The Social Network, David Fincher’s film
adaptation of the book The Accidental
Billionaires, is a biographical drama about the founding of Facebook and
its trials. After getting dumped by his girlfriend, Erica Albright, for being a
jerk, he created a site named Facemash
that allows users to compare the attractiveness of girls from different
universities. After learning about how the traffic caused Harvard’s network to
crash, this impressed the Winklevoss twins and Narendra, who then proposed to
Zuckerberg to partner up in building Harvard
Connection, an exclusive dating site for Harvard students. Zuckerberg
agreed to the proposal but later goes to Saverin and pitched his idea, Thefacebook, which is eerily similar to Harvard Connection. This brings us to
one of the co-founders of Facebook, Eduardo Saverin. Zuckerberg came to him
first rather than his other programmer roommates because he needed the start-up
cash from Saverin and needed him to be the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). He
also made a deal with him that Saverin will own 30% of the company at the
start. Mark Zuckerberg’s roommates, also co-founders of Facebook, Dustin Moskovitz
and Chris Hughes contributed to the growth of Thefacebook as the vice president and head of programming, and
director of publicity respectively. After Thefacebook
goes live and receives a lot of attention about it, Narendra finds out about
this and tells the twins, who are enraged by this betrayal. The Winklevoss
twins “thought” that Zuckerberg stole the idea from them because of the odd
similarities between Harvard Connection
and Thefacebook like the site being exclusive
to students who have “harvard.edu” address. Zuckerberg repeatedly excused
himself, cancelled their scheduled meet-ups through e-mail exchanges, and also
led them on, making them believe that he was working on Harvard Connection. Another thing that led them to that speculation
is when they saw in an article that Zuckerberg hoped to restore his reputation
through the site which the trio suggested to him in their oral contract.
However, the three are having a hard time taking action on how to go about the
situation. Meanwhile, Zuckerberg expanded
Thefacebook to more different universities, they were able to not only get
the attention of Sean Parker, co-founder of Napster,
but also meet him. In the meeting, Saverin thought that it was time to make
money out of the site with advertising but Zuckerberg did not want to monetize
the system since it would be “uncool”. Parker, agreeing with Mark, dismissed
his idea, winning Zuckerberg over with his charisma. He also was the one who
told them to drop the “The” in Thefacebook and just go with Facebook. This tension between the three
grew in time, damaging Zuckerberg’s relationship with Saverin, especially when
Zuckerberg makes sudden business decisions without Saverin’s knowledge. This is
one of the problems Zuckerberg encountered. The last straw for Saverin was when
his share was reduced to only 0.03%, his name in the Facebook masthead nowhere to be found and kicked out of the
building. He threatened to sue him and successfully received a settlement an
unknown amount and including his name again in the masthead. Another problem of
his, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss also sued Zuckerberg also, received 65
million dollars as settlement. In the end, the settlement he paid didn’t hurt
his bank account since he is the world’s youngest self-made billionaire.