Mark Zuckerberg’s journey: From dorm room to a $107 billion tech magnate

Today, the majority of Mark Zuckerberg's earnings are derived from Meta, with a reported annual base salary of $1 billion

As per a real-time report by Forbes, Mark Zuckerberg ranks at 9th position among the top 10 billionaires around the world with a net worth of approximately $107 billion.

Zuckerberg’s tech quest commenced in 2004 while he was still a Harvard University student. The spark for Facebook was ignited by the controversial ‘Facemash’ project, where students rated each other’s attractiveness. Although Facemash was short-lived due to controversy, it sowed the seeds for Zuckerberg’s grand vision of connecting people through an online platform.

‘The Facebook’ emerged as the evolution of this idea, with $500,000 of investment from entrepreneur Peter Thiel. Rapid growth ensued, with Facebook amassing around a million users within its first year. This prompted Zuckerberg to drop out of Harvard and dedicate himself entirely to the platform.

As Facebook’s user base expanded, so did its financial standing. Recognising its potential, investors like Microsoft stepped in. In 2012, Facebook went public with an Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), raising a monumental $16 billion, marking one of the largest tech IPOs at the time.

Zuckerberg’s ambitions extended beyond Facebook. The company embarked on an acquisition spree, acquiring Instagram for $1 billion in 2012. Two years later, in 2014, Facebook made headlines with its acquisition of WhatsApp for $19 billion. WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption and cross-platform compatibility have made it a vital communication tool for billions of users worldwide.

Further diversifying its portfolio, Facebook ventured into virtual reality with the acquisition of Oculus in 2014 for $2 billion. In 2023, Mark Zuckerberg’s forward-thinking approach was once again on display with the launch of ‘Threads’, a direct competitor to Elon Musk’s ‘X’.

Today, the majority of Mark Zuckerberg’s earnings are derived from Meta, with a reported annual base salary of $1 billion. His substantial 61% control of the company’s voting share as of March underscores his influential role in shaping Meta’s future. Zuckerberg’s journey from a college dorm room to a tech magnate serves as an inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs worldwide.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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