Postcards

How the power players do it - by Fortune senior editor at large Patricia Sellers

Power Point: Don't always listen to your parents

February 17, 2009: 7:51 PM ET

"The thing I made before Facebook almost got me kicked out of school. When I started making Facebook, [my parents] were, like, don't make another site."

-- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in the cover story, How Facebook is taking over our lives, in the current issue of Fortune. Zuckerberg was forced to go before Harvard's administrative board to answer questions about how he gathered data for Facemash, the site he created that let people rate photos.

You can hardly blame Zuckerberg's parents for wanting him to hang up his web career, but the world would be a different place if he had. The site has 175 million members across all demographics from around the world and is gaining 5 million new users a week. Written by Jessi Hempel--who first met the young CEO in 2005 when he shared this anecdote with her--the Fortune story illuminates the reasons behind the social network's explosive success. But Hempel also points out that Facebook has yet to prove it can translate its popularity into profit. --Jessica Shambora

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