Social Question

tkrengel's avatar

Did Mark Zuckerberg steal the idea for Facebook?

Asked by tkrengel (75points) December 31st, 2010

Was ConnectU really a dating site concept as he proclaims and not a social network and the precursor of Facebook?

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5 Answers

SavoirFaire's avatar

I doubt we’ll ever know for sure, but my current thought is “no.” Back when ConnectU was HarvardConnection, it may or may not have been a dating site; but I don’t think it matters. The idea was inevitable. There were already proto-facebooks at Harvard and Zuckerberg had already hit on the idea of having a university-wide one. And according to the ConnectU guys, they were perfectly aware of the need to “get there first.” This suggests that they understood other people might have the same idea and act as competition. I suspect that when they approached Zuckerberg, he realized they had a similar idea to his and deliberately stalled them because he also understood the importance of getting there first.

This is, admittedly, conjecture based on reading various accounts of what happened. Since everyone has an interest in spinning the story, the facts are difficult to get at. But there are time-stamped records of bits and pieces of the story, and elements to which all parties agree. In short, it’s quite possible that Zuckerberg is as Machiavellian as everyone thinks without him being a thief.

filmfann's avatar

Before FB there was MySpace too. I think he just took the social idea and did it better than anyone else.

gasman's avatar

History repeatedly demonstrates that a good idea whose time has come often arrives more-or-less simultaneously to multiple people. I suspect that Zuckerberg, besides having the right skills at the right time, was able to bring together disparate elements in a way that was uniquely visionary. Henry Ford didn’t invent the automobile, Fulton didn’t invent the steam engine—and Zuckerberg didn’t invent social networking. That he invented Facebook is a fact. His success is more than the sum of its parts.

mammal's avatar

it wasn’t really that innovative, Pictures and status updates. But Kudos to him for creating an appealing format. The big thing was the emphasis on photo’s, if you go back to or other Buddy websites people were notoriously shy about posting their image, this site seemed to break through that inhibition which really made it an instant hit.

Tintels's avatar

“the idea” is actually a whole set of deliberate choices for what to put in, leave out and how to design the user experience. That is the really hard part and he got it right. Realizing that people would be interested to share news and pics with friends wasn’t all that visionary in 2003.

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