Friday, November 12, 2010

The Social Network

Note 1: This post does not attempt to “review” the movie. The movie is brilliant! Watch it.

Note 2: A co-incidence, that this post is being published on the birthday of one of the geekiest guys I have known.

I get extremely disappointed when people tell me that ‘The Social Network’ is about Mark Zuckerberg, and the founding of facebook. Seriously? That is ALL you can take away from this movie?! That Mark created facebook to get his girlfriend back?! And, I don’t get it. Where exactly in the movie has Mark Zuckerberg been shown in a bad light? All I could see was, a guy, who persevered and stuck to what he believed, and succeeded.

As I said, this is not a review, but I do want to talk about some of the things shown in the movie.

“A guy who makes a nice chair doesn't owe money to everyone who has ever built a chair.”

Exactly. There have been social networks before. So when someone accuses Mark for “stealing” their idea, they are just being losers and want a share of the pie, as big as they possibly can. Sure, legal wizardry may even get you that, but what then? If creativity flows in your blood, no-one can take that away from you. That’s the end of the story right there.

“Ma'am, I know you've done your homework and so you know that money isn't a big part of my life, but at the moment I could buy Mt. Auburn Street, take the Phoenix Club and turn it into my ping pong room.”

Mark is doing something, and doing it passionately because “it is cool”. This is an extension of “Chase excellence, and money chases you.” What is striking about this story (i.e Facebook, and even Twitter’s story till now), that they chose to NOT monetise their product early on. Even this (or should I say, only this could) made Mark the youngest billionaire in the world. The point is, its not about wanting to earn lots of money, its about earning a lot of money just because you can, and hence you want to push the limits. And that making a point isn't always arrogance.

Third, I want to talk about the entrepreneurial spirit. I think IITs come closest to having any kind of entrepreneurial spirit at any campus across the country, which is, of course, peanuts when compared to the energy and the ecosystem at the American powerhouses, meaning Stanford and Harvard. Which is why I want to mention a couple of aspects of the movie which I found extremely real. The depiction of the way Mark launches; I have seen that happening in front of my eyes! The scene where Mark hires interns is A-B-S-O-L-U-T-E-L-Y S-T-U-N-N-I-N-G, and the way he says “Welcome to facebook!” gave me goosebumps. What happens between Mark and Saverin is not betrayal, it is just about taking unpopular decisions which became necessary. And we all have met a Sean Parker in our lives, right?

I would also want to talk about 'exclusive clubs', their entrance "tests", geeks, and the depiction of girls in the movie in general. But that would result in me being off-topic to what I want to convey about this movie. So I will reserve it for some other time.

In the end, this is a story that was just BEGGING to be told, and there are several things about the movie that is open to interpretation, and therein lies its beauty.

The Social Network...


  1. "Mark created facebook to get his girlfriend back", even though some people may infer this from the movie, it's interesting to note that in reality, Mark was dating a girl during the time he started facebook. He happens to be committed to her till date.

  2. Nice Post. Knew this was coming up ...

  3. totally agree, fantastic movie! To many the movie was a bit depressing, but like you said, I didn't get it either! All and all inspirational ;)

  4. that line.. "Welcome to Facebook" really gave me goosebumps too.. reminded me of my inaugral speech to our interns :)

  5. @Benny, interesting, though the "committed to her till date" part isn't surprising. She wouldn't dare to break up with him, would she?

    @Maulik, I am becoming predictable, eh? Damn! :D

    @Gaurav, thanks!

    @Monty, inspirational! HELL YEAH! \m/ :D

    @Anubhav, awesome! :)

  6. awesome post ..especially the part "earning money just because you can"...ab to movie dekhni padegi :P

  7. The movie is inspirational, no doubt. And that is a good blog to say the least. But then, the movie, at least to me, seems to be the story told based on the accounts given by the plaintiffs in the case. It isn't a telling by Mark. It isn't the telling of an official biographer. And the few scenes where you do see Mark alone, will, at best, give you a vague idea of his emotions or thoughts, leaving behind an ambiguity and open endedness for everyone to derive what they want. It is actually a better movie than just a story. And the actor playing Zuckerberg, sorry for not googling his name, is probably the best performance I have seen this year.
    As Shobhit says, there is a movie on Billy the Gate man which demonizes him. Thanks to Brian Singer, and his team, for not doing the same here. But that might just be because it still hasn't become a pure monopoly yet. I'd like to wait and watch. After all, you just can not make 500 million friends, without making a few enemies. :)

  8. @daGmann (Bhakkar), it is comments such as these which keep me from quitting blogging! :)

  9. Very nice post. keep blogging pls