When I read Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's deposition in one of his pending lawsuits with the founders of ConnectU, who claim he stole the idea for the social network from them, my first thought was, "Did anyone at Microsoft read these before investing $240 million in Facebook?" Zuckerberg is at his worst in these transcripts — by turns arrogant, befuddled, condescending, and obfuscating. And then it hit me.
If anyone at Microsoft has seen these, it surely caused their hearts to warm to Facebook's 23-year-old founder. Zuckerberg's performance no doubt reminded them of Bill Gates's grilling by government lawyers a decade ago. Here are 18 pages of excerpts from Zuckerberg's deposition, made available by 02138 magazine, and a clip of Gates's testimony. Compare for yourselves.