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Online Entrepreneur 1999 TIME Person Of The Year

March 23, 2012 by staff 

Online Entrepreneur 1999 TIME Person Of The Year, This entrepreneur decided to strike out on his own in 1994. He drove from New York to Seattle, wrote the business plan for a new kind of Internet venture and founded a now hugely successful online company in his garage. His business made him a multi-billionaire and landed him on the cover of Time magazine as person of the year in 1999.

Time’s Person of the Year seems to often be reserved for despots and politicians. Joseph Stalin, Churchill, Truman, Ike, LBJ, Reagan, and George W. Bush each made a couple of appearances, while FDR was Man of the Year three times in the days prior to gender neutrality. Entrepreneurs are few and far between. Time even puts last year’s Person of the Year, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, in with “Business and Technology”: one of only six in this category in the previous 83 years. All but 20 of Time’s Persons of the Year have been political, military, or international leaders.

But the world is changing, and Time’s 2010 Person of the Year, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, is creating that change. While politicians stand in the way of progress, entrepreneurs like Zuckerberg make it. While governments operate in secret, Facebook embraces transparency. And while governments’ use of force and monopoly leads to unwanted associations and tensions between various groups, the nearly 600 million people on Facebook choose whom they want to be friends with.

Facebook allows millions the opportunity to communicate, commiserate, and collaborate effortlessly with friends, family, and peers without the limitations of geography. So while Hans-Hermann Hoppe explained in Democracy: The God that Failed that it is in the big cities that “citizens will develop the most highly refined forms of personal and professional conduct, etiquette, and style,” breeding “civilization and civilized life,” Zuckerberg has created a big virtual city for humans to develop style and conduct.

As Time’s Lev Grossman points out,

Facebook has merged with the social fabric of American life, and not just American but human life: nearly half of all Americans have a Facebook account, but 70% of Facebook users live outside the U.S. It’s a permanent fact of our global social reality. We have entered the Facebook age, and Mark Zuckerberg is the man who brought us here.

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