From Fratboy to Demigod: The Mark Zuckerberg Story

Excerpts from David Kirkpatrick's new book

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The lewd and lucrative rise of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is on full-display in David Kirkpatrick's new book The Facebook Effect. Though it doesn't come out until June 15, Fortune published advance excerpts today. A few nuggets: Facebook's first "headquarters" felt more like a frat house than an office. It hosted drunken college students, smashed beer bottles and a zip-line from the chimney to the pool. Despite those distractions, Zuckerberg attracted deep-pocketed investors from the beginning—turning down a $10 million offer when the site had only 100,000 users and dismissing an $800 million Viacom offer later on. Here's what Kirkpatrick has to say about Facebook followed by reactions from the blogs:

  • Shows the Evolution of Zuckerberg, writes Liz Gannes at Gigaom: "These salacious anecdotes from the early days of Facebook were clearly picked for their shock value, yet they also trace the evolution of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s insouciance to a different kind of arrogance and confidence. In one scene, he punks Sequoia Capital by mock-pitching them a side project in his pajamas; in another, he fails to be swayed by a private jet hired by an MTV exec hoping to impress him."
  • Reveals Zuckerberg's Emotional Break Down, notes Ryan Tate at Gawker: " Zuckerberg was torn up inside at the prospect of breaking an agreement with the Washington Post Company's Donald Graham, a genteel prospective investor who Zuckerberg admired, in favor of a better deal from a bloodthirsty venture capital firm, Accel Partners. Zuckerberg." The excerpt:
Accel's co-managing partner, Jim Breyer... hosted a dinner for Facebook's leaders at the elegant Village Pub near Palo Alto. The Pub is known for its wine list, and Breyer, a connoisseur, ordered a $400 bottle of Quilceda Creek Cabernet. Zuckerberg, still only 20, ordered a Sprite. Breyer was doing everything he could to loosen Zuckerberg up. But Zuckerberg remained uncomfortable about something. Then he started to tune out, Matt Cohler noticed.

Zuckerberg went to the bathroom and didn't return for a surprisingly long time. Cohler got up to see if everything was okay. There, on the floor of the men's room with his head down, was Zuckerberg. And he was crying. "Through his tears he was saying, 'This is wrong. I can't do this. I gave my word!' " recalls Cohler. "He was just crying his eyes out, bawling. So I said, 'Why don't you just call Don up and ask him what he thinks?' " Zuckerberg took a while to compose himself and returned to the table.

  • He Was a Prankster, writes Nicholas Carlson at The Business Insider: Back in Facebook's early days, Mark Zuckerberg used to carry a business card that read, 'I'm CEO…Bitch.' So yeah, he had an attitude. Take, for instance, that time Mark took a meeting with top venture capital firm Sequoia Capital in his pajamas and presented a PowerPoint deck titled "The Top Ten Reasons You Should Not Invest." He quotes an excerpt:
One of the crew's edgiest pranks in those days was a presentation made to the blue-chip venture-capital firm Sequoia Capital, known in the Valley for a certain humorlessness...

Zuckerberg and another partner showed up deliberately late for an 8 a.m. meeting, in their pajamas. They didn't even make a pitch for Wirehog. Zuckerberg showed a PowerPoint presentation David Letterman-style: "The Top Ten Reasons You Should Not Invest in Wirehog." It started out almost seriously. "The number 10 reason not to invest in Wirehog: we have no revenue." Number 9: "We will probably get sued by the music industry." By the final few points it was unashamedly rude. Number 3: "We showed up at your office late in our pajamas." Number 2: "Because Sean Parker is involved." And the number one reason Sequoia should not invest in Wirehog: "We're only here because [a Sequoia partner] told us to come."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.