Ok so I’m definitely a BIG fan of this movie called “The Social Network”, a.k.a Facebook so I’m pretty happy that it won 4 awards at the Golden Globe. I would say the movie dramatized a lot of Facebook history but what movie doesn’t. The thing I like the most about it can be summed up to “been there done that” (well for like the 1st 5 minutes of the movie, apparently I haven’t become mad rich yet).
So I’ll spoil a lil bit here: The movie is about Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook and how it became popular. It started out as him getting dumped at the bar, then running back to his dorm and do his magic hacking (which I’ll explain in later posts) to create the facemash.com site (along with some girlfriend revenge blog posts). The site totally attracted major traffic which brought him to Harvard’s Board of IT (or sth like that). After that he was approached by the Harvard twins and their friend to discuss about the idea of Facebook. They hope he would build that for them and it’s gonna be big, which it did just that its not theirs anymore.
I found the movie uber inspirational because dang, I was that kid. Actually any CS-major student (or at least the one I know) was that kid during college. In case u guys don’t know about the software industry, I feel like it’s 1 of those that doesn’t require a huge amount of capital to start with, unlike finance, manufacturing, engineering or pharmaceutical. All u need is pretty much a $1000 computer and probably a $5/month hosting service. In fact a lot of big software companies start with open-source (a.k.a free) tools. Once they got the hype, they offer premium services that start generating profits and such.
When I was in college doing open-source projects and research, I always hoped to make it big. I was often told that what I made was gonna be used by a lot of people and everything so design it that way, design the software for maintainability and extensibility. What that meant was to make something that when u leave, someone can take over easily (maintainability) and that would be extended easily (extensibility). But such things were very delusional which led me to choices I regretted later on.
One of the things I learnt while working is to quantify requirements. When I was doing work for my professors, I never asked so how many (in numbers) people do u think are gonna use this, how fast (in seconds) it should run, who (as in names/backgrounds) will take over my product. Why? Cause I was stupid and intimidated. I still am. But when it comes to product assessments, numbers rule.
But anw, after the movie, I felt like my friends and I were doing exactly what Mark was doing. Did we stay up till 4a.m coding while intoxicated? We sure did. Did we crash the CS server and wake the Dean of IT up at 4a.m? we also did that (just that we woke the CS Department Head up cause u know, he ain’t Dean. We didn’t know the Dean’s number anw). The thing is, Mark made it cause he took the risk. We didn’t (not to say that if we did we’d make it, but u got the point). Thus, the movie made me feel like that was my college life, in another direction…
I never took the risk cause I was Asian (not to be racist!) and I was raised to have the mentality of never taking risk. My parents rarely encouraged me to “go for it”. Instead, they always told me “what if u fail?”. Therefore, my whole life has been revolving around making plan B and making sure plan B works even when I have to abandon plan A. With that said, I’m gonna finance a Mini Cooper!