On a fall night in 2003, Harvard undergrad and computer programming genius Mark Zuckerberg sits down at his computer and heatedly begins working on a new idea. In a fury of blogging and programming, what begins in his dorm room soon becomes a global social network and a revolution in communication. A mere six years and 500 million friends later, Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest billionaire in history… but for this entrepreneur, success leads to both personal and legal complications. From director David Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin comes The Social Network, a film that proves you don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies.
The Social Network Movie tells an interesting story about how the biggest social network site, Facebook, all started with the break up of Mark Zuckerberg and his girlfriend, Erica Albright. Following the break up, Mark created Face Mesh, a simple comparison of girls pictures gotten from all the schools around the area. It really showcases the innovation, creativity, flexibility, agile mind, and drunkard stupor of how a wasted coder that works wonders while fueled with alcohol, something lacking in our Singapore culture.
After becoming (in)famous, Mark was approached by Divya Narendra and the Winklevoss twins to create Harvard Connection. Mark helped Narendra and the Winklevoss twins, but he soon abandoned their project in order to build his own site, which he eventually labelled Facebook. The site was an immediate hit, and, at the end of his sophomore year, Mark dropped out of Harvard to run it. This reflects the daring genius of starting up, and how it’s not about the idea of creating a social network but the business/marketing strategy of jumpstarting the traction of social usage.
The movie is told from the recollection of his former best friend, Eduardo Saverin, and Narendra and the Winklevoss twins, who are currently suing him. The jumping forward and backwards between recollections might throw the viewer off a little because it wasn’t stated in the beginning, but snuck in during the middle of the movie.
However, the best part of the movie was when Mark moved the entire Facebook operations to San Francisco, California, where he rented a house as his office and hired 2 interns using an interesting hiring process. The interns were required to hack into a system as fast as possible, with every broken rule geared towards getting them to drink as many shots of alcohol as possible. Of course, the office was as crazy of an environment as you can imagine. It showed almost exactly how actual coders work, unlike those we know in shirts and pants in an office cubicle droning away.
Singapore has much to learn from this movie, if it wants to grow its startup culture. For the movie goers, do not expect this to blow your mind, as it is more like a documentary biography with some culture view of how developers/coders think, work, and play. It will get boring at certain parts, and if you can’t appreciate or aren’t interested in the startup culture, then this isn’t a movie for you.
I leave you with this quote from the end of the movie – “You’re not an asshole, Mark. You just try so damn hard to be.”
Singapore Release Date: 28 October 2010
Running Time: 120 minutes
Consumer Advice: Drug Use and Some Sexual References