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Paul D. Reynolds

On October 28, 2003 Harvard students could use “Facemash” to compare which photos of two undergraduates were “hot” or “not hot.” Developed as personal project by Mark Zuckerberg it was followed by several other efforts that led to the implementation of “Thefacebook” on February 4, 2004; this provided students a mechanism for internet based social interaction. A five person start-up team embellished the potential for interaction and expanded access to other universities, high schools and eventually anybody over 13 years old. When the first public offering was initiated in 2012, “Facebook” reported annual revenue of $5 billion, yearly profits of $53 million, one billion users, and 4,619 employees.1 Convinced that a properly designed website could provide an efficient and economical interface between citizens and government agencies, high school buddies Kaleil Tuzman and Tom Herman used seed money from Herman’s mother to implement “Govworks.com” to process parking tickets in May 1999. A four person start-up team led the website development and within 18 months “Govworks.com” raised $70 million to support 250 employees. Out maneuvered by competitors such as “ezgov. com,” unable to manage the complex technical issues, and confronted with a dramatic decline in stock market valuations of internet based initial public offerings, by January 2001 the remnants of the firm were sold for $12 million.

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Paul D. Reynolds