I Heart Mark Zuckerberg
So I was at a lunch of the AllThingsD.com staff in Palo Alto, Calif., Wednesday–at Il Fornaio, natch, where we pretended to be as important as its usual dot-com mogul and VC customers, but failed miserably–when Accel Partners VC Jim Breyer stopped by to chat about some stuff.
Unexpectedly, he brought along Mark Zuckerberg, the 20-something founder of Facebook, with whom Breyer had been lunching.
Graciously and mostly because he had zero choice after I whipped out my annoying tiny white Pure Digital digital video camera, Zuckerberg gives a quick update in the video below about the recent much-ballyhooed opening of the hot social-networking platform to third-party developers.
But when I ask him about the buyout rumors that have swirled around the company for a good long time–the new one has Google sniffing about, by the way–he scoffed, but then got mighty uncomfortable in a hurry.
Luckily, his valiant VC Breyer swooped in and showed just what he does to earn his zillions. And, as he had in this previous post, Breyer underscored that the company was not for sale.
But after I was done harassing him digitally, Zuckerberg surprised me by telling me I was “mean” to him in this blog and he kind of had a point. But not completely.
First, I do tend to write favorably of Facebook, which I think is an innovative, clean and well-executed Web experience that has even become useful to me of late (for some reason, as others have noted, I now have a boatload of “friends” on the site, which has become a Silicon Valley hotspot of late). Score one: Kara.
And I tend to smack around giant rival MySpace more, for being chaotic and irksome, although that might be because I am, shall we say, a grumpy older lady perplexed by all that flashy dreck. Again, Kara 2/Mark 0.
But I was definitely a tad mean in this post, about removing “A Mark Zuckerberg Production” from the bottom of Facebook page, which I thought a little self-absorbed on his part, and replacing it with the simpler Facebook © 2007.
I also began my holy war against the flip-flop obsession the press has latched upon when talking about Zuckerberg. Since he did build the company and it is really not my business what shoes he wears, I will give this one to Mark, so Kara2/Mark 1.
I suppose when I think about it, that pretty much makes him average around Silicon Valley, which is the homeland of pompous fatheads. And, frankly, I think I use it on him more because of his youth, which is ageist–again, due to grumpy-older-lady disease. Kara 2/Mark 2.
But I think it was probably this post that likely irked Zuckerberg most. It was his big day announcing the opening of the Facebook platform and I characterized his onstage performance as awkward.
Well, it was, but I also said I meant it in the nicest way. Zuckerberg is not a smoothie in any way and that’s not a bad thing (think Bill Gates, Larry Page). It’s even endearing.
But I did go after those flip-flops again, which I said, “are now about as annoying to me as the lava lamps and colorful bouncy balls at Google eventually became.” Actually, I am still more annoyed by those lava lamps and balls, and now Google’s aren’t-we-kooky-as-ever dinosaur statue on its campus.
So perhaps we will have a split decision here. Kara 2.5/Mark 2.5. Given that, Mark, can’t we just get along?