That time I met Mark Zuckerberg, and the guy I liked better.


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After my life-changing initial experience, I’d resolved to attend every Jelly I could. I couldn’t make all of them, but I was there often enough to become a staple. I was also enamored with the five bedroom apartment, dubbed House 2.0, that Jelly took place in.

I followed the House 2.0 blog (Now offline, but the newer one is here:, where I soon discovered that a few sublet opportunities would be available over the summertime as some of the roommates were away traveling.

I jumped at the opportunity. Though I was born in the city, I was raised in the suburbs. Making the (temporary) move to the city was a big one for me, but it just felt so right.

It was fun not to have to commute to participate in Jelly. It was amazing to live in a communal home with four other funky folks.

When Facebook announced their new app platform, my temporary roommate Amit locked himself in his room and taught himself how to build apps on it. He was sure it was the future. When he walked past my room, he’d ask me if I was building Facebook apps yet. I admired his fervor.

During my brief time subletting with Amit, I got to join him for New York’s first-ever Facebook app developer event, which he organized. Amit was visibly anxious as I helped him carry some things from our apartment to the venue, which was not far away. He mentioned that he had a surprise in store.

The surprise was that Mark Zuckerberg was in attendance. Clad in his signature hoodie, jeans, and flip-flops, he was exactly as I thought he’d be.

He was very cordial, happily talking to anyone about anything. He used the phrase “social graph” a lot. I wasn’t sure if he understood what it was; I certainly didn’t.

I did get the sense that I was talking to someone who was very, very smart. It was cool to shake his hand.

It turns out that Amit also had a New England college-based social network right around the same time as Facebook’s emergence from Harvard.

Zuckerberg ended up building an empire. Amit ended up building a really great photography store, a beautiful communal living space, and a movement.

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