Harvard's 02138 magazine just published an in depth article about would be alum and founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. I always suspected there was a dark cloud hanging over Facebook and whether the idea for the social networking site was hijacked from somebody else at the University. Was someone else at Harvard conceiving the idea? Did Mark run off with a project commissioned by three fellow classmates? Who is making these claims? What other lawsuits are pending? Is this why neither Google nor Microsoft could buy the company outright two years ago?
The media have mostly glossed over ConnectU Inc. v. Facebook Inc., now unfolding in a Boston courthouse. Most articles depict the case as either a cash grab or a blip on Facebook’s march to global domination. But interviews with people familiar with the lawsuit, and a close examination of court records, suggest that, at the least, the case raises troubling questions about the ethics of this new billionaire.
The plaintiffs are three Harvard grads: Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, twin rowers currently training for the Beijing Olympics, and Divya Narendra, who since graduation has worked in finance in New York and Boston. In 2002, the three friends dreamed up an online social network called Harvard Connection (subsequently renamed ConnectU), later asking Zuckerberg to finish programming it. Instead of fulfilling his end of the bargain, the plaintiffs say, Zuckerberg stole their ideas and source code to build his own competing social network. “We got royally screwed,” Narendra says in a deposition. More >
So, who is telling the truth? Cameron, Tyler, and Divya or the guy with "I'm CEO…bitch" on his business card.