English, Liniști, Prying eyes

Movie review: Game Changers. Mark Zuckerberg.

One billion people have an active account on Facebook. That’s almost every seventh person on Earth.

Apparently neither Facebook nor Zuckerberg need any publicity other than what’s been shown in the Oscar-winning movie The Social Network.  But after watching a documentary that starts with “My name is Barack Obama and I’m the guy who’s got Mark to wear a jacket and tie,” you just wonder: how far can things go?

Bloomberg’s Game Changers episode dedicated to Mark Zuckerberg starts with an alert? two-minute prologue in which you get exposed to some of the most significant facts in the company’s short history. Tens of snapshots and a vivid music fly you from the early disagreements with the Winklevoss twins, Zuckerberg’s first business partners, to most recent US Congress accusations of breaking users’ privacy.

Multimedia journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, Ben Mezrich, author of The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook and David Kirkpatrick, author of The Facebook Effect, to mention just a few, talk about Zuckerberg and his company.

Apart of what’s been already said in The Social Network, you find out that Zuckerberg is a guy with no self-confidence problems who has denied recruitment offers from AOL and Microsoft and faced serious accusations such as breaching security, violating copyright and violating individual privacy, even as a Harvard student.

The Winklevoss chapter in Zuckerberg’s life is thoroughly dissected: the brothers themselves talk about the incident and lots of emails are shown in order to give weight to their evidence.

Everything about Facebook that seems to be unusual has its share in the documentary: the company’s remarkable growth speed; the $1 billion buy-out offer made by Yahoo and turned down by Zuckerberg in 2006; the $1.5 billion offer from MTV that was again rejected by the young entrepreneur; the 75,000 ‘Students against Facebook news feed’ privacy protest Zuckerberg was forced to apologise for; the $250 million paid by Microsoft for 1.6% of Facebook; the Arab spring and the Egyptian baby girl named Facebook; the hackathons (night events where all programmers in Facebook get together and do nothing but write codes). Only the friendly working culture and the college atmosphere remain the same.

Even if Facebook’s biggest competitors today are Amazon and Yahoo, Google is the toughest. Yet every benchmark seems to be an easy jump for Zuckerberg and his company. The question is: how much can the platform created by the Harvard freshman Mark Zuckerberg grow?

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Almost 17 million people follow Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook. On January 16 he liked La Ciccia, an Italian restaurant in San Francisco. In his latest post, dated December 18, 2012, Zuckerberg says that together with his wife, Priscilla Chan, he’s made “a contribution of 18 million Facebook shares to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Together, we will look for areas in education and health to focus on next.”

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Game Changers is an easy to watch, fact-based video series produced by Bloomberg. It explores the career of one person per episode and shows in 45 minutes how that person was able to rise to the top and have a significant impact on the world.

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