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"Facebook did grow quickly but it took a year for us to get a million users. It wasn’t as quick as a lot of things grow today." ~Zuck

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Paul Graham interviewed Zuck today at Startup School:

Don’t believe everything you hear in the hit flick, The Social Network. Zuck told the audience that he was in favor of online ads in the early days, and gave Eduardo Savarin (one of Facebook’s cofounders) full control. He said that the ads provided sufficient revenue for the team to purchase servers. This was the revenue that supported the startup’s protracted growth.

“Whenever we had money, we got another $85 server,” said Zuckerberg. “We never spent money.”

None of the founders had any startup experience, but they were highly strategic. Zuck specifically chose to bring Facebook to colleges with incumbent social networks, such as Friendster or a university-owned service. It was evidence that the community was ready to share and connect online.

From the beginning, the founders were convinced that there had to be more than a simple profile page. They were always willing to devote time and resources to building out sharing features like integrating course catalogs, even if it proved to be an obstacle to growth.

“Facebook did grow quickly but it took a year for us to get a million users,” he said. “It wasn’t as quick as a lot of things grow today. Having that time to bake was valuable for us.”

Zuck also told Startup School that MySpace could have succeeded.

Facebook is characterized not by fast early growth but by the fact that for the first nine years it hasn't stopped growing...

Facebook users in millions

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