What is the one thing that could make Facebook supremely cooler? A mascot, perhaps? Once upon a time, apparently, former Facebook president Sean Parker was adamant about using a blue hedgehog to represent the new social network. Ezra Callahan, a Facebook employee during its early years, regales Quora blog readers with the tale of the Facebook hedgehog:
We had early plans to build a local business a local business program around each college on the site (a Yelp-like service similar to what later became Facebook Pages). As part of that, Sean wanted us to send each participating business a little blue stuffed hedgehog. Matt Cohler and I even sourced a couple companies to make them
According to Callahan, Parker even sent the staff on a mission to find a real live hedgehog to inhabit the Facebook office but, as they discovered, "turns out they aren't street legal in California, or something." Unfortunately for Parker, when the local business idea dissolved, so, too, did Facebook's mascot--who sounds, if we may say so, a tad familiar.
The story has prompted several technology bloggers to daydream about what could have been. At the L.A. Times, Nathan Olivarez-Giles envisions a hoody-wearing hedgehog "a la Mark Zuckerberg," and though Silicon Alley Insider's Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry doesn't think the hedgehog idea is the smartest one the folks at Facebook have had, if Parker's vision was inspired by his love for Sonic, then "that's awesome." Skeptical upon reading this admittedly "amazing" story, Network Effect blogger Liz Gannes insists on finding out the truth. She confesses: "I felt a little silly doing it, but I've asked Facebook PR for a comment."