Zuckerberg: If Not for Facebook, I'd Be at Microsoft

"A lot of people from Harvard went to work there," the tech wunderkind noted

By Barbara E. Hernandez
|  Monday, Oct 22, 2012  |  Updated 1:21 PM EDT
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Zuckerberg: If Not for Facebook, I'd Be at Microsoft

AP

Mark Zuckerberg said that if Facebook hadn't taken off, he might have wound up at Microsoft.

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Facebook chief and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg may have shocked a techie audience Saturday morning when he said that if Facebook hadn't panned out, he would have joined Microsoft.

"I probably would have taken an engineering job… [and] always had a lot of respect for Microsoft," he said at an interview at the Startup School, according to VentureBeat. "A lot of people from Harvard went to work there."

Likely because Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates was a Harvard alum (and dropout)? Perhaps, but also because a young Zuckerberg would have joined a big tech company to learn more about the business.

As for college, the psychology major with a "passion for Latin and Greek" told the audience of young entrepreneurs to use their time in college to explore all the knowledge at their fingertips. Although he rarely attended class, he enjoyed learning about the human mind and classic languages.

Zuckerberg said that entrepreneurs should take time to "bake the product." He mentioned that no one knew whether Facebook would succeed or not, but most of the success was based on timing — and the rise of social media. 

"Facebook did grow quickly, but it took a year for us to get a million users," he said. "It wasn’t as quick as a lot of things grow today. Having that time to bake was valuable for us."
 
While Zuckerberg's talk did portray himself and Facebook in a positive light — boringly, there were no stories of failure — his advice of waiting for a business to find its bearing may be a correct one. Just make sure you have the resources to keep afloat in the lean times.

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