The Social Network (2010)

by Matt Paletz

Not only is “The Social Network” a true story, but it’s also a neverending one for its founder.  The real-life depiction of the beginning of Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg, I’m sure still haunts him today.  And while many see “The Social Network” as a success story, it’s also a depiction of how to lose friends, make enemies and leave your ethics at the door. 

Any entrepreneur knows that how you begin a business can define you. And when you rip off your best friends, betray your investors, and end up in a deposition right after your launch – these things will follow you and your reputation – forever.  

I believe in ethics. Doing people right and doing the right thing. Doing things that matter, even if you don’t make as much money at the end of the day. With all the current complaints, Senate hearings and parental angst regarding Facebook today, do we forget that it began as an online site to rate the appearances of college women?  No, not a good start. 

If there’s one lesson that should be learned from “The Social Network,” is that your initial decisions in launching a business will continue to define you. Zuckerberg has always had the appearance and personality of a socially inept douchebag to me.  He’s the personification of what’s wrong with social media today.  A person who can’t function socially in the real world gains prominence in a fake one.  Would I ever want to have lunch with Zuckerberg?  No.  Would I ever want to use his tactics in building the king of social media platforms? Also, no.  

The decisions you make early in your business and how you treat people will continue to define you.  I would like to think there’s a way for one to be wildly successful without compromising your integrity. It’s your choice.