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Mark Zuckerberg's motives are pure, and the Facebook CEO wants you to know it. Despite what you've seen in The Social Network, he's not in it for the girls, or the prestige, or the money. He's in it for love.
The movie's producers " just can't wrap their head around the idea that someone might build something because they like building things," Zuckerberg told a cheering crowd of aspiring entrepreneurs at Stanford University on Saturday. He said the movie nailed his wardrobe—"every single shirt and fleece I had in that movie is actually a shirt or fleece that I own"—but had him chasing girls and trying to get into social clubs when, in real life he was just a nerd in his dorm room writing computer programs for fun.
That angelic version of Facebook's birth is hard to square with real life evidence, including instant messages the showed him plotting ruthlessly against his business rivals on campus and evidence Zuckerberg also hacked in to a competing social network. Indeed, in the course of defending his motives at Startup School, Zuckerberg repeated the claim that "I've been dating the same girl since even before Facebook," a statement that is a documented falsehood. In other words, it's about as plausible as Zuckerberg's earlier claim that Facebook's evolution is "not about the money." Believe, if you like, but don't expect Zuckerberg's polished version of his history to help you predict where his money machine of an invention is going next.