Two and a half years ago, Facebook was a college project run by an undergraduate. Today, in an echo of the 1990s technology boom, it is being chased by large companies with their wallets wide open.
During one series of talks with Microsoft, Facebook executives told their Microsoft peers they couldn't do an 8 a.m. conference call because the company's 22-year-old founder and chief executive, Harvard dropout Mark Zuckerberg, wouldn't be awake, says a person familiar with the talks. Microsoft executives were incredulous.
In an interview, Mr. Zuckerberg declines to comment on any talks. The young entrepreneur says he generally works late -- he recalls eating French fries recently in the parking lot of a local McDonald's restaurant at 3 a.m. -- and doesn't get to work early. "I'm in the office at 10:30 a.m. sometimes," he says.