02138, an independent magazine for Harvard alumni, has done an in-depth profile of Harvard dropout Mark Zuckerberg and the on-campus origins of Facebook. There's plenty on the lawsuit filed by the Winklevoss twins and ConnectU, the Facebook rival for which Zuckerberg did some programming work. But the magazine digs deeper and gets some tantalizing details. Did you know that Facebook cofounder Eduardo Saverin and Zuckerberg sparred over money, and Saverin is suing Zuckerberg for squeezing him out of the company? Or that fellow Harvard alums Sanjay Mavinkurve, Joe Jackson, and Victor Gao also did programming for ConnectU — and thereby might have a claim to the title of wannabe Facebook founders? Aaron Greenspan, whose HouseSystem social network may have inspired Zuckerberg, also makes an appearance. Zuckerberg didn't speak to the magazine for the story, but his response to Harvard's Administrative Board still rings true today.
After the Winklevosses brought charges against Zuckerberg for violating college rules, he responded in a letter:
Frankly, I'm kind of appalled that they're threatening me after the work I've done for them free of charge, but after dealing with a bunch of other groups with deep pockets and good legal connections including companies like Microsoft, I can't say I'm surprised. I try to shrug it off as a minor annoyance that whenever I do something successful, every capitalist out there wants a piece of the action.
The board decided the matter lay outside Harvard's purview, and the case will no doubt be settled in court. (Or out of court, now that Facebook has raised $240 million from Microsoft.) Whatever you think of the merits of the case, the 02138 profile has come to a definitive ruling: For such a nice guy — the "crazy kid" who only cares about his users — Zuckerberg is a quick study when it comes to capitalism.