If you ever wanted to have a flash of cash, Facebook would be it. Facebook was not Mark Zuckerberg’s original flash of cash while he was a student at Harvard, it grew out of a few preceding iterations. One was Facemash that allowed users to compare the pictures of two randomly selected Harvard students and vote on who was “hotter.” Zuckerberg got into quite a bit of trouble after he launched Facemash because he hacked into Harvard’s network to obtain the images he needed to do the side by side comparison of his fellow classmates. Facemash was followed by a project he worked on in advance of an art history final exam that allowed users to comment and share notes on 500 different Augustan images. He also developed Coursematch which allowed students to see who else was enrolled in their classes.
Zuckerberg created Facebook, originally called the TheFacebook, because he wanted to have a universal facebook that could tie all of the students at Harvard together. Based on his earlier success with Facemash, and his expectation that it would take the University a couple of years to complete, Zuckerberg wanted to move quickly and created Facebook in a week. On January 4th, 2004 TheFacebook was launched and had attracted nearly 1,000 students by the end of the week and eight years later was valued at nearly $100 billion!
From a flash of cash perspective, Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook story is interesting because it shows you a couple of things. Firstly, Facebook was not his first idea, it was conceived after Zuckerberg had worked on other projects that had similarities. Similarly your flash of cash will probably come as a result of something that you are familiar with or have worked with previously. Secondly, you can expect your flash of cash will be more modest than Facebook.