Sean Parker the co-founder of the music service Napster and the former founding president of Facebook started his internet entrepreneurial days a little bit differently than most. Parker showcased himself in the tech world by hacking into computer networks and companies around the world. This led to the FBI to his front door when he was only 15. Sean was forced to do community service with other trouble makers.
During his time doing community service, Parker would meet Shawn Fanning. Together they would start a small internet-security company that helped firms get rid of hackers. This business would ultimately be unsuccessful but would create a successful friendship.
Parker’s next project put him on the map for the CIA. It earned him an internship with them and a check for $80,000. Parker would use this to convince his parents to put college on hold while he pursued yet another internet project.
Parker along with Shawn Fanning would start a file sharing service called Napster in 1999. Napster quickly became popular with music lovers. The music sharing aspect of Napster attracted tens of millions of users. This made Napster a target of the music industry which led to its fall. This would leave him without a place to live and with very little money.
Parker was saved when he noticed the new online service called Facebook. Parker saw so much potential in Facebook that he met with the founder, Mark Zuckerberg. They instantly became friends and Parker was named the company’s founding president.
Some of you may have seen the movie The Social Network and know how this story ends. But if you haven’t seen it. It does not end well. At least the Facebook part of the story. Parker had a long history of partying, which led to him being arrested for suspicion of possessing cocaine. This would be what made him leave Facebook.
Although his time at Facebook was cut short. It didn’t completely end his career. He would later help bring Spotify to the U.S. Which we all know was a massive success and still is.