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Randi Zuckerberg Steps Out From Brother Mark's Shadow After Leaving Facebook

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Randi Zuckerberg's last name is famous because of her younger brother, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, but she's starting to make headlines on her own.

“Every article written about me now refers to me as Randi Zuckerberg, Mark’s sister. Maybe one day that won’t be what people say about me,” she told the New York Times in 2011. And while her famous brother is still worth mentioning, maybe the other Zuckerberg is getting what she hoped for.

This October, Harper's Bazaar published a detailed profile on Ms. Zuckerberg and her new company, Zuckerberg Media. Written by the venerable Kara Swisher, the piece dives into Ms. Zuckerberg's decision to leave her sibling's behemoth social network and blaze a trail of her own, one that led her away from Silicon Valley -- but not too far away.

"Leaving was the hardest decision I ever made," Zuckerberg recalled of her 2011 farewell from Facebook, where she headed the consumer marketing team for six years.

Though she's stepped away from her job at Facebook, she hasn't separated herself entirely from the company. "I literally bleed Facebook blue even today," Zuckerberg told Swisher. "It was part of my family, part of my identity. My last name means Facebook."

After working closely with large media corporations covering the 2008 presidential election, Zuckerberg scheduled Facebook's first virtual "town hall meeting" with President Obama in 2011. According to Harper's, this event pushed her to seek her place outside the somewhat ragtag Facebook Live video-streaming platform she had created. Thus, she founded Zuckerberg Media, a social media firm that is soon to be based out of Los Angeles and that has already worked to film and stream events with organizations like Cirque du Soleil, the UN Foundation and the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, Fortune reported this past summer.

(The name of Randi Zuckerberg's company has changed several times. Originally dubbed R To Z Media, referencing Zuckerberg's first and last name, the firm was rebranded R To Z Studios before becoming Zuckerberg Media in the Spring of 2012.)

But her aim to produce "beautiful content" isn't the only venture she's jumped into post-Facebook. Zuckerberg is also the executive producer behind Bravo's controversial reality show, "Start-Ups: Silicon Valley." The slightly ridiculous trailer features six "determined" entrepreneurs who hope to make it big in the Valley's turbulent tech scene. These go-getters even quip cringe-worthy one-liners like, "Geeks are definitely the new rock stars." (Watch the full trailer (here).)

"As a member of the Silicon Valley community, I completely understand that there will be skepticism and detractors," Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post earlier this year. "But I think this show comes at an important time. Given the current economic climate, I think it's really positive that mainstream media is celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit…"

Despite the criticism she's received along the way, the eldest Zuck is certainly doing her own thing. She's also been an advocate of women in the tech industry, stressing similar themes that Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has also preached to working women. "I have a great support network with my family," Zuckerberg told The Next Web when asked about how she balances business with pleasure. "I think at the end of the day, if you're passionate enough about what you're doing -- you are going to find the time to do all of it."

Would you leave a giant corporation like Facebook to start your own venture? What do you think of Zuckerberg's Silicon Valley story? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section, and then watch Zuckerberg's harlaious (and slightly embarrassing) "Valleyfreude" video from 2007, or flip through the slideshow below to see 50 techies to follow on Facebook.

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