The fight to get a piece of Facebook early on was a brutally intense scramble among many well-moneyed venture capitalists and media executives, according to recently published excerpts from "The Facebook Effect," an upcoming book about the rise of the massive social network by Fortune magazine contributor David Kirkpatrick.
So intense, in fact, that a dilemma over which route to take reportedly left Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg crying on the floor of a Palo Alto restaurant's bathroom one evening in the spring of 2005.
The issue at hand was that Accel Partners' Jim Breyer's firm wanted to invest $10 million in Facebook at an $80 million valuation. Zuckerberg, meanwhile, had tentatively already agreed to accept a far less lucrative offer from The Washington Post Company, whose CEO Donald Graham was a personal friend of Zuckerberg's. Zuckerberg stopped and accepted the Accel Partners offer. Graham eventually was given a seat on Facebook's board of directors late in 2008.
For more on this story, read Facebook's early VC feeding frenzy exposed on CNET News.