Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Facebook Now 15!: Mark’s Sister to CNN: He Was Offered Option to Open McDonald's Franchise Instead

Wed 06 Feb 2019 | 08:35 AM
Yassmine Elsayed

By: Yassmine ElSayed

CAIRO, Feb. 6 (SEE) - Have you ever imagined our life without facebook? With some already hate it, all recognize its benefits in knowing updates of people and issues as well as staying in contact with people, we would never have thought to reach in our busy lives.

In an interview conducted by CNN Business, Randi Zuckerberg, sister of Mark, founder of facebook, said that her brother was offered the option to open up a McDonald's franchise instead of joining Harvard University, where he launched his piece of art; facebook, 15 years ago.

"My dad, funny enough, right before each of us went to college offered us the options of going to college or like investing in a franchise and running it," Randi said.

While she said her parents had mixed feelings about Mark dropping out of college, they supported all their children's decisions.

"I think they were like 'Okay, you probably should have taken the McDonald's franchise money if you wanted a business. But, okay, this might be a second good choice,'" Randi said.

Randi Zuckerberg, who was an early employee at Facebook and headed up early live video efforts on the platform, is now the CEO of Zuckerberg Media, her own production company. Its portfolio includes a TV show for children about a tech-savvy girl named Dot, a pop-up experience for kids called Sue's Tech Kitchen and a Sirius XM Business Radio show about the latest technology trends.

But before starting her own company, she left a job at a major advertising agency to join Facebook. She recalled flying to California for the first time ever to meet with the small Facebook team working out of a house in the suburbs and advising them on a new logo.

Those were simpler days. Now Facebook is grappling with foreign election meddling, privacy scandals and the spread of misinformation on its platform.

"I think we're very young and idealistic at that time that we're creating these," said Randi, recalling that the tools were created with "such incredible intentions" to democratize media and content, and put the power into its users' hands.

She said the problem is that the tech world is so "now, now, now" that it can miss the big picture.

"We are putting so much pressure on young people to create multi-billion dollar companies that of course, how could they have time to think about the future implications of what they're building," she said. "I think Facebook builds things with great intentions, and because of shareholder obligations, it didn't have the time to sit and think, 'Wait, these tools that we're building, what could happen with them?'"

She said she's worried now about how tech could "change the world not really for us, but for our children and their children." And she's been critical of big tech in other ways, too, advocating for more persity in Silicon Valley, especially gender persity.

"When you have such a big family, you kind of have all of your companions built into your family unit," Randi Zuckerberg said. "Maybe after just spending his entire childhood growing up with three sisters, he's like, I just got to connect with other people."