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Now Available: Innovators Under 35 2013 See The 2013 List »

Mark Zuckerberg, 23

Circle of friends

Facebook



Three and a half years ago, Mark Zuckerberg (then a ­Harvard sophomore) and a couple of friends built a ­website to let them share photos and personal profiles with other Harvardians. ­Zuckerberg became CEO of the new enterprise, called Facebook. The social-networking site gradually opened its doors to students at other colleges and then high schools. Now that anyone with an e-mail address can register, the site has more than 30 million members, who use it to blog, share pictures, connect with old friends, and expand their networks.

In May, the company announced the Facebook ­Platform, which lets users build and share tools for personalizing their profile pages and adding, say, videos or music from other websites. The idea, says Zuckerberg, is that the personal connections people have made within Facebook will lead them to content that's interesting to them.

The company is embroiled in a long-standing legal dispute with ConnectU, another networking site that originated at Harvard, over ownership of the initial source code and even the basic business idea. Still, Bloomberg reported in December that the privately held company's value may be more than $1 billion, thanks largely to the site's appeal to advertisers. As Facebook grows, so does its potential to become a major content distributor. Not a bad prospect for a programming project hatched in a dorm room.

--Kate Greene

2007 TR35 Winners

J. Christopher Anderson

Creating tumor-killing bacteria

Erik Bakkers

Combining semiconductors

David Berry

Renewable petroleum from microbes

Sanjit Biswas

Cheap, easy Internet access

Josh Bongard

Adaptive robots

Garrett Camp

Discovering more of the Web

Mung Chiang

Optimizing networks

Adam Cohen

Making molecules motionless

Javier García-Martínez

New zeolites for cracking petroleum

Kristala Jones Prather

Reverse-engineering biology

Ali Khademhosseini

Living Legos

Tadayoshi Kohno

Securing systems cryptographically

Tariq Krim

Building a personal, dynamic Web page

Ivan Krstic´

Making antivirus software obsolete

Jeff LaPorte

Internet-based calling from mobile phones

Ju Li

Modeling designer materials

Karen Liu

Bringing body language to computer-animated characters

Christopher Loose

Beating up bacteria

Anna Lysyanskaya

Securing online privacy

Tapan Parikh

Simple, powerful mobile tools for developing economies

Babak Parviz

Self-assembling micromachines

Partha Ranganathan

Power-aware computing systems

Neil Renninger

Hacking microbes for energy

Kevin Rose

Online social bookmarking

Marc Sciamanna

Controlling chaos in telecom lasers

Rachel Segalman

Cheap electricity from heat

Shetal Shah

Cushioning preemies

Abraham Stroock

Microfluidic biomaterials

Desney Tan

Teaching computers to read minds

Doris Tsao

Shedding light on how our brains recognize faces

Luis von Ahn

Using “captchas” to digitize books

Xudong Wang

Powering the nanoworld

Lili Yang

Engineering immunity

Mehmet Yanik

Stopping light on microchips

Mark Zuckerberg

Circle of friends

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