Here's an interview I did with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg at Startup School the other weekend. One of the most interesting things to me was his analysis of what The Social Network got wrong. People in Hollywood couldn't imagine that someone would build something because they were interested in building things, so they had to create another, perhaps more "movie-compatible," motivation for him. 

This is is one of the biggest things the rest of the world doesn't understand about hackers. They simply enjoy building things. A lot of successful startups began as things done just for fun or out of curiosity.

Check out the full interview (which includes some questions about Facebook's early days) and all the other talks from Startup School here:

10/27/2010 07:39:18 am

While I agree there may be a disconnect between Hollywood and hackers (though Steve Jobs & Pixar might disagree), he is a farce. He also said the girl in the beginning was "made up" when the screenwriter has publicly said he changed her name in the movie. Quite the difference. Funny how the film makers got his clothing right, but not the most damning stuff, which came directly from zuck's own blog and court depositions.
The fanboys, apologists and mythmakers around mz & fb are nauseating.

10/27/2010 10:02:08 am

Most people dont know the gratification and challenge in building something from the ground up, whether that be a chemical solution, a computer program, or a mathematical equation. Hollywood is filled with movie stars and producers that can barely add and just understand their own point of views and art collections. That being, loathing over drugs and money, and the greed that dominates them. They think everyone is like that, "that" being everyone inherets a bunch of money and doesnt have to do anything but sit on their butts and use there connections when they get bored. Hackers and engineers create there own connections through there work, and that is much more powerful than anyone you know or any amount of money you inheret, although both money and connections help. But, the point is the truth of creating innovative technology and loving it comes before greed and money. I do think thats what most hollywood tycoons dont understand, as well as wall street investors.

Arun Srinivasan
10/27/2010 10:38:33 am

The man's a legend..

10/27/2010 12:10:59 pm

The one thing people tend to forget is that for all the stories and folklore surrounding these guys, they were REALLY good programmers. People think Facebook was just an overnight success that Zuck didn't have to do much - which in reality is quite the opposite.

How many people do you know would propose to completely rewrite PHP?

Clearly these guys deserve a LOT more credit for what they've done then what people are giving them.

10/27/2010 12:40:22 pm

In general, i've been a bit disappointed with the start-up community's overly literal interpretation of the film. Fincher was clearly trying to communicate that Zuck's drive came from a different place than something as petty and crude as revenge or a rock-star-like lust. The zen focus we see him possessed by throughout the movie is indeed what Zuckerberg politely calls the affinity for building things. Of course its more than that. The desire to build things is the desire to remake the world the way you want to see it. It's the audacity to question the way things are when most people try as hard as possible to fall in line. This passion seems to consume Mark in the movie and more than any single detail Fincher getting this right made The Social Network really the best film ever made about business.

The New Yorker review saw this about the movie, as did Scott Adams. And while I didn't expect Zuck to openly admit it I'm sure he saw it too (he saw the movie at least twice for god sakes).

Wil Schroter
10/28/2010 12:44:17 am

Last I checked, the Social Network wasn't billed as a documentary, it was billed as entertainment. Yes, it was closely related to his story, but by his own admission, if they wrote a movie that was exactly what happened (they sat around coding all day) it wouldn't have been a very exciting movie.

2/20/2011 10:55:45 am

Say what you will... he has changed the way the world interacts. He has revived the human need for social activity. He has built a platform that people at this point, have no choice but to be connected to. So tell me, what have you done lately?

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