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Harvard acquaintance leaks ‘secret’ messages: Megalomaniac Zuckerberg ‘ruined my career’

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An old Harvard acquaintance of Facebook's founder has leaked some private IMs that the two allegedly shared about the social site's creation

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September 20, 2012 12:22 by



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Upon researching this, Kipp admits to feeling a little like a detective working on a cold case, rehashing and seeping through old evidence while digging into a case that the world has long since forgotten about. Well, almost the whole world.

The name ‘Aaron Greenspan’ is not a household name nor should it be. It may not ring a bell with you and there is no particular reason that it should, but that hasn’t stopped him from holding on to an 8 year old (and counting) grudge against Mark Zuckerberg and those who idolize him.

He was Zuckerberg’s Harvard acquaintance and ‘allegedly’ one of the first people that Facebook’s co-founder discussed the possibility of his venture with. They exchanged several ideas and Zuckerberg numerously approached him for help, ideas and a joint partnership, as you will read in the (alleged) transcript. For years, Greenspan has been trying to get his voice heard and his message to the media, convincing those that have been painting Zuckerberg as an icon of social media and innovation that he in fact, is an ‘”everyday megalomaniac”.

“Mark has a pattern of pathologically lying to people,” Greenspan tells Business Insider. ”It’s not just me, it’s not just the Winklevosses, it’s not just Adam, not just Eduardo. It happened a lot and that makes me concerned for anyone who would trust their retirement savings to him. Aside from that, he admits that it’s based on houseSYSTEM. It’s pretty plain. And I’ve spent the past decade trying to convince people of that so I can get my own career started, and it’s been pretty difficult.”

Not only does he evidently hold a personal grudge against him but he honestly expresses that his feelings have been genuinely hurt and that all he ever hoped for was, at the very least, an apology and some credit. After years of waiting, he has revealed a set of Instant Message transcripts that were allegedly exchanged between him and Zuckerberg over a 6 month period in 2004. They don’t exactly highlight or amplify Mark’s in a bad light but you may just find a few hidden leads between the lines. For instance, Zuckerberg clearly describes his venture as a ‘souped-up’ version of the (already existing at the time) Facebook.

Why has he published them now instead of years ago? He says he only just discovered them by accident.

One of the transcripts of message exchanges is below, the others here.


zberg02 : i have a question

ThinkComp : ok

zberg02 : are you interested in doing other things besides the
housesystem venture?

ThinkComp : in what context

zberg02 : like would you be interested in possibly partnering
up to make a site if it would not be incorporated into
housesystem

ThinkComp : for the sec? think? or separate

zberg02 : separate i guess

ThinkComp : depends on the site i guess

zberg02 : well it would be on the new thing i’m working on

zberg02 : i could let you know exactly what i was thinking
about it, but i’m a little worried that you might just be
inclined to want to incorporate it into housesystem

zberg02 : which isn’t something i want right off the bat, and
maybe not at all

ThinkComp : i guess i’d need to see the advantage of
starting on something new

ThinkComp : since i’ve already sort of got a lot going on…

ThinkComp : it’s much easier to just incorporate things
where they fit from my perspective

zberg02 : well i agree

zberg02 : but we disagree on whether or not it would fit into
housesystem

zberg02 : well really i just want to make sure that we’re not
doing the same thing

zberg02 : because then neither of us would succeed i think

ThinkComp : that’s fair enough, but i don’t understand why
it wouldn’t fit and why you wouldn’t want to take advantage
of the existing user base

ThinkComp : especially since i don’t know how much
people will trust sites you make on your own at this point

ThinkComp : just because of the previous negative publicity

zberg02 : yea i hear that

zberg02 : i think that house system is a much more
professional app

zberg02 : and people know it as that

ThinkComp : i really don’t think you will get in trouble for
being too professional

zberg02 : well yea

zberg02 : but that sort of makes it less interesting i guess

ThinkComp : i don’t think so

zberg02 : but it’s made up for by its utility

zberg02 : like i don’t think i’d go to housesystem to
procrastinate

ThinkComp : because it looks too nice?

ThinkComp : that seems sort of silly

zberg02 : well just because of the functionality that’s there
presently

zberg02 : and people’s opinion of it based on that and how
it’s been marketed

ThinkComp : in that case more time-wasting stuff would
balance it out nicely

zberg02 : perhaps

zberg02 : but i really just want to make sure there’s not a lot
of overhead

zberg02 : i am worried that registration for housesystem
requires a lot of info

ThinkComp : yeah, it does

ThinkComp : but if 1200 people have filled it out so far, i’m
not too worried…

ThinkComp : the most frequent reason i’ve heard for people
not signing up for it is that they don’t think anyone else is

ThinkComp : not that registration is hard

zberg02 : i’m also a little skeptical about the culture of the
site and people’s willingness to give information about
themselves

ThinkComp : or that it’s too functional

zberg02 : yea i agree…it is too functional

zberg02 : like it’s almost overwhelming

ThinkComp : well, but it’s supposed to be

zberg02 : like in a site where people give personal
information for one thing, it then takes a lot of work and
precaution to use that information for something else

zberg02 : well it’s good that it’s functional

zberg02 : it’s just a little overwhelming for some people i
think’

ThinkComp : perhaps

ThinkComp : in any case, why do you want me to work on
your project then if the stuff i do is at odds with the
atmosphere you’re trying to create?

zberg02 : you have good ideas clearly

zberg02 : it’s not that what you do is at odds with the
atmosphere i’m trying to create

zberg02 : it’s just the atmosphere of housesystem isn’t right i
think

ThinkComp : from what i can tell it sounds like your idea
might again be controversial from the perspectives of other
students and administrators

ThinkComp : i’m not afraid of controversy clearly

ThinkComp : but i might be able to keep in it check as part
of housesystem

ThinkComp : i’m not so sure i could if i worked on
something with you independently

ThinkComp : and there’s the very real risk that it could blow
up in both of our faces, which i’d rather avoid

ThinkComp : i guess that’s basically how i feel

zberg02 : yea i don’t think it’s that controversial actually

zberg02 : but it’s tough for you to know that unless i tell you
exactly what it is

zberg02 : i guess basically it’s a souped of version of one
thing housesystem does

zberg02 : which i think didn’t do as well as it could have as a
stand-alone site

ThinkComp : ok

zberg02 : but it’s not like i took the idea from you

ThinkComp : sure, i understand

zberg02 : so i guess the basic jist is that i feel as if it may
compete with the facebook you’re trying to implement

ThinkComp : brb phone

zberg02 : okay

ThinkComp : hey i’m on hold

zberg02 : okay

ThinkComp : so you’re going to compete with the
facebook?

zberg02 : i think so

zberg02 : like it will be slightly different audiences i think

ThinkComp : linking faces to courses?

zberg02 : but in general i think most people won’t want to
submit their facebook picture to more than one site, do you
agree?

ThinkComp : i dunno

ThinkComp : most people haven’t even had the option of
sending it to one

zberg02 : really i see it as a problem of critical mass

zberg02 : people won’t; do it unless other people do it

ThinkComp : right

zberg02 : and then it becomes a question of culture

zberg02 : because it’s not about who’s actually doing it

ThinkComp : that’s why i’m going to be talking to the uc

zberg02 : it’s about who people think are doing it

zberg02 : i think it requires some hype

ThinkComp : how do you plan to go about that

zberg02 : well mine’s not a straight facebook

zberg02 : it has a bunch of cool features which i don’t think i
should really mention right now

zberg02 : beyond the course stuff

zberg02 : and i just think in general people will respond to
the next thing i make

ThinkComp : ok

zberg02 : a crimson reporter called me today to ask if i was
making anything new

ThinkComp : i won’t stop you then

zberg02 : or planning on making anything new

zberg02 : without hearing of anyting i was doing

zberg02 : i thought that was interesting

ThinkComp : indeed

zberg02 : well i just think that if we compete neither of us
will get the mass we need to make anything worthwhile

zberg02 : or i don’t know

zberg02 : mine is basically ready

zberg02 : i just have some business stuff to work out

ThinkComp : i’m not too concerned.

ThinkComp : we’re doing ok

zberg02 : well i know you have lots of users

zberg02 : i’m just saying, in terms of either facebook getting
used

ThinkComp : you said they were different purposes
though…

zberg02 : yea but people are lazy

zberg02 : and i think will only want to upload stuff to one of
them

ThinkComp : i guess i don’t know that that’s true

ThinkComp : what if you made a separate site that drew on
the housesystem database in the background

ThinkComp : under the sec

ThinkComp : one upload, one login

zberg02 : what is it going to draw from the database?

zberg02 : so both will have facebooks?

ThinkComp : yeah

ThinkComp : put it would be a positive feedback loop
rather than a negative one

ThinkComp : assuming the administration doesn’t take issue
with your idea

zberg02 : that’s an interesting idea

zberg02 : what if people don’t want to do both sites?

ThinkComp : they dont have to

ThinkComp : but if they sign up for one, they’re
automatically in the other.

zberg02 : would it be possible to add something like that
after the site is launched?

ThinkComp : uh

ThinkComp : why would you do it that way?

zberg02 : i mean, are you planning on making changes to the
housesystem facebook?

ThinkComp : of course

zberg02 : so what data will the two draw from each other

zberg02 : besides logins?

ThinkComp : member information and facebook
information

ThinkComp : though neither site has to display all of it

ThinkComp : it would be sort of like how delta has song
airlines

zberg02 : delta owns song airlines

ThinkComp : right

ThinkComp : your site would be an sec project

ThinkComp : both would benefit

zberg02 : that sounds like it could work

zberg02 : but it might be a lot of work to modify the stuff i’ve
already done

ThinkComp : what did you write it ib

ThinkComp : er, in

zberg02 : some perl, some php

zberg02 : all the web stuff is in php

ThinkComp : might work then

zberg02 : yea…how fast is your server

zberg02 : for housesystem

ThinkComp : not too fast

ThinkComp : 300mhz

zberg02 : oh man

ThinkComp : but it works

zberg02 : how much ram

ThinkComp : 256

zberg02 : there are a lot of cool things that i wanted to do
with coursematch that deal with graph theory

zberg02 : but it’s all pretty computationally intensive

ThinkComp : i see

zberg02 : would the sites run off the same server?

zberg02 : or just share the database?

ThinkComp : yeah

ThinkComp : same server

ThinkComp : unless you have a different one you could put
it on

zberg02 : we’ll see what i can do

zberg02 : i need to go get some work done

zberg02 : we’ll speak soon

ThinkComp : ok

ThinkComp : bye



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