As busy as Mark Zuckerberg’s day job keeps him, he finds time each year to give himself a personal challenge. Here’s a look at his last seven years of accomplishments—and the progress his company has made along the way.
2009 Personal Challenge: Wear a tie every day.
Company Milestone: Facebook is taken more seriously by advertisers and becomes cash-flow positive a year ahead of schedule, transforming it from startup to long-term comer.
2010 Personal Challenge: Learn Mandarin.
Company Milestone: Although Facebook isn’t available in China, the service exceeds 500 million monthly active users, becoming the world’s largest social network.
2011 Personal Challenge: Only eat animals he kills himself.
Company Milestone: Acquired more than 10 startups. Moved company headquarters to the former home of Sun Microsystems in Menlo Park, on a large, centralized campus.
2012 Personal Challenge: Code every day.
Company Milestone: Facebook’s IPO values the company at $104 billion, a record for a new listing, though a software glitch slightly marred the debut. Purchases Instagram.
2013 Personal Challenge: Meet a new person every day who doesn’t work at Facebook.
Company Milestone: Launches Internet.org, in partnership with other tech companies, with the goal of making Internet access available to the entire world population.
2014 Personal Challenge: Write at least one thank-you note every day.
Company Milestone: Among the cards Zuckerberg might have sent: to Jan Koum, for selling him WhatsApp for $22 billion, and to Palmer Luckey, for selling him Oculus VR for $2 billion.
2015 Personal Challenge: Read a new book every two weeks.
Company Milestone: Facebook expands its platform as a publisher, introducing Instant Articles and accelerating its video initiatives. It also begins to seed Oculus with content.