In 2005, when I graduated from college, I didn't know what I was going to do with my life. I had no job prospects and only the painfully specific goal of "changing the world." But then a friend of mine forwarded me a job description for a position at "thefacebook" and said: "I think you're on this thing..."
At the time, not everyone knew what Facebook was. And, if they did, they thought of it as "some site for college kids." But for those of us who were in college when Facebook first started, we knew it as so much more. We knew it as the place to find dorm-mates and classmates and old high school friends. We knew it as the social fabric of our college experiences. Because I knew how special Facebook was, I pictured my resume getting thrown into a pile with hundreds of other candidates, never to be seen. Little did I realize that Facebook was still so small that when I flew out to Palo Alto, California to interview a week later, they would have to search for a chair for me to sit in and the guy interviewing me would be barefoot, sitting on a giant bean bag. Two weeks after that, I moved from Philadelphia to California where I've been for the last 8.5 years, working for "thefacebook."
The early years were a whirlwind. We stayed late into the night working, listening to music, and on weekends had barbecues and pool parties at each other's apartments. We were such a small company doing so many big things, though I'm certain we didn't know how big they really were at the time.
In my first month at Facebook, we launched Photos and with it came 'tagging' (or 'untagging' depending on the photo, am I right?) A year later we launched News Feed. That day, we had a camera crew show up outside our office, a rush of emails come flooding in, and about a million people join a group on Facebook to protest... Facebook. It was the first time the world, not just college students, stood up and took notice. You could feel it in the air. The world was beginning to change.
Then we built a platform for other developers to bring new experiences to Facebook, like games and music apps. We even launched a thumbs-up button, now recognized by nearly everyone around the world as a "Like." (I really lobbied to have our blog post title for that one be "...then you should have put a ring on it," but sadly, I lost that battle.) From mobile apps to Timeline and all the redesigns in between (even I can't remember how many there have been) we've stayed focused on our mission, launch after launch after launch.
One of the most special memories I've had while at Facebook was when I was asked to pick up a Facebook user from the airport. He was flying in from Colombia and was going to be speaking to our company the next day. His name was Oscar Morales. Oscar told us the story about how he, a civil engineer, used Facebook to mobilize over 12 million people in the streets of Colombia in protest of a terrorist group commonly known as FARC. And as he showed us the photos of the millions of people that filled the Colombian streets, I was reminded of the impact we were making and why connecting the world is such an important cause.
Facebook, the product, has also helped me share my voice. From coming out to my family and friends to grieving my grandfather's death, I have been blessed by an outpouring of love and support from so many people. My gratitude for what we build reaches far beyond the fulfillment of walking through these doors every day and working hard with some of my best friends.
A lot of people outside the company like to describe the day that Facebook went public as the moment in our company's history. And while it was certainly a very special milestone and allowed us as a company to stop and reflect on Facebook's impact in the world, it was not the moment. In fact, I don't know if there is a single moment that defines us. One thing I know to be true: There is nothing more valuable than human connection.
Today, as I reflect on the impact of the past 10 years of Facebook, humbly, gratefully, I can say we have changed the world and I can't wait to see what the next 10 years will bring.
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