What do you if you make a geek heartbroken or infuated with you? A wildly popular website.
That’s what I’ve learned from the new movie The Social Network which chronicles the birth of Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg, the brainchild behind Facebook, created a website as a pre-cursor of Facebook after he was heartbroken with Erica Albright. Apparently Napster, the now impotent peer-to-peer song-sharing website, was also created to impress a girl.
If you think that the world of geekdom is not fascinating enough for a movie – think again. The Executive Producer of this movie is Kevin Spacey, and the Screenplay is by Aaron Sorkin, the man behind The West Wing. Furthermore, with David Fincher as the director (who also directed the magical The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Seven, and The Fight Club), you have a gritty, absorbing, and taut movie.
The story starts with Mark Zuckerberg being dumped by Erica Albright in a surreal conversation in a university bar – from that conversation, we get the feeling that Mark is a tense, intelligent but socially inept guy. He is like Rainman – but a lot more normal. As a revenge, he chronicles the event and dumps his feeling in his blog online and then creates a website called Facemash at 4am in the morning that brings the whole Harvard University network on its knees. This is the catalyst for him to create Facebook, which involves two legal cases as the glue that holds the movie: one – by a group of Harvard students who accuse that Mark steals their idea; and another by his former friend and CEO, Eduardo Saverin, who claims that Mark wipes his ownership of Facebook shares. Involved in this, is a character played by Justin Timberlake called Sean Parker – the entrepeneur who launched Napster – who is pictured as a smooth, shmarmy, and neurotic guy.
The Social Network draws you in from the first minute – and makes you a tad guilty by the end of the movie for trusting so much of your personal life into it. Along the way, you are torn between feeling angry at Mark for being an emotionally-clueless and insensitive klutz but also admiring him for being quite sly and genius.
So, if you have a geek within your circle of friends, and (s)he is equipped with his/her own personal blog and especially if you know that (s)he create a computer program, break his/her heart at your own peril. You may be the catalyst for the next big thing on the Internet!