young man whom I don’t know, who’s never done anything to me, who doesn’t deserve a punch in the face. I honestly believe that I have not done that.” Responding to a question on Quora, Dustin Moskovitz, who is one of the co-founder of Facebook, said that the film “emphasizes things that didn’t matter (like the Winklevosses, who I’ve still never even met and had no part in the work we did to create the site over the past 6 years) and leaves out things that really did (like the many other people in our lives at the time, who supported us in innumerable ways)” . I personally think that he actually did just that, but Zuckerberg could care less about his image because he has managed to stick to open, free and honest, bottom up approach in his business and in his life. It wasn’t money that got him where he is, it was a genius idea so he keeps his eyes open on young programmers like himself who could keep expanding his company with new addictive apps that are on Facebook.