Facebook’s Success Story: From A Dorm Room To The Top Of The World (33 pics)

Facebook got its start at Harvard's Kirkland House dormitory — the same dorm that Wallace Shawn (who played Vizzini in "The Princess Bride" and the voice of "Toy Story's" Rex) lived in during his Harvard years.
In 2003, Harvard sophomore Mark Zuckerberg would build a program called "Face mash." It was a Hot or Not-style app using the pictures of his classmates that he hacked from the school administration's dormitory ID files. It got 22,000 page views from 450 people in the first four hours it was up. A few days later, Harvard ordered it to be taken down, citing copyright and security concerns.

Zuckerberg faced disciplinary action from Harvard but was allowed to stay at the school. Undeterred, he launched "TheFacebook" on February 4, 2004.


Six days after the launch, three Harvard seniors — twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and Divya Narendra — claimed that they had reached an agreement with Zuckerberg where he would create a website called HarvardConnection.com for them, but they alleged he abandoned them and used their ideas to create Facebook.

They'd go on to file a lawsuit that was only settled in 2008, when they were given 1.2 million Facebook shares in a settlement. Those shares would be worth $300 million when Facebook had its IPO.
Within a month, half of Harvard's students were members of Thefacebook. By March 2004, it had expanded to Yale, Columbia, and Stanford universities. Zuckerberg brought in fellow Harvard students Dustin Moskovitz, left, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, and Chris Hughes as cofounders to help manage that growth and keep building the site into a business.
Facebook's first ad-sales pitch deck came out just a few months after the launch, and showed the site's amazing early growth — and its limited functionality.

At this point, Facebook was still run out of his dorm room, but it was time to get serious. Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard in 2004, much like Bill Gates before him.

In mid-2004, Zuckerberg hired Napster cofounder Sean Parker as the company's first president.

Around the same time, in June 2004, Facebook moved to Palo Alto, California, into a tiny office downtown. Back then, the company was known for being as much a party hub as it was a serious startup.

These images were taken from "Now Entering: a Millennial Generation," a 2008 documentary.
That office, right in downtown Palo Alto, was incredibly unassuming. See that glass door, No. 471? That led to a set of stairs that would take you up to the space. I briefly worked for a company that would use the same office space, years later. There's a good sushi place around the corner.