It’s been 16 years since Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in his Harvard dorm room. And it’s been exactly 10 years since David Fincher’s movie about the company’s early days, The Social Network, hit theaters
The world has changed in ten years. There are a lot of hard seltzer brands. Email newsletters are big business. And most of the major characters in the movie have moved past their Facebook days.
Here’s what those people, from the Winklevoss twins to Sean Parker, are up to now.
Facebook role: Cofounder of Facebook
Movie role: Zuck’s moral conscience
Net Worth: $14.5 billion (2020)
Thoughts on The Social Network: In a 2010 op-ed for CNBC, Saverin wrote “the movie was clearly intended to be entertainment and not a fact-based documentary.” In 2012, he hammered home the same point in an interview with Brazilian magazine Veja: “That’s Hollywood fantasy, not a documentary.”
Where are they now? Saverin, originally born in Brazil, renounced his U.S. citizenship one year after The Social Network hit theaters. He moved to Singapore, where he now heads up B Capital, the venture capital firm he founded in 2015. Some notable companies in his portfolio: Bird (scooters) and Bellevue (software). In June, B Capital raised $820 million for a second fund focused on growth-stage startups.
Facebook role: Cofounder and CTO
Role in the movie: Guy you probably forgot bunked with Zuck
Net Worth: $16 billion (2020)
Thoughts on The Social Network: Writing about the movie trailer on the website Quora, Moskovitz said, “It is interesting to see my past rewritten in a way that emphasizes things that didn’t matter (like the Winklevosses, who I’ve still never even met…).”
Where are they now? After becoming the youngest self-made billionaire in history thanks to his role with Facebook, Moskovitz left to start Asana, a workflow software company, in 2008. Asana just went public, capitalizing on greater demand for remote collaboration tools in the pandemic era.
Facebook role: Early investor and first president of the company
Movie role: Zuck’s questionable role model who suggested “The Facebook” drop the “the”
Net Worth: $2.7 billion (2020)
Thoughts on The Social Network: Parker enjoyed the movie, but said “it’s complete fiction,” adding, “There are no Victoria’s Secret models in Silicon Valley.”
Where are they now? Parker was already a well-known figure in the tech world before Facebook, having founded the music sharing service Napster in 1999. After his brief stint as Facebook’s president, he returned to the music industry, investing early in Spotify and serving on its board until 2017. Parker began tinkering with a social network focused on politics in 2015 and has mainly focused his work on the political arena in the last few years.
Facebook role: Early investor
Movie: Early investor
Net Worth: $2.1 billion (2020)
Thoughts on The Social Network: In 2010, Thiel told Business Insider, “The movie was too favorable to [Saverin] and too unfavorable to Zuckerberg.“
Where are they now? He’s a famed venture capitalist and PayPal Mafia member who recently appeared in the Brew for cofounding Palantir, a controversial data company that just went public.
Winklevoss Twins aka Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss
Facebook role: Claimed they came up with the idea for Facebook
Movie role: Playing Zuck’s cool Ken-doll foils, while testing the bounds of CGI and Armie Hammer’s acting chops
Net Worth: $1.45 billion (2020)
Thoughts on The Social Network: Tyler told web design firm Fresh Tilled Soil in 2013, “We thought it was very entertaining,” and Cameron added “it should’ve won best picture.” But they challenged the film’s portrayal of Zuck as an underdog, saying there’s “a lot more similarities between ourselves and Zuckerberg than most people really want to pay attention to.”
Where are they now? Cameron and Tyler have made a name for themselves in the crypto scene by cofounding Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange rivaling Coinbase that’s about to expand into the U.K. Deadline reports they’re now producing a movie about themselves with the modest title Bitcoin Billionaires.
Facebook role: Cofounder and, as Fast Company writes, “part anthropologist, part customer-service rep, part media spokesperson.”
Movie: “Guy who occasionally looks over Mark’s shoulder” would be a pretty accurate casting credit
Net Worth: ~$400 million (2019)
Thoughts on The Social Network: In a 2018 Reddit AMA, Hughes wrote, “Our dorm room did not in fact look like a luxury condo and (to my knowledge!) there was no sex in the bathroom.”
Where are they now? When you Google “Chris Hughes,” the top search results show a Love Island reality TV star with the same name. That’s because Hughes keeps mostly out of the spotlight now, spending his time on the Economic Security Project, a group he cofounded that funds guaranteed-income projects similar to universal basic income (UBI). In 2019, he wrote a widely circulated NYT op-ed calling for the breakup of Facebook.
Original Facebook role: Facebook cofounder
Role in the movie: Generally unlikable protagonist
Net Worth: $96.3 billion (2020)
Thoughts on The Social Network: “They went out of their way in the movie to try to get some interesting details correct like the design of the office, but on the overarching plot…they just kind of made up a bunch of stuff that I found kind of hurtful,” Zuckerberg said in a 2014 Q&A.
Where are they now? You know the answer to this one. But to be more specific than “running Facebook,” he’s been spending lots of time on Capitol Hill over antitrust and security issues. In lighter news, he’s also been electrically shredding surf in Hawaii, where he became a meme, adding a little dramatic irony to his life script.
Other great reads on the impact of The Social Network
Was The Social Network sexist, or an unwelcome reflection of the times?
How the Hollywood version of Zuckerberg became his origin story
The magic behind using one actor to portray the Winklevoss twins
The Social Network did get some things right
Editors note: This piece was written in collaboration with Jamie Wilde.
Via Morning Brew