Mark Zuckerberg, 26, co-founder of the worlds largest social networking service Facebook, has been named Time magazines Person of the Year. On why it chose Zuckerberg, the magazine said he created a system to establish social connections for people around the world and exchange information. Time said Facebook with 550 million subscribers worldwide has changed the way people live their lives.
At age 20, Zuckerberg joined forces with his friends to found Facebook at a Harvard University dormitory. The service has grown into an Internet juggernaut that links 8.3 percent of the worlds population. If Facebook was a country, it would be the worlds third most populous after China and India. Facebook is establishing itself as a means of communication that goes beyond e-mail and mobile communication.
Facebook is also evolving into an open cyberspace that allows business opportunities. Since anybody can easily develop applications, the number of commercial applications that can run on Facebook is mushrooming. In other words, the site is creating numerous jobs in the IT sector. An open Internet service such as Facebook is a business model that Korean telecommunication and Internet companies could not think of because they believed that subscribers and content should stay within their national boundaries. Zuckerberg stands beside Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Apple co-Steve Jobs as heroes of the information era who showed creative entrepreneurship.
When Apples iPhone was released in Korea a year ago, domestic IT businesses were shocked by the gadgets huge popularity. At the time, they said Koreans grew complacent given their countrys reputation as an IT powerhouse. With such a closed-minded attitude, more shocks from new products and services such as the iPhone and Facebook will hit Korea.
For Korea to innovate by coming up with creative products, the Korean market and society need aggressive entrepreneurship. Businesspeople with creative entrepreneurship form markets and wealth by seizing new opportunities. If entrepreneurship weakens, businessmen lose the chance to create jobs due to pessimism. The Korea Economic Research Institute said entrepreneurship in Korea has weakened since 2002, so the country will hopefully produce creative businessmen who can top Zuckerbergs achievement.