Simon Willison’s Weblog

Did Mark Zuckerberg have any knowledge on building scalable social networks prior to starting work on Facebook?

My answer to Did Mark Zuckerberg have any knowledge on building scalable social networks prior to starting work on Facebook? on Quora

I’m going to bet he didn’t have this knowledge, simply because back when he launched Facebook in 2004 almost NO ONE had this knowledge—there simply weren’t enough “web scale” products around for the patterns needed to run them to be widely discussed.

Today we’re spoiled by the enormous amount of shared experience we have as a community in building large scalable systems, but back then it really was a case of each large scale site figuring everything out for themselves.

I bet he picked it up pretty fast though... nothing forces you to learn to scale faster than the experience of having your site stop working because too many people want to use it at the same time!