It’s rather hard to imagine a world without Facebook today. But back in 2004, 21 year old Eduardo Saverin was just another entrepreneur trying to convince people to put money into a growing company called thefacebook.com, co-founded by him and his friend Mark Zuckerberg.
The story about how they founded one of the most successful companies in history was dramatically portrayed in the 2010 movie: The Social Network. Mark Zuckerberg himself has admitted that the movie, as many other biopics, is inaccurate in many aspects. But he also acknowledges that the movie gets a lot of details right.
One of them is that Eduardo did in fact go to New York in 2004 at the time when thefacebook.com was launched, to try and sell Facebook’s initial idea of ads to potential clients.
Facebook’s original pitch deck was basically a media kit containing the company’s value proposition, key metrics and Online Marketing Services.
At that time the company wasn’t making any money from The Facebook, so their pitch deck wasn’t based on revenue traction (actually they were still figuring out their business model overall). Instead, they bet on solid numbers such as their user engagement, customer base and growth metrics.
We’ve taken the liberty of using the exact same information and redesigning the original pitch deck but you can find the original version here.
It’s funny to see a pitch deck of such a consolidated and familiar company as Facebook, and it’s crazy to think how much it’s grown and changed over the course of 10 years. You’ll notice that even when the order of the slides is a little unconventional, the core elements of a great pitch deck are there.
The biggest difference you’ll find from this pitch deck to an investor pitch deck used today is that there’s no Problem Slide. Facebook was pretty much creating the necessity for college students to interact in the digital world. A created necessity that turned so real and massive soon enough it was obvious it would need to transcend colleges and universities in the US.
The selling part of this pitch deck happens between slides 16 and 18.
“You may not be making a nickel out of your idea yet, but if you have a website where 70,000 people are generating 90 Million pageviews per month, you’re up to the next big thing!
That level of engagement in a website where the content, by the way, was not created by the company but by its users was absolutely unthinkable.
Interestingly enough, the services part is quite dull and not very promising (I know, easy to say know right?). This is not entirely due to the way it is pitched, but more related to the target audience they were initially pursuing. Their entire pitch deck was based on the premise of advertising to college students and teachers, which doesn’t sound that enticing.
In the end, Facebook did, after all, end up incorporating ads as one of the core sources of revenue for the company, and is now an online marketing empire, so this pitch deck is a mandatory read for startups on the rise!