General Musings

This section is where you'll find my thoughts on life from the eyes of an entrepreneur.  The biggest challenge is balancing the success and obligations that success brings as the more successful one becomes, it seems the more obligations they have to the world.  Feel free to comment as you follow my journey and general musings regarding that journey. 


General Musings on Life & Entreprenuership

The "Uninteresting" Social Network

(03/13/2011) Mark A. Cenicola

I finally got around to watching The Social Network last night.  While I'm glad to have seen it, very interesting, it was not.  I'm not too surprised that it received Oscar nominations due to some of the performances, but the story just wasn't that interesting, certainly not in comparison to one of my favorite tech movies, Pirates of Silicon Valley.  If you haven't seen that movie, go rent it now! 

However, there are a few takeaways which, unlike how many others might think, the movie made Mark Zuckerberg look like a genius and not so much an asshole.  This is Hollywood, of course. and while not a direct depiction of actual events, the gist of the story is similar to how Facebook got started.

Supposedly, the movie was an attempt to permanently damage Zuckerberg's reputation.   I think it failed in that regard and simply made Facebook co-founder, Eduardo Saverin and the Winklevoss twins look like complete idiots.  It didn't do much better for Sean Parker either.  

In regards to the Winklevoss twins, they shared an idea with Zuckerberg and he took the idea, made it better and did it for himself.  The moral of that story is to not disclose information to people you don't know well enough to trust and that can hurt you.  If they had already made traction with their idea, Zuckerberg couldn't have hurt them.  Plus, their idea wasn't really that great which was simply a dating service for Harvard students.  Despite that, they still walked away with a $65 million settlement.  Not bad for an idea!

The movie portrayed Eduardo Saverin as someone so concerned with monetizing the business, he lost track of what Zuckerberg was doing.  If Saverin wasn't too busy traveling back and forth to New York and instead keeping a watchful eye on the business, he would have never been cut out of the deal at the end.  It's his own fault for not paying enough attention to what was going on.  Business 101 is cover your ass.  If you don't, pay the price and move on.  In fact. Saverin has nothing to complain about since it's speculated he walked away with 5% of the company's stock meaning he's a billionaire on paper.

Furthermore, the portrayal that the Facebook founding team was concerned about nothing other than sex, money, alcohol and drugs was nothing new.  Welcome to traditional college town USA.  Put a bunch of kids together that have just gone through puberty with no adult supervision and that's what you get.  In fact, what was displayed in the movie was quite tame.

In the end, the movie had the opposite effect on me and props should be given to Zuckerberg for being able to keep focused on building his empire in the face (no pun intended) of everyone around him trying to profit off of his talents.

Oh, and there was little mention to Facebook privacy issues, but I've already shared my thoughts on that.

Phil Simon October 22, 2011 ~ 6:51 AM
read the book
Kirkpatrick's The Facebook Effect is excellent. More accurate, from what I understand.

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