What started in a college dorm room at Harvard University has become the largest means of connecting people to one another from all over the world. Mark Zuckerberg changed the world of technology when he created Facebook, and changed the way millions of families and friends connect across the world.
Zuckerberg Started Young, Your Kids Can Too
Zuckerberg went to a private school where he excelled in his classes; winning multiple prizes for his excellence in math, physics, and astronomy. He began using computers in middle school, learning to program and write software. His first major software program was developed in junior high using Atari Basic. He called it Zucknet. The program connected his father’s dental business and their home computers for enhanced communication.
He was the kind of kid who preferred using technology to create games rather than play them. He built a music player that was designed to learn a user’s listening habits – similar to the algorithms we know today. It was apparent to his parents that a tutor to mentor him would be beneficial.
For kids, like Mark Zuckerberg, who show an early interest in the inner workings of devices, or simply can’t wait to tear something apart just to put it back together, honing that curiosity is a powerful thing. Parents today can similarly find tutors or camps that allow kids to explore their interests, but they can also choose toys, games, apps, and even TV series accordingly.
Success Can Come Quickly When Done Right
It wasn’t until he attended Harvard University that Zuckerberg would create what is now known as Facebook. It would eventually allow him to drop out of school and earn him a net worth of $59 billion dollars. Most parents would agree that the tutors were worth the money for success like this.
Before Facebook, Zuckerberg launched a program called Facemash that would allow fellow Harvard students to rank one another based on their looks. (Perhaps, not the nicest way to compare fellow students.) He launched this program over a weekend, and by the following Monday morning the university had shut it down due to interference with the campus’s internet access. Facemash eventually became Facebook and was initially limited to Harvard students, but was quickly spread throughout other Ivy League Universities and, not long after, anyone with internet access.
Now, nearly two billion users access Facebook on a monthly basis. The social network has been keeping families close, it has allowed photo and video sharing in a way never before realized, and offered a sense of community engagement. But, it isn’t just social media that Zuckerberg has helped to mold.
Turning Technology Into a Global Sensation
In August of 2013, Zuckerberg launched the Internet.org endeavor that strives to provide internet access to the unconnected. In doing so, he would create new jobs and open up new markets for businesses that would help the economy. Internet.org also allows him to continue what he believes is his life’s work: connecting people.
The world of technology as we know it to be today would not be the same if it weren’t for Zuckerberg and his influence in the tech community. Zuckerberg is constantly looking for new and better ways to connect and communicate people from all different walks of life. His goal for 2017, is to visit every state in the US in hopes of connecting with new people about how they’re living, working, and thinking about the future. Zuckerberg once said, “We are at a turning point in history. For decades, technology and globalization have made us more productive and connected. We need to find a way to change the game so it works for everyone.”
Point Them in the Right Direction
Mark Zuckerberg is just one example of what technology, drive, and a passion for creating something huge can do for someone. For kids who look at the 30 Under 30 Enterprise Tech list and ask questions like, “What can I do to be on this?” or say, “I want my face on here someday,” let them look to and take cues from the people who came before them. Documentaries like The Startup Kids and even American Experience: Henry Ford from PBS (also available on Netflix) can help spark creativity and light a fire. All it takes is a little bit of a time and whole lot of inspiration.
Kimberly Lewis is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University with a Bachelor’s Degree in education. She taught science at the Warren County Alternative School before choosing to continue her love of writing as a freelancer while at home raising her two children.