The Social Network

Directed by David Fincher ¬†written by¬†Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network is a telling of the story of how Facebook came to be and the lawsuits that were a result of it. The movie is based on Ben Mezrich’s 2009 book The Accidental Billionaires and starts Jesse Eisenberg, Armie Hammer, Andrew Garfield & Justin Timberlake (yuck) and also has a supporting role by Max Minghella & Rashida Jones. There are several chances to real incidents for dramatic effect and even characters aren’t portrayed true to real life.

That being said this is a movie based for entertainment and not to be served as a documentary. Mark Zuckerberg reacts to being dumped in a bar by his girlfriend by writing an unflattering¬† blog post about her that is read by a lot of people. He also creates an on-campus website called¬†Facemash¬†which allows users to rate the attractiveness of female students using photographs pilfered from various university systems. ¬†Facemash’s popularity and the fact that Mark created it in one night while drunk brings him to the attention of¬†Cameron¬†and¬†Tyler Winklevoss¬†(both portrayed by¬†Armie Hammer) and their business partner¬†Divya Narendra¬†(Max Minghella). TheWinklevoss twins¬†invite Mark to their¬†final club, where Mark accepts a job as programmer for a proposed dating website they call¬†Harvard Connection which will be exclusive to Harvard alumni.

Mark goes to his friend Eduardo Saverin and tells him of his idea for what he calls “Thefacebook”, an online social networking website exclusive to Harvard University students, which will be consensual and avoid the ethical problems he had earlier with FaceMash. Eduardo agrees to help Mark, providing $1,000 to help start the site and helps spread the word. When the learn of it, Tyler and Divya want to sue Mark for¬†intellectual property theft, but Cameron convinces them to settle the matter as “Gentlemen of Harvard”. However Harvard President¬†Larry Summers is dismissive towards the twins and sees no potential value in either a disciplinary action or in Thefacebook website itself. During a lecture by Bill Gates, Eduardo & Mark meet Christy Leeand her friend Alice, who are fans of Facebook and they hook up. Later through Christy, Mark & Eduardo have a drinks & dinner meeting with Sean Parker (co-creator of Napster) and who shares Mark’s vision of Facebook. In a parting comment, Sean suggests they drop the “The” from Thefacebook, saying it looks cleaner without the ‘The’. At Sean’s suggestion, Mark moves the company to¬†Palo Alto¬†while Eduardo remains in New York seeking advertising support. Sean advises Mark to keep hold of his ownership of Facebook to ensure that Mark does not lose control of a potentially lucrative business venture. After Sean promises to expand Facebook to two continents, Mark invites Sean to live at the house he is using as the company headquarters.

When the Winklevoss twins see that Facebook¬† has spread to many other universities d footage of their lost rowing race final against the¬†Hollandia Roeiclub¬†is posted on it, Cameron relents and they decide to sue. Meanwhile Eduardo and Mark have some issues with the running of the company and the former also breaks up with Christy. While visiting the new headquarters for a meeting, Eduardo discovers the deal he signed with Sean’s investors has allowed them to¬†dilute his share of the company¬†from 34 percent to 0.03 percent, while maintaining the ownership percentage of all other parties. He confronts Mark and announces his intention to sue him. During a party celebrating Facebook’s one millionth member, Sean and a number of underage Facebook interns are arrested for possession of cocaine. Sean tries deceiving Mark into believing that he had nothing to do with the incident and that Eduardo stashed the cocaine, but Mark does not believe him and tells him to “go home”.

Throughout the movie, we see the two suits filed against Mark & Facebook also being played out – one filed by the Winklevoss twins, the other by Eduardo. The Winklevoss twins claim that Zuckerberg stole their idea, while Saverin claims his shares of Facebook were unfairly diluted when the company was incorporated. Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss received a settlement of $65 million, signed a non-disclosure agreement, and rowed in the¬†2008 Beijing Olympics, placing sixth; Eduardo Saverin received a settlement of an unknown amount and his name was restored to the Facebook masthead as a Co-founder of Facebook; the website has over 500 million members in 207 countries and is valued at 25 billion dollars; and Mark Zuckerberg is the world’s youngest billionaire. 8 outta 10, it’s a good movie!

Rags to Riches

How much is too much? I have no frikkin’ idea. I know that I don’t make as much as I’d want to, not nearly enough. I would love to make a whole lot more. I spent years in a lower salary bracket and hence couldn’t wait until I get a raise and then another and another. I remember cursing myself and my bad luck when, after a promotion i was told that my salary hike wouldn’t happen immediately due to the excuse of the recession and stuff. While higher management gorged itself on big parties, traveling with the excuse of doing reviews and meeting, staying in the finest hotels, renting the best cars, eating the finest food – all on the company’s expense!

I waited and waited and was then given another promotion, this time in grade but was told that the pay hike would be delayed for another 6 months. Again screwed! I was so upset and pissed off – ofcourse they didn’t expect anything less than 100% on your performance but they could hold back your due money. And no adjustment given to you later. What the fuck! And during that time I came to know how much some of the higher ups were getting – 9 lakhs per annum, 10 lakhs, 12 lakhs! What the heck are you gonna do with Rs.1,00,000 per month to those buggers and you can’t increase my salary by a few thousands after promotions? Not just me but a few others also got screwed in this way!

Post me leaving that company, I’ve been to two other but I haven’t been able to get my salary raised by that much. Just a couple of thousand more. So I don’t know what it’s like to make too much money. I would love to. The more the better. I’d like to get my own place, which is not feasible now. I mean buy my own place. I need cash. Kill some of these GMs & VPs and give me some of that money! I want bucket loads of it. I want to swim in it, like Uncle Scrooge in those cartoons.

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