Facebook: The Frat House Years

Young company run like a rowdy dorm
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2010 12:27 PM CDT
The cover of David Kirkpatrick's new book "The Facebook Effect."
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(Newser) – The house was overrun with partying college students. Broken beer bottles were frequently swept carelessly into the pool—which drunken guests would leap into by jumping off a zip-line slung from the chimney. That's what Facebook's first “headquarters” was like, according to excerpts, published by Fortune, from David Kirkpatrick's new book The Facebook Effect. “It's Lord of the Flies over there,” remarked one Silicon Valley executive—a species founder Mark Zuckerberg treated with little deference. He had two business cards: one that said “CEO,” and one that said “I'm CEO...bitch!”

At one point Zuckerberg showed up at a meeting with a particularly humorless Venture Capital firm in his pajamas, with a PowerPoint presentation listing the top 10 reasons they shouldn't invest. Such tomfoolery didn't stop the torrent of buyout offers. Early on, when the site had only 100,000 users, one financier offered Zuckerberg $10 million for it; the 20-year-old didn't consider it for a minute. Nor has he ever really wanted to sell since—he actually high-fived his COO when Yahoo's billion-dollar bid fell through. As he once explained to a covetous Viacom exec, “I don't think I'm ever going to have an idea this good again.” Click through to Fortune for the two full excerpts, here and here.

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