Today, I had the opportunity to interview the other founder of Facebook Eduardo Saverin. If you ask, Who and how is he related to Mark Zuckerberg? I will question “where on earth have you been?” Whether if the story is it true or not, most of us are familiar with the lore of the founding of TheFacebook.com, in the movie The Social Network, based on the book The Accidental Billionaires. I think I should really drop the “The” but I digress. Facebook is one of those dream come true for a start up. Achieving so much in so little time. At the time of writing, Facebook would have collected close to 700 million active users worldwide while eying on China again after being shut down in 2009.
NUS Enterprise invited Mr Saverin to be their keynote speaker for the Innofest The Enterprise Connection as the very first of the series of prominent global entrepreneurs. The whole event was held in honor of NUS 10 years venture in helping young startups to grow and a showcase of some of their more interesting businesses that have sprung out of their program.
However, the interview was not meant to be as the media shy young billionaire was overwhelmed by the amount of press showed up and politely excused himself. He said the main reason for him coming over was to check out the startups. Eduardo did eventually gave his first ever public keynote to a crowd of 300 entrepreneurs, investors and educators.
Clearly nervous of his first keynote, the take away points of the speech are that he fell in love with Singapore because of the beautiful country and also the thriving startup eco system. He also stressed a lot that he is interested in investing the social media space and how exciting these new generation of startups can gain amazing momentum. He cites Zynga’s phenomenal growth in CityVille as a good example of simple ideas with high turn around time leveraging on existing infrastructure. He also states, it does not cost much to create sites like Facebook and Cityville
He also said that although sometimes you can be lucky but should embrace failures as it can eventually lead you to good fortune as a long as you keep trying. I believe we will be seeing more of Mr Saverin in the region pretty soon.
Update: Mr Saverin’s talk during Innofest 2011 is up at here.