Mark Zuckerberg: Steve Jobs, girlfriend inspired organ donor tool

Summary:Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg says his girlfriend Priscilla Chan inspired him to create the organ donation tool. The story of Apple co-founder and late CEO Steve Jobs further helped.

Facebook today launched a new feature that lets you add whether you are an organ donor to your Timeline and share your story about when, where, or why you decided to become one. It turns out that the idea came not from Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself, but thanks to conversations he had at the dinner table with Priscilla Chan, his girlfriend, who happens to be a medical science student.

"She's in medical school now," Zuckerberg told ABC News. "She's going to be a pediatrician, so our dinner conversations are often about Facebook and the kids that she's meeting."

She told him stories about patients she meets "getting sicker as they don't have the organ that they need" as well stories of children who ultimately received transplants, which Zuckerberg called "unbelievable." The seed was planted and Zuckerberg began formulating the feature in his head.

Zuckerberg also said referred to his friendship with Apple co-founder and late CEO Steve Jobs, whose life was extended by years following a liver transplant. He explained that while he never talked with Jobs specifically about a Facebook organ donation tool, he said many of the people involved in the project were inspired after Jobs' death.

"That definitely, I think, was something that we all had in mind as we were building this out," Zuckerberg said. "His story is just one of many, of people who both were able to have an organ transplant that made his life longer and he was extremely thankful for that."

See also:

Topics: Apple, Social Enterprise

About

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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