Facebook’s Microsoft Parallels

A computer prodigy drops out of Harvard and builds one of America’s hottest companies. He brings on an M.B.A. to help him think about things other than programming. He wants to keep his very profitable company private. But as his company grows, he begins distributing shares to his ever-increasing employee base. This gives his company more than 499 shareholders and forces him to consider an initial public offering. The investment bank Goldman Sachs plays a major role in the I.P.O.

This isn’t Mark Zuckerberg in 2011. It’s Bill Gates in 1986.

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