Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Harvard Dropout Zuckerberg Feted by, Well, Harvard!

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Oh the sweet irony of Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg getting awarded a big round glass object, suitable for mantel-showing-off, from Harvard types.

Especially since he is now the school’s second most famous tech mogul dropout–after Microsoft’s Bill Gates.

But that was the case last night at the San Francisco Airport Hyatt Regency, where the 24-year-old Zuckerberg collected the 30th Entrepreneurial Company of the Year Award from the Harvard Business School Association of Northern California.

As is required at dinners like this, Zuckerberg had to sing for his supper in a post-meal interview about the hot social-networking site’s past and future.

At first, he did clarify that he was technically “on leave” from Harvard, as Gates also is, which the crowd loved.

(But, memo to Harvard Yard: Neither Gates nor Zuckerberg is coming back, so don’t leave the lights on.)

Zuckerberg (pictured here with me) also used the term “share information” in the interview, perhaps even more than he did onstage when I interviewed him at the D: All Things Digital conference last month.

And so much so that it could be the basis for a raucous drinking game where you take a shot every time he says “share information,” which would make you dangerously inebriated within 56 seconds.

Zuckerberg also strongly reiterated his statement that Facebook was not for sale, which is especially important now that it looks like a tastier treat to Microsoft (MSFT), in the wake of its failed takeover of Yahoo (YHOO).

But Zuckerberg specifically nixed a sale to Microsoft, which invested $240 million in Facebook and gave it its infamous $15 billion valuation.

He was joined onstage by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg–who is an academically scary double whammy, holding 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.

Plus Sandberg has a really effective hairy eyeball that she used to stop me from stalking her or Zuckerberg with my Flip camera.

Still, BoomTown managed to get some video of those attending the event, which was heavy with tech types.

My various quarry dispensed business advice, all while I mocked Harvard (lovingly, so don’t gripe that I am envious–am not).

So, here’s my video of last night’s event, which includes: Piczo CEO Jeremy Verba (HBS); Facebook’s Ben Ling (not Harvard) and Elliot Schrage (Harvard undergrad, masters, law!); Greylock Partners’ James Slavet (HBS) and David Sze (horrors–Yale!); Accel Partners’ Jim Breyer (HBS); and the glass award itself (totally HBS!).

And, once again, here’s Zuckerberg and Sandberg in action, somehow withstanding my withering questions at D6:

Part One

Part Two


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We found that brainteasers are a complete waste of time. How many golf balls can you fit into an airplane? How many gas stations in Manhattan? A complete waste of time. They don’t predict anything. They serve primarily to make the interviewer feel smart.

— Google HR executive Laszlo Bock, telling the New York Times’ Adam Bryant that the company no longer asks applicants to complete mental gymnastics during job interviews. Via Quartz.