One of Mark Zuckerberg’s notebooks has worked out a plan that allows you to create Facebook profiles for your friends
A 2006 magazine from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had many ideas about possible concepts for the company, including one that allowed users to create profiles for people who were not yet on the social network.
Details about the journal come out Wired editor in chief Steven Levy, who publishes and publishes a book on the history of Facebook an excerpt from that book in Wired today. The full excerpt contains all kinds of juicy details about Facebook and Zuckerberg.
Much of the excerpt focuses on Zuckerberg’s inquisitive diary and how he used it as a way to think about early ideas for Facebook:
[Zuckerberg] outlined product ideas, schematic coding approaches and slipped into pieces of his philosophy. Page after page were filled with straight lines of text, bullets with lists, flow charts.
Zuckerberg sometimes even dropped photocopied pages from his diary on the desks of Facebook employees as a way to share ideas or changes to Facebook.
Levy says he owned 17 pages of one of those magazines, dating from May 2006, which Zuckerberg supposedly called the “Book of Change.” In it, Zuckerberg apparently wrote about opening up Facebook to everyone (at the time, Facebook was still exclusive to college and high school networks), early thoughts and ideas for news feed, and a particularly disturbing idea that he called “Dark Profiles.”
These would be Facebook pages for people who, either through negligence or intention, had not registered for Facebook. The idea was to allow users to create these profiles for their friends – or basically for anyone who didn’t have a Facebook account – with nothing more than a name and email address. Once the profile existed, anyone could add information to it, such as biographical details or interests.
According to Levy, some work has been done on creating hidden profiles, and Facebook has said it doesn’t create profiles for people who aren’t on Facebook.
Zuckerberg has destroyed most of his notebooks for privacy reasons, Levy reports. That is interesting in the light of Zuckerberg himself who reconfirmed Facebook’s founding story last year – the magazines could have provided more details about the company’s history, if they still existed.
Levy’s extract also contains a few other interesting facts, including one about the Silicon Valley legend about Zuckerberg’s choice to refuse a $ 1 billion takeover bid from Yahoo – apparently Zuckerberg had accepted the offer verbally, but a negotiating choice from Yahoo Zuckerberg let the acquisition talk to Yahoo:
He verbally accepted the offer, but then Yahoo CEO Terry Semel made a tactical mistake and asked to renegotiate terms because the shares of his company had gone down. Zuckerberg used that as an opportunity to end the talks. He believed that the two products he wrote about in the Book of Change would make Facebook more valuable.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg told Levy exactly what she was hired for when Zuckerberg first brought her:
Zuckerberg would be the lord of engineering – some Facebook built– and Sandberg would be in charge of everything Zuckerberg was not interested in, including sales, policy, legal affairs, content moderation and ultimately a lot of security. “It was very easy,” Sandberg told me. “He took product, and I took the rest.”
And apparently, after the consistent criticism of Facebook following the 2016 elections, Zuckerberg told his executive team to consider him a war CEO who should be decisive than in the past.
The entire excerpt from Levy is long, but very interesting, and I highly recommend it go read it.