Everyone loves a zero to zillionaire story. And it is great to be inspired by other people`s success stories. Indeed one of the biggest sources of inspiration for young tech entrepreneurs is the rise and rise and rise of Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook.
Now as we all know Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest billionaire on the planet. He is the co-founder of social network site Facebook, which currently has on average 1.19 billion monthly active users, 874 million mobile users, and 728 million daily users.
The important narrative to note here is that he started it all from scratch, with nothing. Isn’t that something?
However, I want us to look at something that is crucial but is often ignored when people talk about Zuckerberg`s story.
Now Iam not going to talk about his alleged thievery of the Facebook concept from Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra, nor am I going to discuss the brutal manner with which he is said to have dispatched of his best friend Eduardo Saverin.
These stories have been talked about for so long and quite frankly have never helped anyone achieve their own success. So we will not waste time.
However, there are some important points that need to be considered by those who wish to follow in Zuckerberg`s footsteps.
First of all, Zuckerberg was not an ordinary young man. Yes, it is true that he had no capital to start Facebook with, but it is also false to assume that he was like you and me. He was not.
He had a unique talent, he was special. Special in that he could do things that no ordinary programmers could do. Some might even say he was a genius. Let me explain why.
For starters, he was admitted at Harvard. Now a lot of people may ask; `so what`? But if you know how Ultra- selective Harvard is, you will probably understand where I am coming from.
Basically, Harvard does not admit average students. They only take the cream of all the prospects. You have to be extremely special to be able to join the elite school.
Secondly, Mark was already writing software by age 12, creating Zucknet, a communications program for his father`s dental practice. His own programming private tutor described him as a prodigy and said he found it difficult to stay ahead of him.
More so, Mark began taking a graduate course at nearby Mercy College while still in high school.
As a teenager, he attracted the attention of tech giants such as Microsoft, AOL, WinAmp, Moodlogic and MusicMatch after he had developed music software, Synapse Media Player. “One of the companies offered us $950,000 but wanted us to go work for them for 3 years,” Zuckerberg told Harvard Crimson. “We wanted to go to college, so we said no.”
By the time Zuckerberg went to Harvard, he had already established a massive reputation as a programming prodigy.
So what am I saying? The point of this discussion is to highlight the fact that Zuckerberg was unique. It is important to bear this in mind.
Those who wish to emulate him will need to know that they too must have special qualities. So many try and fail because they think it`s something that any average programmer can achieve fairly easily.
This cannot be further from the truth. I am not saying it`s impossible for an average programmer to attain great success. All I am saying is that they have to first, develop themselves to a very special level.
That means if Zuckerberg spends 10 hours a day writing software, those not so special will need to spend 15 or 20 hours.
What you don’t have naturally you will need to make up for with relentless toil. But the important thing is to first acknowledge that someone is in fact not like the rest of us. Zuckerberg is the Lionel Messi of the Tech world.
In order for the rest of us to achieve what he has achieved we have to work twice as hard as he does.
So don’t miss key points in all the hype of the Facebook success story. A lot have catastrophically made the assumption that they can just do it overnight. They have failed. There is a reason why 90% of Tech start-ups fail.
I`m not saying that this is the only reason. But to think you can do it too, simply because Mark Zuckerberg did it is to be presumptuous.
You need to delve more into his history and see everything that he did, and went through, in order for you to gain a full understanding of what really makes a tech billionaire.