Facebook, the world’s largest social network is now everyone’s tool of choice for connecting with their friends, loved ones and meeting new people around the world. Most people these days can barely go 30 minutes without updating their Facebook status or uploading a selfie. It’s actually hard to believe that this massive social utility, which now boasts over 1.4 billion users, only came to life thanks to a young and naive college student. Mark Zuckerberg was barely 20-years-old when he founded Facebook in his dorm room at Harvard University. Today, at the age of 31, he not only has a net worth of $43 billion US dollars, but also managed to change the world by creating a network that connects billions of people around the world. Even though he achieved so many milestones within just a few years to become the youngest billionaire in the world, Mark Zuckerberg’s road to success was paved with many obstacles and failures. 09-Article-Header We, as business owners and entrepreneurs, can learn a lot from Mark Zuckerberg’s inspiring journey, especially on learning from mistakes, taking risks and making dreams come true. The rough start The story of Mark Zuckerberg and the rise of Facebook has been depicted in many forms over the years, including books, television and most recently in David Fincher’s 2010 film The Social Network. Although, Zuckerberg’s first creation, Facemash is something that most people haven’t even heard of. Facemash was a photo rating site which allowed Harvard students to rate each other’s profile photos. Zuckerberg created Facemash by illegally hacking into the database of Harvard student records to steal the necessary student photos to create this site. Facemash had to be shut down only two days after launch due to privacy concerns and Zuckerberg apologized publicly for using the photos without permission. It’s believed that this simple tool inspired him to create the Facebook we have today. Obstacles along the way Successful people often have to face challenges, but probably not as many as Mark Zuckerberg. To this day, Zuckerberg faces various threats and challenges from companies, governments and people all over the world, some even wanted him dead. However, his most challenging obstacle came to block his path in the early days of Facebook. After the official launch of “The Facebook”, Zuckerberg had to face a lawsuit from three prestigious Harvard students who claimed the idea for the social network was originally theirs. This was a massive blow to Zuckerberg’s dreams and his creation. If he gave up his dream at this troubling time, we would never see the Facebook we have today. Thankfully, Zuckerberg stood up against this challenge appropriately and continued to develop the site. 09-Article-zuckerberg-2 Maintaining the social network was the second obstacle Zuckerberg had to overcome. From the first day of the launch, The Facebook received thousands of visitors every day and it kept growing. The small servers they had at the time were not enough to handle this enormous amount of traffic. Zuckerberg had no money to buy new servers. Unlike the facilities we have today, back then there was no Kickstarter or Shark Tank willing to lend money to a young college student. Luckily, Zuckerberg’s friend Eduardo Saverin stepped up to help him out with the financials. Later on, in his sophomore year, Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard to focus on developing Facebook further more. Climbing to the top After the 11-year journey to fame, even after becoming a billionaire, Mark Zuckerberg is still as humble than he ever was. Unlike most other wealthy businessmen, Zuckerberg still wears T-shirts and hoodies to almost every occasion he attends to. 09-Article-zuckerberg-3 While many startup founders and CEOs treat themselves with 6-digit salaries, Zuckerberg set himself a yearly salary of $1 US dollar and is investing his wealth on creating better things for a better future. “I’ve made enough money. At this point, I’m just focused on making sure I do the most possible good with what I have,” Zuckerberg said during a recent  Q&A on Facebook. His future plans The success of Facebook is only the beginning for Zuckerberg. He recently acquired several other social networks and tools, including Instagram for $1 billion and Oculus Rift for $2 billion. 09-Article-zuckerberg-4 His latest mission is to provide free internet to the entire world and has invested billions on developing new technologies to deliver internet connectivity to even the most isolated locations around the world. Zuckerberg is now dreaming of finding a way to live forever. Who knows, maybe he’ll succeed in that as well. Mark Zuckerberg is the perfect idol for new entrepreneurs. He showed the world anyone, no matter how big or small they are, can make their dreams come true by taking risks and committing to their goals. “In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks,” – Mark Zuckerberg, during an interview at Combinator Start-up school. Nick Van Langendonck.