Let’s Not Lose the Next Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg was born and raised in Westchester County, New York. His parents, Dr. Edward Zuckerberg D.D.S. and his wife Karen, a psychiatrist, live in the same home in Dobbs Ferry they bought in 1981. So why did Mark feel the need to build Facebook in Silicon Valley and not in New York? And what policies can we implement to encourage the next Mark Zuckerberg to build her or his company in New York?
The first thing that we need to understand is that when Mark Zuckerberg was about eleven, his parents hired a computer tutor, a software developer named David Newman, who came to the house once a week to work with Mark. “He was a prodigy,” Newman told The New Yorker writer Jose Antonio Vargasme. “Sometimes it was tough to stay ahead of him.” (Newman lost track of Zuckerberg and was stunned when he learned from the interview that his former pupil had built Facebook.) Soon thereafter, Mark started taking a graduate computer course every Thursday night at nearby Mercy College.
The fact that Zuckerberg’s parents hired a computer tutor and paid for graduate computer course tells us that we need to look beyond the individual. As Malcolm Gladwell wrote in Outliers which The New York Times printed the first chapter:
[Y]ou couldn’t understand why someone was healthy if all you did was think about their individual choices or actions in isolation. You had to look beyond the individual. You had to understand what culture they were a part of, and who their friends and families were, and what town in Italy their family came from. You had to appreciate the idea that community — the values of the world we inhabit and the people we surround ourselves with — has a profound effect on who we are. The value of an outlier was that it forced you to look a little harder and dig little deeper than you normally would to make sense of the world. And if you did, you could learn something from the outlier that could use to help everyone else.
In Outliers, I want to do for our understanding of success what Stewart Wolf did for our understanding of health.

Otliers
Steph Curry on Malcolm Gladwell
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NRFD’s Captain Andrew Sandor

I visited New Rochelle Fire Department Station 5 on Easter Sunday and spoke to Captain Andrew Sandor.
Andrew Sandor

Captain Andrew Sandor (center) with Pete and Danny, the firefighters on duty at NRFD Station 5 on Easter Sunday 2017

Terrance Jackson: How long have you been a firefighter in New Rochelle?
Andrew Sandor: A little over 21 years.

NRFD Station 5

TJ: And how long have you been the Company Commander of Station 5?
AS: I been here since the beginning of 2016, so a little over a year.

Andrew Sandor at the 2016 Tunnel to Towers 5K

TJ: What is the hardest thing about being a firefighter?
AS: The hardest thing about being a firefighter, I would say is that we see people at their worst. They’re having a bad day. We have really good training to try to help them with what’s going on.
The call we just came back on, that was easy, someone burnt food, not a big deal. But maybe later today, we’ll go an ambulance call or somebody whatever ailment they have. Or we’ll go a car wreck. Or someone will have water in their basement. Or they’ll have a fire. And now to what extent is the fire effecting their personal life. After a while you become a bit callous to it, because it’s job but you have to remember that you’re dealing with people not just stuff.

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