A billion dollar one Companys is not born in the cradle and Mark Zuckerberg was not a networking genius either, as the following story shows.

Billionaire by chance: Mark Zuckerberg's lack of network skills

The fear of the unknown

The third cocktail probably had the desired effect. Eduardo couldn't say it exactly because he had the three drinks - the empty plastic cups were now stacked like an accordion on the windowsill behind him - like this fast had tipped them away one after the other that he couldn't estimate when exactly they change had occurred. But she had undoubtedly entered, he felt it on his body, by Head to foot. The pleasantly warm circulation in his otherwise rather pale cheeks; the relaxed, almost rubbery way he leaned against the window - it was a stark contrast to his usual stiff, light hunchbacked posture; and most importantly, the easy smile on his face - that's what he had in front of him for two hours tonight without success Spiegel practiced before leaving his dorm room. Without a doubt, the alcohol was having an effect and Eduardo wasn't having any Anxiety more. At least no longer the overwhelming urge to piss off here as soon as possible.

Admittedly, the room he gazed into was intimidating: an enormous crystal chandelier hung from the vaulted cathedral ceiling; thick, red velor carpet seemed to bleed out of the majestic mahogany paneling; a double staircase snaked up to the legendary, twisting, ultra-secret upper floors. Even the window panes behind Eduardo's head looked spooky, with an angry bonfire flickering behind them, taking up most of the courtyard outside. Licking flames licked at the old, pockmarked panes. It was a scary place, especially for a boy like Eduardo. He wasn't in at all poverty Growing up, he was flown between the upper-middle-class milieus of Brazil and Miami for most of his childhood before enrolling at Harvard.

A question of self-confidence

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But the old-fashioned East Coast opulence that this room exuded was alien to him. Despite the alcohol, Eduardo could feel the uncertainty rumbling deep in his stomach. He felt like a freshman again, walking into Harvard Yard for the first time and wondering what the hell he was doing there and if he could ever belong there. Can he ever belong here? He edged along the windowsill and peered into the crowd of young men that filled most of the vault. It was more of a pack; huddled together at the two bars that had been specially set up for the evening. The bars themselves were rather shabby—wooden tables, little more than countertops that didn't match the dignified ambience at all—but nobody took any notice, since the bars were manned by the only girls in the room: uniformly busty blondes in low-cut tops who had been brought in from one of the local girls' colleges to serve the pack of young men. In many ways, the pack was even more frightening than the building. Eduardo was not himself for sure, but he guessed there were about two hundred of them—all male, all in similar dark blazers and equally dark trousers. Mostly sophomores, racially mixed, yet their faces all had something in common - a smile that seemed so much more effortless than Eduardo's, two hundred pairs of confident eyes:

These guys weren't used to having to prove themselves. You belonged here. For most of them, this party - and this place - was just a formality. Eduardo took a deep breath and a sharp taste made him jump slightly. The ash from the fire in the yard was already seeping through the window, and yet he didn't let go of his position on the windowsill, not yet. He wasn't ready yet. Instead, he directed his awareness to the nearest group of blazers - four guys of medium build. He didn't know any of them from any of his courses; two of the boys were blond and trim-looking, as if they'd just stepped off a train from Connecticut. The third was Asian and looked a bit older, but it was hard to tell. The fourth, however - African American, very neat, from the smile to the perfectly groomed hair - was definitely already in his fourth year, a senior. Eduardo felt his back stiffen and he glanced at the black student's tie. The color of the fabric was the last clue Eduardo needed. The guy was a senior and it was finally Eduardo's turn. Eduardo pulled his shoulders back and pushed himself away from the windowsill. He nodded to the two Connecticut boys and the Asian, but kept his eyes on the older one—at him and his black tie with the distinctive Pattern. "Eduardo Saverin." Eduardo introduced himself by giving the guy the Hand shook. "I am pleased to meet you."

In the club of the successful

The guy gave his name, which Eduardo filed in the depths of his mind: Darron so and so. The guy's name didn't matter, the tie said everything Eduardo needed to know. Objective and purpose of this whole evening lay in the little white birds with which the black fabric was sprinkled. The tie identified its wearer as a member of the Phoenix-S K; he was one of the twenty or so hosts tonight who had mingled with the two hundred younger students. "Saverin. You're the one with the hedge fund, aren't you?” Eduardo blushed, but inside he was delighted that a Phoenix member knew his name. It was a bit of an exaggeration - he didn't have a hedge fund, he just had something with his brother during the summer holidays Money made with financial speculation - but Eduardo had no intention of clearing up the error. If the Phoenix members talked about him, if what they heard about him impressed them in any way - yes, then maybe he had a chance.

That bold thought made Eduardo's heart beat faster as he struggled to say just enough shit to keep the phoenix interested. More than any of the exams he had taken in his freshman and sophomore years, this moment would haunt him Future decide. Eduardo knew what it meant to be accepted into the Phoenix - for his social Status during the last two years of college and for whatever career path he might take. Like the secret societies at Yale, about which so much had been written in the press, the Final Clubs were an undisguised secret of student life at Harvard. Housed in centuries-old Cambridge mansions, the eight male-only clubs had produced generations of world leaders, financial giants and stock-market tycoons. And, almost as important, with membership in one of the eight clubs came a social identity; each of the clubs had a different one Character, from the ultra-exclusive Porcellian, the oldest club on campus whose members went by names like Roosevelt and Rockefeller, to the chic Fly Club, which had outgrown two presidents and a handful of billionaires; each of the clubs had their own distinctive brand of power.

Persist as an outsider

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While the Phoenix wasn't the most prestigious club, it was the undisputed leader when it came to social life; the austere-looking building at 323 Mt. Auburn Street was the go-to spot on Friday and Saturday nights, and as a Phoenix member you not only belonged to a centuries-old network, you also went to the best weekend parties around University, to which the sexiest girls from all schools with the zip code 02138 were invited. "The hedge fund's more of a hobby," Eduardo admitted humbly, the little group of blazers hanging on his every word. “We mainly deal with oil futures. I've always been a weather freak and just correctly forecast a few hurricanes that the rest of the market hadn't figured out.” Eduardo tried to downplay the obsessive tinkering with which he'd tricked the oil market, realizing that he walking a fine line; he knew the Phoenix guy wanted to hear about the three hundred thousand dollars from Eduardo's oil deals, but not about Eduardo's odd interest in meteorology, which the Shops had made possible. Still, Eduardo wanted to brag about it a bit; Darron's mention of the "hedge fund" had confirmed Eduardo's suspicion that his early success as a businessman had given him access to the room. He really didn't have much else to show for himself, that was him clear.

He wasn't athletic, didn't have any old family heritage and certainly wasn't one to stir up parties. He was lanky, his arms were a bit too long for his body, and he could only really relax when drunk. And yet he was here, in this room. A year late—usually you got punched in the fall of sophomore, not third year like Eduardo—but he was here. The whole punch procedure had come as a surprise to Eduardo. Just two days ago, he was still sitting at his dorm room's desk, working on a XNUMX-page paper about a bizarre indigenous people in the Amazon region, when an invitation suddenly appeared under his door. It was far from a ticket to dreamland—of the two hundred students invited to the first punch party, only twenty or so would emerge as new Phoenix members—but for Eduardo, the moment was as exciting as the one he was in held his Harvard admissions in his hands. He had been hoping for a chance to get into one of the clubs since the beginning of his studies and now that chance was finally here. Now it was all up to him - and of course the boys in the black bird ties. Each of the four Punch parties—one of which was this meet-and-greet cocktail night—was sort of a collective job interview. After Eduardo and the other guests returned to their respective dormitories, the Phoenix members would gather in one of the secret cabinets on the upper floors to decide the fate of the invitees. After each party, a smaller proportion of the punched would receive the next invitation—and out of the two hundred, twenty would gradually be sifted out.

How to change your life

If Eduardo could manage to get screened, his life would change. And if that required some creative "exaggeration" of his summer preoccupation with barometer fluctuations and their impact on oil sales patterns - well, Eduardo felt like a bit applied creativity not too bad. "The real trick is turning the three hundred thousand into three million," Eduardo said, grinning. “But that's the beauty of hedge funds. You really have to come up with something.” He gave in to the chatter with enthusiasm and snatched up all the blazers. He had practiced his chattering technique during numerous pre-punch parties in his freshman and sophomore years; now all he had to do was forget that it wasn't a dry run anymore—that it was the big deal now.

In his mind he was trying to get back to one of the less important parties where he wasn't being judged and where there wasn't a question of getting a vital spot on the list. One in particular came to mind that had gone extremely well; a “Caribbean” themed party with faux palm trees and sand on the floor. He tried to put himself back there, thinking back to the less imposing decor and how easy the conversation had been for him. Instantly he felt even more relaxed, allowing himself to listen even more to his story and the sound of his own voice could indulge. He was back at the Caribbean party, seeing every detail. The reggae music echoing off the walls, the pounding sound of the steel drums in his ears. The rum-heavy punch, the girls in flowered bikinis.

Types who turn the world upside down: No idea about networking

He even remembered the guy with the frizzy head of hair. At that time he had stood barely three meters from the point where Eduardo was now standing in a corner, watching Eduardo's efforts, but did not dare to do the same and to speak to one of the older Phoenix guys in time. The boy had stayed in his corner; Worse still, his awkwardness was so obstructive and so obvious that it had worked like a force field, like an area around him cut off from the outside world, like a kind of reversed magnetism that had to repel all bystanders. A little sympathy had grabbed Eduardo - because he had recognized the guy with the curly hair - and because it was completely out of the question that such a guy would ever be accepted into the Phoenix. A guy like that didn't even have to try to get punched in one of the final clubs - it was completely puzzling what he was doing at this pre-punch party. At Harvard there were plenty of niches for such people: computer rooms, chess clubs, dozens of underground organizations and hobbies, offers for every conceivable form of social inhibition.

With one look Eduardo had realized that the guy didn't even have the slightest idea of ​​the networks and you just had to have it to get into a club like the Phoenix. But that night, like this one, Eduardo was too focused on pursuing his goal to bother with the awkward guy in the corner. He couldn't have known, neither that evening nor that evening, that the curly head would one day do it all Concept of networking would simply turn it upside down. That the curly hair tormented by the pre-punch party would one day change Eduardo's life more than a final club could ever do.

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