One has to keep in mind that ‘The Social Network’ was only a dramatization. Based on the book – ‘The Accidental Billionaire’ by Ben Mezrich I was led to believe that the movie portrayed founder (or co-founder) Mark Zuckerberg in a thoroughly unfavorable light. I saw the movie this weekend and did not have that impression at all. And I thought the movie was very well done.
Mr. Mezrich’s book is written from co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s perspective. Since Mr. Saverin was reputedly cast aside by Mr. Zuckerberg, would you expect a warm and fuzzy depiction of the guy whose idea it was? Mr. Saverin reportedly was issued a $1 billion settlement which is not chump change although far less than the $25 billion estimated share value of Mr. Zuckerberg’s stock.
With the team of Executive Producer Kevin Spacey, writer Aaron Sorkin and Director David Fincher, I did not expect to see Jessie Eisenberg’s portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg to show a well adjusted normal Harvard sophomore. Genius inventors do not often behave as normal functioning members of society. And keep in mind that Mr. Zuckerberg with his 1,600 on his SAT’s, was a stellar student at Harvard and he came up with the idea at age 19. How well adjusted are most 19 year olds when thrust into the limelight?
And the case for the notion that Mr. Zuckerberg stole the idea from the dynamic duo of Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss is a weak one at best. The dynamic duo, manage to get paid off in the end but more to make them go away than anything else. When big money is at stake the lawyers end up being big winners too.
So Mr. Zuckerberg is s social misfit. So was Mozart. And so was Einstein. The concept that he wanted to climb the Harvard social ladder and get a few girls along the way is more than plausible and totally normal as far as I am concerned.
Through it all Mr. Zuckerberg shows a steadfast lack of concern for money (he passed on selling his an MP3 concept to Microsoft and released it to the public free of charge) while at the same time protecting the things that make Facebook ‘cool’ – as put forth by Justin Timberlake’s Sean Parker character.
What I find most cool about Facebook is that whether you are Bill Gates or Joe Plumber on Facebook EVERYONE is equal. You cannot buy your way into influence or notoriety. That to me is protecting the core principal. I’ve thought a lot recently about what if Facebook decided to charge $1/ month per member? That would be $6 billion a year. Even $1/year would generate $500 million annually and that number is only going up. Or Facebook could charge for ‘Premium Access’ – whatever that would mean or be. And people would pay – oh yes people would most definitely pay.
But Mr. Zuckerberg has resisted all that. Yes he has stumbled. Remember Facebook Beacon? How about the recent Facebook privacy issues? But Mr. Zuckerberg is a 26 year old billionaire who is figuring it out as he goes along. He has a solid COO in Sheryl Sandberg helping him now and that was a very good move.
The only other question I have is why they did not call the movie – Social Network and drop ‘The’?