Yopo Interview: Dustin Moskovitz, Co-founder of Facebook

January 25, 2006 - Get free updates of new posts here

One of the coolest yopo interviews that I (Melody) have ever done: Dustin Moskovitz

Dustin Moskovitz is the co-founder of Facebook. A site that I and almost everyone else in college is completely and whole-heartedly addicted to, *drum roll please* Facebook.


So for those facebook-lacking people (I’m truly sorry for you) who are asking just about now, “What the hell is Facebook?” Here is the answer straight from the man himself:

“[Facebook is] a directory of people. Your life can be described as a graph of people, objects, and events. Some of them are connected to you, to people you know, and even to each other. Facebook’s job is to help users understand this graph and allow others to view it more clearly from an outside perspective.” –Dustin Moskovitz

Dustin Moskovitz grew up in Ocala, Florida with hopes and dreams, as a young child, to become an airforce pilot (aww how cute). At the age of 18, he was accepted into Harvard as an Economics major.

“I wanted to go into business, but after studying it for a few years, I’ve realized that economics has a value as a science in it’s own right. There is a lot of good that can be done with economics applied correctly.”

Soon after being accepted, Dustin and a few others (Mark Zuckerberg and Chris Hughes) began work on the idea of Facebook.

“Facebook was just something that needed to be built.”

“We built Facebook to be a powerful directory, and that has separated us from some of the available alternatives. “

Facebook started out as a more complete and generally more consolidated Harvard directory. It quickly gained popularity. Seeing what a success it was becoming the Facebook crew knew that a bigger idea was already budding.

“From the very beginning, we sort of knew that people would like Facebook after they had used it for a while.”

“I think we realized very soon into it that Facebook had a high probability of becoming an important part of college culture.”

After 2 years at Harvard the team “stopped out” of school and dedicated all their time to the growing site. (Read about Noah’s first day of work at Facebook.)

“Facebook is a full time job, trust me. If I had another venture, I’d be failing at them both.”

Facebook is becoming the people directory for college and beyond. What is envisioned for the site is to one day be able to type in any name and find exactly who you are looking for. More and more the topic of being able to achieve this goal while continuing to protect everyone’s privacy is being broached.

“We want to find new ways to present data back to the user that is interesting and relevant.”

They conintue to find new and interesting additions to the site, namely the recently added features of “photo albums” and “details”.

“Mine and everyone else’s [favorite] photo albums. Specifically the ability to see “more photos of” someone. That’s just awesome.”

So I thought I’d ask Dustin about his own experiences of Facebook assuming that he must have so many friend requests daily and let’s not even get into the matter of number of pokes.

In reponse to the poke question:

“Not that many, a few a week maybe.”

In response to the friend request question:

“All the time [getting friend requests]. A lot of people look at the Facebook about page, and invite Mark, myself, and Chris Hughes. Plus there are all those random people from high school.”

Facebook will definitely continue to grow. I spend so much of my time everyday on the site and I’m sure that I’m not the only one. It’s not only such an interesting and addicting site, it’s so amazingly helpful as well. It’s a great way to keep in touch with everyone you know. I also love how it provides me with an automatic directory of people in my classes and major. The success of Facebook can be directly attributed to the spectacular group of people that makes up Facebook.

“Our continued success will be a result of the amazing team we’re now building in our first year as a real company. The combined intelligence of the men and women in our office (except for Noah) can result in nothing short of absolute success.”

It was a privelege to interview Dustin Moskovitz. Without him there would not be that amazing site that I practically live on. I think it’s a true testament to what hard work and good luck can bring to determined and intelligent people.

“Success is very much the intersection of luck and hard work. First, you have to find an opportunity, and then you need to man up to the work necessary to make it something good. Having just one or the other won’t result in anything at all.”

Thanks Dustin, here’s an okdork “poke” for you.


Read more about how Noah was fired from Facebook and lost out on a $100,000,000 payday.


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6 responses to “Yopo Interview: Dustin Moskovitz, Co-founder of Facebook

  1. Eric A. Reply

    Awesome quote from Dustin at the end there. Too many people just think having a great idea with make them money, when it takes a great idea and a great amount of work. Ive fallen into the same trap before, and I have learned that same lesson. Also, id like to include, that a great idea doesn’t always seem like a great idea when you first start out. Ive had plenty of ideas that I thought were awesome, that turned out to suck. And also some ideas where people have put them down, but eventually I find out they are awesome. I bet when they first started building facebook there were people around them that told them it wasnt going to work. There will always be those people. What ive found, is to just not listen to them, to have the conviction that it could work, do it, and if it does work, awesome, if it doesnt, then its still an awesome experience. Enver dont do anything because other people dont think it can work.

  2. Devin Reams Reply

    I don’t exactly see how it can be described as a ‘graph’, there is nothing visual about Facebook relationships. I miss the awesome SVG diagram that used to be on Facebook… I hope to see something like that soon.

  3. Shivani Reply

    in response to devin’s post…i think the best example of facebook as a graph is the social timeline. shows all your friends, when you met, and how in sequential order.

    I liked the interview! Good job Melody!

  4. Dan Reply

    I was just thinking about the SVG thing a few minutes ago, and Googled it to see if there’s been any talk about it. It’s been a while, and I thought it was neat too! I think it’d be nice if it were re-implemented as an easter egg, at least! (and if it is, a clue on this comment thread would be awesome 🙂

  5. John Black Reply

    I’m looking for a partner, a Dustin Moskovitz clone who loves boxing and mixed martial arts (MMA), to develop, market, and manage FightersOnline, a startup with patents pending on a model for a niche social network, a Facebook if you will, for everyone in the fight community, especially the fighters and fans. The matchmaking and marketing system will enable boxers and MMA fighters to make their own matches and sell them to the promoter or venue with the highest bid.