Zuckerberg – “morally challenged geek or misunderstood genius” – Peter Foster, Financial Post

There is a fantastic article, Mark Zuckerberg’s close-up,  by Peter Foster in today’s Financial Post – definitely recommended reading for anyone who has seen The Social Network movie and is fascinated by the portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg.

Peter reviews Mark vs. the Mark portrayed in The Social Network movie and in doing so gives a run down on the current financial situation facing Facebook.  Eloquently written, Peter reminds us that the ‘moral’ issue today is Facebook’s business model that proffers users information to buyers.   He writes:

A more fundamental “moral” issue, however, relates to the nature of Facebook’s business model, which is based on the exploitation of networks of alleged friendship to sell stuff. Read more: http://opinion.financialpost.com/2011/01/06/peter-foster-mark-zuckerbergs-close-up/#ixzz1AP8173l9

Note:  I haven’t figured out why the SEC would force an IPO on Facebook – is this because of Goldman Sachs?

I see Mark Zuckerberg as the misunderstood genius – what I can’t tell from the movie is just how much of an idea was shared from the Winklevoss twins.  If it was only a conversation in a fancy private club, as depicted in the movie, then the $65M for a conversation is a pretty good return given they didn’t execute.  If they paid MZ while he blew them off looking at the code he did not use, then arguably the issue is larger.

In MZ’s defense (and I can’t help likely a smart a** who would re-calculate 18K + 1K = $19K for a condescending lawyer), the right idea is important but development and refinement of the idea to create a business and its online execution or activation is extremely difficult to nail.  I guess that’s why Mark Z is person of the year.   Now take time to read Time’s article – it certainly depicts Mark in a completely different light and at the same time, explains just what an amazing accomplishment facebook really is.