23. Billy Olson
Olson, the fourth roommate in Zuckerberg, Hughes, and Moskovitz’s suite, was “an amateur thespian with an impish streak,” according to David Kirkpatrick, author of The Facebook Effect. In The Social Network, Olson has the bright idea of comparing students to farm animals. While his friends all went on to become billionaires, Olson took time off from Harvard and never graduated, said a Harvard official. Still, he ended up making friends with a tight-knit group of younger students, with whom he is still close, according to a former classmate. Friends said Olson had become a firefighter in his hometown of Briarcliff Manor, New York.
20. Joe Green
After Green helped out on an early Zuckerberg production called Facemash, his professor father forbade him from working with Mark again. It was “a very expensive prohibition,” writes Kirkpatrick: Invited to run Facebook’s business operations, Green demurred, turning down a stake that would be worth billions today. Still, he landed on his feet, founding Causes and NationBuilder, a community organizing tool.
19. Eduardo Saverin
Saverin, having fallen out with Zuckerberg, saw his stake in Facebook dip from one-third to under 10%. Still making billions in the IPO, he provoked outrage from American lawmakers by expatriating to Singapore. “The decision was strictly based on my interest of living and working in Singapore,” Saverin said, adding that he had paid hundreds of millions in taxes to the U.S. government.
16. David Hammer
Hammer chose Google over Facebook upon graduation, writing a prescient essay about building a Facebook platform to secure his Google gig. After six years as a product manager, he left to found SpotCouncil, a site for expert networks.
“We did problem sets together our sophomore spring, as Facebook was taking off,” Hammer said. “I have vivid memories of hanging out with Mark and Kang-Xing in a dorm basement, looking at Facebook’s usage stats as they went through the roof and being pretty excited about it.”
13. Kang-Xing Jin
Jin took computer science courses in his freshman year with Zuckerberg. While his classmates decamped to Palo Alto, Jin stayed at Harvard, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 2006. He joined Facebook after graduation, working on News Feed and eventually becoming the director of Facebook Ads.
12. Sarah Goodin
The social network’s first woman, Goodin initially saw Facebook “as just a fun thing that my friends made,” but over time, “it morphed into the zeitgeist while I watched,” she said. She’s currently earning an M.F.A. in design from the California College of the Arts and hopes to launch her own consultancy to craft sustainable products that improve people’s lives. “I’m not there yet,” she said, “but a gal can dream.”
11. Samyr Laine
These days, Laine stays in touch with his freshman roommate Mark Zuckerberg mostly through Facebook messages. An accomplished triple jumper who competed for Haiti in the 2012 Olympics, Laine is also a lawyer and a memoirist. “I like to keep it fresh and unique,” he said. “A whole bunch of my peers from law school are practicing law, and I’m jumping in sandpits.”
10. Zach Bercu
“The past eight years have been extraordinary,” Bercu said. A graduate of Emory’s medical school, Bercu spent a year in Israel, where he became fluent in Hebrew. He completed his residency in New York, part of the last intern class at St. Vincent’s, whose “hospital infrastructure crumbled around me,” he remembered of the facility, which closed in 2010. Now a resident at Mount Sinai in radiology, Bercu plans to complete a fellowship in interventional radiology, a form of “micro-surgery.”
From his undergraduate years, “whether through Facebook or in person,” Bercu says he “took with me some of the greatest friendships one could have.”
9. Manuel Antonio Aguilar
Aguilar calls himself a social entrepreneur “focused on the base of the pyramid.” His latest venture, called Quetsol, is a renewable energy company based out of Guatemala. Back at Harvard, Aguilar remembers, “I met some of the best friends I’ve ever had and many of the most talented people in the world.”
7. Mark Kaganovich
Kaganovich has been interested in technology start-ups since high school, and now that he’s finishing up his Ph.D. — at Stanford, in computational biology — he’s working on his own. “We want to change bioinformatics,” he said of his company, SolveBio. That means building computers to answer “biologically relevant questions” and to make medicine “more precise, more effective, and less expensive.”
When he was at Harvard, Kaganovich said few people were aware of start-ups as a career path. “I think all the attention Facebook got helped change that a little,” he said, “at least for now.”
6. Colin Kelly
Kelly finished at Columbia Law in 2008, and took a job at Paul Weiss, a firm in New York. By 2010, he had purchased an apartment, and he invited a reporter from The New York Times to chronicle his interior redecoration on the cheap. He’s currently an associate working on tax law.
5. Andrew McCollum
Facebook’s original logo, featuring a young Al Pacino, was a creation of McCollum’s. He joined Zuckerberg and Moskovitz in Palo Alto in the summer after their sophomore year, working primarily on Wirehog, Zuckerberg’s pet project for file sharing. He was married last year in Rhode Island, in what one reporter called “the geekiest wedding ever” — the wedding programs were written in XML. McCollum is currently an entrepreneur-in-residence at the venture capital firm NEA.
4. Arie Hasit
Hasit moved to Israel right after graduation, where he is now studying to be a rabbi. He works for a Jewish youth movement called NOAM. “I definitely use Facebook to promote my nonprofit work,” he said. “I started using it literally at the beginning, and I’ve been singing its praises ever since.”
3. Dustin Moskovitz
“Having genius and ambition alone isn’t going to get you there. It’s really important to be lucky,” Moskovitz told Kirkpatrick. “But Mark had all three in spades, including luck.” What Moskovitz had was a Herculean work ethic and a willingness to learn. “He was just a workaholic and a machine,” Zuckerberg said of his cofounder. Moskovitz left Facebook in 2008 to build Asana, a project management app that he hopes will one day replace email.
2. Chris Hughes
Originally the spokesman for Facebook, Hughes left to run Barack Obama’s online campaign in 2008. “Working with Mark is very challenging,” Hughes told Kirkpatrick. “You’re never sure if what you’re doing is something he likes or he doesn’t like. It’s so much better to be friends with Mark than to work with him.” Jumo, Hughes’ charity index, merged with Good magazine in 2011. In 2012, he purchased The New Republic, and just announced a major redesign.
1. Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook’s first user actually holds the user ID number four, the first three accounts having been blocked off for testing. With its public offering last May, Zuckerberg only solidified his control over the company he founded. One indicator of his continuing rule is Graph Search, a name for Facebook’s latest product that Kirkpatrick speculated was pooh-poohed by marketers. “It’s a terrible name,” Kirkpatrick said. “It’s sort of a little piece of evidence right there that he’s still in the driver’s seat.”
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