Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Facebook Gets Harvard Business School Kudos


While it is not yet clear exactly what kind of business case study Facebook will turn out to be in the end–a raging success or a raging something else entirely–that has not stopped Harvard from feting the hot and hyped social-networking site.

That would be the Harvard Business School Association of Northern California, which will bestow upon Facebook its 30th Entrepreneurial Company of the Year Award on June 17 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport.

Apparently, the glamour never stops for CEO and Founder Mark Zuckerberg, who will be at the event, leading the crowd “through Facebook’s remarkable journey.”

Well, that’s all BoomTown needed to hear, immediately ponying up the $225 for a seat for non-members (although we briefly contemplated the $10,000 “Centennial” table for six, which includes a private reception and preferred seating).

While neither Zuckerberg nor I have the fancy degrees–he dropped out of Harvard as an undergrad and I did not have a prayer of getting in in the first place–Facebook’s leadership is chock full of Harvard graduates.

(Much to the chagrin, I might add, of some of Facebook’s less collegiately endowed types, who sometimes grumble to me about the tony school’s influence there, much in the same way some at Google complain about MIT and Stanford.)

In any case, COO Sheryl Sandberg must have scored 800s on her SATs (BoomTown: a decent 720 in English and a less-impressive 640 in math, as near as I can remember)!

According to Facebook’s Web site, she “holds a master’s degree in business administration with highest distinction from the Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree summa cum laude in economics from Harvard University.”

Meanwhile, new PR honcho Elliot Schrage “has been a contributor to the Harvard Business Review…holds a bachelors degree from Harvard College, a master’s degree in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.”

And let’s not leave out CFO Gideon Yu, who “holds a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School,” while VP of Product Management Matt Cohler’s “writings on the start-up economy have been published in Harvard Business Review.”

Here’s hoping some of this Harvard brain power rubs off on me over dinner!

And, using any excuse to post two video highlight reels from our recent sixth D: All Things Digital conference, here’s Zuckerberg and Sandberg in action, somehow withstanding my withering questions last week:

Part One

Part Two

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work