HARVARD CRIMSON -- Feb 26 -- They wanted to make a website that would connect the Harvard campus with $1k startup money. They didn't anticipate meeting the CEOs of Friendster and Google—or that they would take time off Harvard to share a house in Silicon Valley with the co-founder of Napster, Sean Parker. TheFacebook.com serves 1.5 million. Zuckerberg estimates he’s been to 40 meals with interested VC's and other companies, like Google, to discuss investment. Advertising income exceeds their operating costs; $50k monthly server costs and salaries for eight employees. “We’re in a really interesting place because if you look at the assets we have, we’re fucking rich,” says Zuckerberg. “But if you look at like the cash and the amount of money we have to live with, we’re dirt poor." ConnectU filed suit in September '04 charging that Zuckerberg used their source code, business model, and original ideas to build TheFaceBook. Normally investors shy away from companies facing a federal lawsuit, but Peter Thiel—co-founder of PayPal—was willing to take the risk.
The full article was originally published at Crimson, but is no longer available.
Mark Brooks: Peter Thiel, Ram Shriram and Tim Koogle were the power triage (smart money) involved with Friendster as Jonathan moved from homespun startup to VC darling. (I worked with Friendster when Jonathan was working out of his apartment). Ram and Tim are also on Plaxo's board.