Zuckerberg and Materialism

Time Magazine’s 2010 Person of the Year award was spot on.  Mark Zuckerberg has revolutionized worldwide communication and is an inspiration to anyone with an idea.

I was most impressed with Mr. Z’s lack of materialism.  He drives a used Acura and lives in a pretty normal apartment.  He’s also still with the chick whom he met before he struck it rich.

I have not seen “The Social Network” yet, but it seems that much of Z’s personality was tweaked for the big screen.  According to Time, he is a sociable person.  And no fault to Sorkin and gang.  I would have painted him as a more outwardly anti-social person too.  After all, most computer geeks I have met prefer to socialize online rather than in person.  However, Z likes using the online world to supplement the face to face world.

He seems to genuinely care about people as a whole, which is why I think he finds it so easy to shrug off the whole money thing.  He’s not settling a score or proving anything.  He simply loves what he does and feels his work is benefiting people.  Sure, it helps that he can make a lot of dough too.  But that’s not his driving force.

Z provides his employees three free meals a day, plus snacks!  That’s awesome.  He doesn’t stroke his ego with a big corner office.  They are all in the open together.  No walls.  No cubicles.

Before I continue, I want to emphasize that I’m no Mark Zuckerberg.  I never will be.  He has developed something huge.

One small commonality he and I currently share – besides a freckled face – is the lack of materialism.  I’ve had moments when material things meant a lot more to me, but lately that is not so.  I live in a very modest apartment, and I was happy with it until my landlord decided to tell me via certified mail earlier this week that he’s raising the rent.  Nothing is fancy, but it has character and is home to me.

I have gone from buying random crap to getting rid of random crap.  I am purging, organizing (yes…AGAIN), and feeling the weight of useless material objects lifting from my shoulders.

Now, this lack of materialism is pretty easy for me at the moment because I’m starting businesses and working part-time jobs to keep everything afloat.  Would I change if I struck it rich?  I sure hope not.

OK, I would buy my new Camaro and a beach house.  But that is it.  And the beach house would be a shack-like, authentic beach house.  No beach mansion.

I mainly seek money for security and the freedom to experience lots of things.  Zuckerberg seems to travel and enjoy life, so that is reassuring to me that he is pretty normal.

If you tell me about your brand new furniture or Coach bag, don’t be offended when I lose interest.  I’m just not into that stuff right now.  But if you share a great concert story, I’m all ears.  And if you have awesome life experiences, let’s block out an hour or two and discuss over coffee or wine.


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