Facebook CEO turns 28, IPO could be $100B gift

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Not much is known about the relationship Jobs and Zuckerberg shared, but Jobs reportedly told his biographer Walter Isaacson: “We talk about social networks in the plural, but I don’t see anybody other than Facebook out there. Just Facebook, They are dominating this. I admire Mark Zuckerberg … for not selling out, for wanting to make a company. I admire that a lot.”

When Jobs died last October, Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page, “Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend. Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you.”

Jon Burgstone, professor at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology at the University of California, Berkeley, believes that Zuckerberg will need to keep his perspective and continue developing.

“He has already become one of the world’s most famous people, and also the richest,” he says. “He walks into a room and you can feel people’s excitement and the rush to be near him. He’s already had time to learn how to deal with such fame and fortune, but now it’s advancing to an entirely new level. How will he handle it, emotionally and professionally?”

Lieb marvels at the life Zuckerberg has led so far. Imagine being in your 20s, a self-made billionaire, your life the subject of a Hollywood movie. “It’s a lifetime and the guy isn’t 30 yet,” says Lieb.

He’s made big mistakes, especially with regard to users’ privacy. One example is Beacon, Facebook’s misguided advertising product that broadcast user’s activities on outside websites without their consent. Still, he took steps to correct them. On blog posts about Facebook’s privacy blunders, he’s admitted the company has made mistakes. His 2007 post about Beacon showed his straightforward, methodical thinking:

” We’ve made a lot of mistakes building this feature, but we’ve made even more with how we’ve handled them. We simply did a bad job with this release, and I apologize for it. While I am disappointed with our mistakes, we appreciate all the feedback we have received from our users. I’d like to discuss what we have learned and how we have improved Beacon,” he wrote five years ago. Facebook shut down Beacon two years later.

Zuckerberg has done well for himself so far, but he’ll be pulled in many directions once Facebook is public.

“There is going to be a tremendous amount of scrutiny on this company,” Lieb says. “Who really is qualified” to carry such a weight?

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Follow Barbara Ortutay on Twitter at http://twitter.com/BarbaraOrtutay

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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