Everyone knows the success story of Facebook. What it was when it started and what it now just shows how far the social networking site and the company have come. But as every other company, struggles are real. And many tend to overlook it.
Steve Jobs told Mark Zuckerberg to visit Kainchi Dham in India when Facebook was struggling
When Facebook was struggling, Steve Jobs told Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, to spend some time traveling around India so that he could reconnect with the mission of Facebook. And so did Mark. For a month.
He shared this story for the first time in 2015 when he spoke in a town hall with the prime minister of India. He mentions that he was going through “tough patches” in the early days of Facebook and that he had even considered selling the company to one of the interested buyers. Zuckerberg went to Jobs to get some advice, as he was Mark’s mentor. Jobs told him to visit one temple in India, which he had visited before too.
“He told me that in order to reconnect with what I believed as the mission of the company, I should visit this temple that he had gone to in India early on in his evolution of thinking about what he wanted Apple and his vision of the future to be.
So I went and travelled for almost a month, and seeing the people, seeing how people connected, and having the opportunity to feel how much better the world could be if everyone had a stronger ability to connect reinforced for me the importance of what we were doing and that is something I’ve always remembered over the last 10 years as we’ve built Facebook.”
Of course, as everyone knows, he didn’t sell the company. Instead, he opted to take the company public. Today, more than 2 billion people use Facebook each month, and the company is valued over $350 billion.
The man who changed Mark’s life: Neeb Karori Baba
On his trip, Zuckerberg flew down to Pantnagar, around 65km from Nainital, and then drove to the Ashram of Neeb Karori Baba, aka as Neeb Karoli Baba. That temple is Kainchi Dham.
The ashram still attracts a lot of high-profile Americans. Zuckerberg came to the Ashram of Neeb Karoli Baba, who passed away in 1973, without even a change of clothes. Vinod Joshi, the secretary of the trust that manages the temple and ashram told the Economic Times, “He was wearing a trouser which was torn at one knee.”
Zuckerberg had decided to stay in the ashram for only two days, but since the storm hit then, all flights were canceled, and so Zuckerberg stayed another night.
The ashram is enthralling, as it is surrounded by tall pine-forested mountains, and even had hosted the Hollywood actress Julia Roberts. There are five shrines, including one of Hanuman. Many Baba devotees believe to be the monkey God incarnates. There is a “White House” at the opposite of the shrines where the sage used to live.
After hearing that, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Zuckerberg:
You went to a temple with a lot of hope, and look how much you’ve achieved since then.