Back then, Mark was known at Harvard as the sophomore who had built Facemash, a « Hot Or Not » clone for Harvard.
The first is that Mark got in trouble for creating it. The way the site worked was that it pulled photos of Harvard students off of Harvard’s Web sites. It rearranged these photos so that when people visited Facemash they would see pictures of two Harvard students and be asked to vote on which was more attractive. The site also maintained a list of Harvard students, ranked by attractiveness.
On Harvard’s politically correct campus, this upset people, and Mark was soon hauled in front of Harvard’s disciplinary board for students. According to a Harvard Crimson article, he was charged with breaching security, violating copyrights, and violating individual privacy. Happily for Mark, the article reports that he wasn’t expelled.
The second reason everyone at Harvard knew about Facemash and Mark Zuckerberg was that Facemash had been an instant hit. » That means the average visitor voted 48 times.
The same Harvard Crimson story reports that after two weeks, « the site had been visited by 450 people, who voted at least 22,000 times
It was for this ability to build a wildly popular site that Victor Gao first recommended eron, Tyler, and Divya. Sold on Mark, the Harvard Connection trio reached out to him. Mark agreed to meet.
They first met in an early evening in late November in the dining hall of Harvard College’s Kirkland House. Cameron, Tyler, and Divya brought up their idea for Harvard Connection, and described their plans to A) build the site for Harvard students only, by requiring new users to register with email addresses, and B) expand Harvard Connection beyond Harvard to schools around the country. Mark reportedly showed enthusiastic interest in the project.
Later that night, Mark wrote an email to the Winklevoss brothers and Divya: « I read over all the stuff you sent and it seems like it shouldn’t take too long to implement, so we can talk about that after I get all the basic functionality up tomorrow night. »
The next day, on December 1, . Part of it read, « I put together one of the two registration pages so I have everything working on my system now. I’ll keep you posted as I patch stuff up and it starts to become completely functional. »
These two emails sounded like the words of someone who was eager to be a part of the team and working away on the project. A few days later, however, started to change in tone. Specifically, they went from someone who seemed to be hard at work building the product to someone who was so busy with schoolwork that he had no time to do any coding at all.
December 4: « Sorry I was unreachable tonight. I just got about three of your missed calls. I was working on a problem set. »
I’m also really busy tomorrow so I don’t think I’d be able to meet then anyway
December 10: « The week has been pretty busy thus far, so I haven’t gotten a chance to do much work on the site or even think about it really, so I think it’s probably best to postpone meeting until we have more to discuss. «
A week later: « Sorry I have not been reachable for the past few days. I’ve basically been in the lab the whole time working on a cs problem set which I »m still not finished with. »
Sorry it’s taken a while for me to get back to you. I’m completely swamped with work this week. I have three programming projects and a final paper due by Monday, as well as a couple of problem sets due Friday. I’ll be available to discuss the site again starting Tuesday.