The Social Network: Motivation of Facebook's Founder

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The Social Network narrates the story of Mark Zuckerberg, a young computer engineer attending Harvard University. After breaking up with his girlfriend Zuckerberg decides to create a site to rank the young appeal of Harvard co-eds. He uses his exemplary computer knowledge to download photos from the online photo catalog’s that each house or dorm at Harvard has for students to get to know one another. He comprises the photos into a website which he dubs similar to where visitors are presented with two pictures and asked to click on the one who they find sexier. The site crashes Harvard’s internal network in a matter of time, getting thousands of hits and drawing the attention of the administration. This leads to Mark developing a new website which he calls The Facebook.

After that he changed to Facebook by the help of another techie Sean Parker, the site grows to epic heights demanding Zuckerberg to quit school to run it. But with his newfound fame and fortune comes some roadblocks in the form of impending legal action against Zuckerberg and the site, which threatens to destroy both his business and his relationship with his best friend.

Vision and Motivation- Facebook exists because Zuckerberg had a vision for it. Although, he was very talented coder, but his different vision from others with the same skill set made possible for Facebook to expand. With his programming skills as the basis, he built an online platform for people to connect with each other. At that time, other social networks such as Orkut and myspace already existed, but they were predicated on the idea that anyone online can see each other. There was an element of anonymity on those networks. Zuckerberg’s Facebook tapped into the idea that people want to extend their real selves into the online world, that people want to merge their online and real-life identities. His ability to see things differently and create something to meet this untapped desire is what led to Facebook. Ultimately, Zuckerberg’s vision was to create a platform that is more open and interconnected, and he views the Internet (and Facebook) as a medium through which information can be more openly shared and people can communicate more easily and frequently. No one else could have envisioned how a social network could become such an integral part of human lives today except Mark Zuckerberg.

Self-actualization is one part of the Maslow motivational theory that’s been depicted in Zuckerberg career. Self-actualization reflects an individual’s desire to grow and develop to his fullest potential. People like opportunities, choosing his own versions, challenging positions or creative tasks. The level of self-actualization was to ‘need to accomplish everything that one can, to become the most that one can be’ and Zuckerberg achieved that easily.

Social needs - sometimes also referred to as love needs such as friendship, giving and receiving love, engaging in social activities and group membership. Through Facebook Zuckerberg has been able to dispense love and social need to the society.

Restless dissatisfaction - that feeling that something isn’t quite right — propels entrepreneurship and innovation. Sometimes the motivation is straight forward and Zuckerberg is working on that principal. He is working on improving Facebook from day to day whether its been going live video on Facebook or watch party and many other new innovations has been result of his restless dissatisfaction.

Leader member exchange Theory Has also been successfully applied as we observe in the movie. In this movie we observe that Leader has a good contingent relationship with his co-workers and followers which even develop more stronger with the passage of time that has been the possible cause for the success of Mark Zuckerberg.

2. Ethics

Every action which was showcased in the movie was legal. His lawyers also played a very important role. There was a strong discussion about the portion of idea stolen from Winklevoss twins. The two sites were compared which were the Harvard connection and the Facebook in which the Harvard connection was primarily focused towards the concept of dating while Facebook was determined to captivate the entire life of the individuals. Both the ideas had similarity but there were some fundamental differences in both the concepts. The scenario which was extremely ethical could have been mark Zuckerberg approaching Winklevoss twins and explaining the path which he wanted to go. Original settlement of 65 million dollars and stocks in Facebook showcased their contribution.

He always co-operates with the law and the government. He violated the privacy of Harvard students and also violated copyrights as by inventing face mash through which pictures were taken from the random Harvard students. He was also accused of violating the university policy. But his firm determination to create the social network platform across the globe was successful idea based on his view “You can be unethical and still legal”.

There were many dilemmas that has been faced by the leader Mark Zuckerberg as we observed from the start of the movie. Zuckerberg does not make a good first impression on audiences as he writes rude public comments about ex-girlfriend Erika on his blog called “Zukonit”. Next, Zuckerberg comes up with the idea to download the photos of every female on the Harvard campus and rank them based on their appearances. He does this successfully and even manages to crash Harvard’s entire network, leading to six months of academic probation. By watching the film, it is no question that these women feel insulted and disrespected, as the incident puts a dent in Zuckerberg’s reputation. Finally, Zuckerberg gets accused of stealing the idea of Facebook from the two twins that he agrees to work with towards the beginning of the film.

It is no question that some of the ethical issues raised within The Social Network include immaturity, greediness, stealing, lying/honesty, disrespect, and betrayal. Zuckerberg’s actions involving the women on the Harvard campus are clearly unethical and frankly immature. He could have easily avoid these dilemmas either by behaving better by not going against his ex-girlfriend or else he should not have exposed the privacy of the ladies. He also made a big mistake of crashing the Harvard network which could have been rectified if he had chosen to use another network instead.


Undoubtedly Zuckerberg have the leadership qualities which no one can easily match at the start of his college. He was always initiative taker whether on the technical development or as a main decision maker. He fought the legal battle himself to get out of the trouble. The Major aspect of his leadership quality is he is a Strong Communicator, Interestingly, Zuckerberg has at times been criticized for his lack of public presence or inability to communicate effectively with the public. Of course, public speaking and strong communication are crucial aspects of leadership.

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Another leadership quality he possesses is thirst for learning. The major evolution from facemash to facebook is a big example. He is known to focus on improving through innovations which has built unrivaled product. In terms of personality trait he possesses, openness and extraversion are the one which need to be penned down here. Due to extraversion skill he has he was able to communicate his ideas within his team and he was always ready to take vision and ideas from his team as well. In the movie we have also come to know about The Triarchic Theory of Intelligence on which his leadership skills depend.With the Analytical intelligence he possesses he was quick learner and problem solver and he make connections with other business people whom he feels might be helpful. Similarly with his creative intelligence ability he was able to work on the ideas and solving complex problems. His Programming skills were also part of creative intelligence leadership skills. He has another leadership character was he always trust his employees and Aids. He gave them the freedom to question him in his decisions as well. He is very hardworking, he leads from the front. He is a perfect example of epitome of Organizational leader. Leader Member exchange contingency Theory- As a manager, its not always Right to treat everyone on your team in the same way. The theory explains that all relationships between managers and subordinates go through 3 stages.

1 Role Making

2 Role taking

3 routinization

With the help of above Zuckerberg achieves the success.

1 He re-establish the relationship with his all members of the team.

2. Identify out-group- He fired few members who were not worthy.

3. He developed a team whose members were innovative for the arduous task.

4.Personal leadership development:

There are many key lessons that can be learned from the Social network movie. Some lessons that can be applied in life, job and as a project manager are:

(i) To have a vision and to share it with the everyone else – Zuckerberg comes off as a visionary. The hard-work and innovative ideas he possesses were some good organizational skills with which he achieved the success. That is a visionary statement. As a project manager, one of the main lessons that can be learned from this movie is to develop a vision and motivate our followers to adhere to it.

(ii) Courage – Courage to crash the Harvard network is one thing that can be learned about Zuckerberg from this movie. The way he fought his battle up from the front against the law suits was one exemplary characteristics of his life. Courage is an important life lesson that can be leaned from this movie.

(iii) Encouraging a team ethic – His skills in building up the team both business and technical were awesome which helped him to get a passionate, innovative and hard-working team to bring this product in the market. But, a building of team spirit gradually facilitates good group dynamics. Thus, an important lesson for a job from the movie would be to have a team ethic.


Mark Zuckerberg life teaches us many things from this movie the social Network. The one is Be Passionate About What You Do because Without passion, you don’t have energy, and without energy you have nothing. He was very passionate from very beginning about the programming which paved the pay for his success in the life. He also Set High and Long-Term Goals which makes the struggle more interesting. Mark Zuckerberg has followed the mantra “Think big, start small” all his life and it worked wonders for him. From humble beginnings to a huge empire, Mark Zuckerberg has always set his sights on long-term goals. His vision was clear from the outset. He rejected many lucrative offers by strongly asserting, “I am here to build something for a long-term”. The next big thing about him was to take calculated risks which helped him to set up the whole Facebook environment. Making business commitments without proper research is a recipe for disaster.

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