Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mark Zuckerberg Rocks it at BYU

Well I heard a week ago from my college-student son, Devin,  that Mark Zuckerberg was coming to BYU for a forum to speak to the students. And when I heard that I had to of course invite myself to the party. He had been invited by Senator Orin Hatch of Utah. So Hatch ended up being the moderator and the two of them sat up on a raised platform stage in the Marriott Center sitting on 2 comfortable looking high back chairs. They just talked for an hour and it was great!

Mark Zuckerberg with Orin Hatch at the BYU Forum...I don't know how I got this great shot!?!
 The Facebook founder was funny, interesting, engaging and not a bit awkward. The movie done about him doesn't seem to ring true. He seems very passionate about Education, philanthropy and giving back to the students in college. He had some great advice for them. He told them to find something they are passionate about and follow it. He is still very passionate about Facebook and growing it into something the whole world can use to stay connected.

My husband John....looks like he's on drugs! Or else has a bad photographer?
 The students had been invited to submit questions to the BYU Facebook page and they chose 40 of the best ones.  The first one asked was the question my son Devin had submitted; "What's more important in business;  management, marketing or a good idea?" And the Zuckster said, "Neither of these. The most important thing in business is the people you hire."  I thought that was a great answer, and then he went on to introduce 3 people from the audience of BYU grads that he had brought along with him as hirees. He said each one was a great addition to the team and was very talented. A nice touch.

The Zuckster...on the big screen above
 He talked about how you shouldn't wait to be placed in a leadership role at your job, you should make roles for yourself, just become the leader in whatever area we choose. He told us how he had started at Harvard as a Psychology major AND a computer science double major. Facebook seems like such a logical melding of the two.  He says that he never intended Facebook to become a business or to make money. He just wanted a way to stay connected with the people he cared about in his life. And he recognized that this is true for all of us. He has a girlfriend in San Francisco in medical school. He really opened up to the students! Very cool.

Devin and Brendan taking camera shots of him....Caitlin was sitting a row up with her boss who also invited herself! hehe We are all so rude. But hey, it's open to the public!

Here he is on stage hoodie and Adidas tennis shoes...That part is true....he loves hoodies!
I remember a year and a half ago sitting around with my kids talking about Facebook and how fast it had grown to 250 million users. We were all blown away by that. Then a short year later it had doubled its users to 500 million!!! I told my computer geek sons to get busy writing an app for Facebook!!  Well, when Zuckerberg said they are now moving toward a billion users worldwide the whole place cheered. He promised he would never sell any body's private info and that he is very careful and concerned that they keep privacy a very strong issue for Facebook. He said the things you have heard to the contrary are not true.

They cheered for him over and over.  Especially when Hatch said that he had heard about Mark donating $100 million to a school district in New Jersey. And Hatch told him what a wonderful school BYU was. Everybody laughed and cheered.  And Zuckerberg was flustered for a second, and then he said, OK, I'll remember that!  And I bet he will. 

We got there an hour early thinking it would be super packed.....it was but not till 10 minutes before...

He asked a few questions back at Hatch about Government taxes on business...Hatch says he think government should get outta the way of business....that garnered another cheer from the audience....
 The cutest thing happened at the end. These 7 student body presidents from all the Utah colleges surrounding BYU came up on the stage with a school hoodie. One by one they shook Mark's hand and passed him the hoodies. He had this huge pillowy stack piled up to his ears. And he turned to the audience and hugged them all like a little, beloved Teddy Bear! So cute. Everybody laughed and cheered for him again. It turns out it was the first college invitation to speak he has ever accepted. This was a first for him. What a great event.

Me at the BYU Museum of Art...Carl Block exhibit...I think this was an alter piece. I wonder if we saw some of his paintings in Italy?

I loved this exhibit the best. It was called "Words"and it is made up of a gazillion books piled high in this cube shape....

Then we spent the rest of the day eating lunch with Devin and his wife Caitlin and cousin Brendan at Kneaders. Afterwards we went to the Yogurt Shop. Super fun. I think I mixed up 8 flavors. But my favorite was mango. We were the oldest people in the restaurant! Boo to that!  Later we had a reservation at the Carl Block exhibit at the BYU Museum of Art. We had a really great day even in all the rain.  Life is good. 


  1. I tweeted you back. Make sure you read it. :o) This was fun to read. Sounds like it was well worth your time! Did you enjoy the Art exhibit?

  2. pattiemoss@pattiemoss.blogspot.comApril 1, 2011 at 6:25 PM

    It is worth a visit. Our last big trip was to Rome so all these paintings pale in comparison but the museum did a good job of highlighting some of his beautiful works creating big altars around them. You should go see it before it moves on!


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