The Many Obsessions Of Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg

Zuckerberg once wrote an algorithm to beat a friend's teen daughter at Scrabble

Mark Zuckerberg Addresses F8 Facebook Developer Conference
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Zuckerberg once wrote an algorithm to beat a friend's teen daughter at Scrabble

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, is known for being hyper-structured and rigid, and in a recent extensive interview in the New Yorker, more of his obsessions have been revealed, including a deep interest in Emperor Augustus.

The Daily Mail shared several stories from the interview that shared Zuckerberg’s intensity with board games — and winning them apparently. A few years ago, the founder of Facebook flew on his corporate jet with a friend and the friend’s daughter, and Zuckerberg played Scrabble with the daughter, who beat him.

The social media icon was so enraged that he wrote an algorithm on the spot that would allow him to maximize his options with the given letters to beat her. The teen spoke to the New Yorker and shared the details.

“Everyone around us was taking sides: Team Human and Team Machine.”

Zuckerberg explained that he keeps a game called Ricochet Robots set up in his living room and he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, play often.

“It gets extremely competitive. We play with these friends, and one of them is a genius at this. Playing with him is just infuriating.”

Friends say that Zuckerberg is also very fond of playing the board game Risk, which is all about strategy.

Dave Morin, a former Facebook employee, said he played several games of Risk with the company’s founder and it was intense. Morin said that Zuckerberg tested several strategies to find the most efficient way to win.

“He’s not playing you in a game of Risk. He’s playing you in a game of games. He’s trying to figure out the psychological way to beat you in all the games.”

Mark Zuckerberg also spoke about his deep interest with Caesar Augustus, the first emperor of Rome, and how we wanted to learn everything about him. He said as part of their honeymoon in Rome, he took his wife around the city to see all of the statues of Augustus.

“My wife was making fun of me, saying she thought there were three people on the honeymoon: me, her, and Augustus. All the photos were different sculptures of Augustus.”

His interest continued and it even compelled him to name their second child August.

The Emperor Augustus was known to rule with an “iron fist” according to Zuckerberg, and he says that sometimes that is what is necessary.

“Basically, through a really harsh approach, he established two hundred years of world peace.”