popular culture attributes the creation of facebook, the popular social networking site and current media darling, to mark zuckerberg. but is that the real story or was it founded by someone else?
in this e! true hollywood story we will let’s take a look at some of the other people who have thus far claimed to be the brains behind facebook.
p.s. if you invented facebook, please blog your side of the story and let me know. i will add you to the list of possible founders of facebook.
everyone’s story deserves to be heard. don’t let the media shut you out! once i’ve heard everyone else’s story, i will pick a winner for the m! true silicon valley story behind facebook.
divya narendra, cameron winklevoss and tyler winklevoss
the trio claims that they created a social networking site called connectu and had hired mark zuckerberg to complete the coding for the site. once mark was hired, he allegedly stole the code from the site and not only sabotaged connectu but used the stolen code to develop facebook.
aaron j. greenspan
aaron greenspan, who was one of mark’s classmates at harvard, claims that he created a social networking system called housesystem before both connectu and facebook, and he has the emails to prove it (and has shared them with the nytimes). according to him, zuckerberg didn’t just borrow concepts from greenspan’s site but also stole the name from him.
pete seems to have outdone everyone. claiming that his version of facebook started back in 1997 (when the other 5 claimants were just babies). his site, called faces book never reached production and was only in a concept stage (makes sense since pete was years ahead his time and the market probably wasn’t ready to embrace the concept), but included almost all the functionality that we see in facebook today.
since two people never think of the same idea at a similar time, I can only conclude that zuckerberg used a mind-reading contraption to literally steal the idea from my brain. This will be the basis of my $1 billion lawsuit to be filed later this month.
sridhar vembu, the ceo of zoho, also has an incredibly strong case, one that involves a thought-patent, or a thought-ent, not unlike that of pete (but perhaps slightly less developed). he explains that the idea of creating facebook came to mark zuckerberg through a chance meeting the two had back in 2004 in harvard square. here’s how the meeting went:
i saw a young man, who looked about half my age, walking in the opposite direction. as he approached, he stopped and asked “hey, your face seems real familiar, have we met before?”
i asked him “have you been to princeton?”
“yeah, like a year ago, when i was checking out colleges.”
I said “ok, i was a grad student in princeton in early 90’s, and I became quite famous for writing the most boring phd thesis ever. you may remember my face from one of those year books at princeton”.
that very moment, his eyes lit up, and he screamed “yes, yes, omigod, face on the book, face book, i got it, now i really got it, that’s what i am going to do, facebook. thank you, thank you, thank you, i love you!”
sridhar and his lawyer plan to start with a cease-and-desist letter and will invoke the thought-patent shortly after.
so far we have seen tales of stolen code, stolen concepts and names, even stolen thought-ented ideas. zoli’s story comes with an interesting twist. frustrated by the incredibly impractical paper-based year-books, zoli decided to take the entire concept online. the problem was that when zoli had this great idea, the internet hadn’t yet been invented. so to take his idea online, zoli first created the internet, then created an online year book not unlike today’s facebook.