Monday, 8 August 2016

Mark Zuckerberg is NOT the Nearest Bill Gates?

Mark Zuckerberg isn't the kind of person to shy away from excellence and innovation. By now, this fact should be abundantly clear.

Business Insider and Yahoo Finance both came out earlier this week referring to the young billionaire as a modern day Bill Gates. In many respects they're right but, in most respects, he's even better.
At the age of 10, a time when most kids are still struggling to memorize their multiplication tables, Zuckerberg first picked up computer programming after discovering his father's PC.
By age 11, Mark had built a program dubbed ZuckNet, connecting his father's home and office computers. Keep in mind this was 1995, when most people still didn't even know what the Internet was.
By the end of High School, a time when most kids are still struggling just to fit in, Zuckerberg had already mastered the languages of Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and — more importantly — C++. In his spare time he built video games on his computer, became captain of his school's fencing team, and even turned down a $1 million offer from Microsoft for one of his many programs. That's more success than most of us will experience in our entire lifetimes, but for Zuckerberg it was just the start...
Like Gates, Zuckerberg attended Harvard only to later drop out and launch his own startup, but his rise to prosperity and fame came at a far more rapid pace. Before dropping out, Mark had already turned down a $10 million offer for Facebook (NASDAQ: FB). Shortly after, he was walking away from a $75 million buyout from MTV.
Most people, of course, would have said he was insane to turn those numbers down at the time — But Zuckerberg wasn't insane, and he certainly wasn't most people.... He was (and still is) an absolute genius.
Today, at the age of just 32, Zuckerberg ranks as the fifth richest man in the world with an estimated net worth of $53.7 billion. By that age, Bill Gates was worth just $2.45 billion when accounting for CPI inflation.
So while calling Zuckerberg the next Bill Gates might seem flattering enough, the truth is it's a massive under-appreciation. Zuckerberg isn't the “new Bill Gates” and Facebook isn't the next Microsoft either. In fact, both of these things are even better.
The Value of Foresight
One thing Bill Gates didn't really have going with Microsoft early on was a long-term vision. The company's narrow focus on the PC made it incredibly difficult to pivot during the mobile phone revolution. Its lack of R&D efforts on what would come next allowed the firm to be vastly overshadowed by Apple as smartphones established their dominance in consumer tech.
While Microsoft did eventually make efforts to catch up to its rival, and is doing a much better job planning for the future today, there's no doubt that the company did too little, too late to establish any meaningful stake in the wildly lucrative smartphone era.
None of this, of course, is to take away from the early accomplishments of Bill Gates or Microsoft, but it goes to show just how much of a visionary Zuckerberg truly is by comparison. What most people saw as a simple website to share photos just a few years ago has transformed into a massive, $357 billion social ecosystem today... And those who had the foresight early, to truly understand just what Facebook was doing, have been justly rewarded.
Back in June of 2013 Facebook was trading for just $24.66 a share, off 35% from its IPO opening of $38.25. The market was panicking and people were acting as if Facebook was doomed.
Personally, I saw things a bit differently back then, laying out the case to readers that Facebook was undervalued. At the time, one of my colleagues proceeded to insist it was better to invest in companies that deal in tangible assets like gold, and while he had some good points, here's how that all turned out:

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