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On the eve of the IPO, some Facebook ancient history

Posted by Scott Kirsner  May 17, 2012 10:28 AM

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Now that everyone has concluded that Facebook is going to be the most successful IPO since the invention of stock exchanges, I thought it'd be fun to look back at some early Facebook history.

So here are five links from (or about) Facebook's early days. Would you have bet on Facebook becoming the planet's dominant social network, back in 2004 or 2005? If you were a VC who met with co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, then a Harvard sophomore, in 2004, would you have invested — especially when he insisted that he was perfectly suited to keep on running the company?

zuck2.jpg- February 2004: "Hundreds register for new Facebook website," from the Harvard Crimson.

- April 2004: "Are we a match?", the first New York Times coverage of Facebook.

- September 2004: "Online adversaries: Rivalry between college-networking websites spawns lawsuit," from the Boston Globe (the paper's first coverage of Thefacebook.com.)

- September 2007: "Why Facebook went west," my column on Facebook's decision to leave Cambridge for Palo Alto.

- June 2009: "Where in the world is Eduardo Saverin?" from Boston venture capitalist Larry Cheng, who introduced Facebook's founders to the VC firm where he worked at the time, Battery Ventures.

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About Scott Kirsner

Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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