• 05.13.11

The Mark Zuckerberg Booted From Facebook And Other Dot-Com-Onyms

In light of Mark S. Zuckerberg losing his Facebook page, we examine some of the regular (or not-quite-regular) folk who share names with the titans of tech innovation. Which Bill Gates–the famous billionaire, or the other one–do you think has a tougher time of it?

The Mark Zuckerberg Booted From Facebook And Other Dot-Com-Onyms

This week, Mark Zuckerberg got kicked off of Facebook. Mark S. Zuckerberg–not Mark E. Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook. Mark S. Zuckerberg is a bankruptcy attorney in Indianapolis, selected as a “Super Lawyer” for 2011 by Indianapolis Monthly Magazine. Facebook employees mistook his account for a hoax, briefly giving him the boot.


Mark Zuckerberg, the lawyer, finds all this annoying, though he concedes on his setting-the-record-straight site,, that there are “worse things.”

Mark S. Zuckerberg is not the only American who has had to contend with sharing the name of a famous technology entrepreneur. Here are a few others who are contantly having to repeat their names, follwed by the word, “really,” when they introduce themselves at parties:

Bill Gates (left) invented Microsoft. Bill Gates (right), on the other hand, is a husband and father from Arizona presiding over a now-defunct Blogspot blog. He has not publicly disclosed his profession. There is a cactus in his backyard.

Evan “Ev” Williams (@ev, left) helped invent Twitter, the micro-blogging service. Evan Williams (@evan_williams, right), by contrast, is a computer scientist from Reading, England. He once helped build a protype website for a fictional business called Modern Pie Company as a school project. “The Other Evan Williams works for no man, unless you are offering him a job, in which case it is an ideal he is willing to compromise on,” he writes on his website.

Andrew Mason (left) is the founder and CEO of Groupon, the daily deals site valued at multiple billions of dollars. Andrew “Drew” Mason (right), by contrast, is a musician from Texas and educated in Madison, Wisc., currently specializing in the genres of rap and “HomoHop.” He has a MySpace. And, apparently, a silver dookie rope.

Steve Ballmer is the CEO of Microsoft. However, he is not to be confused with Steve Ballmer, an Elder at the Northwest Community Church in Phoenix, where he lives with his wife, Rene. He has two daughters, and has oversight of the Young Adults program at the church.

Lawrence “Larry” Page (left) co-founded Google, and is now its CEO. Lawrence Page (right), meanwhile, is an attorney based in Austin, TX, focusing on commercial litigation, family law, and appellate law. He once clerked for Justice Robert Steigmann of the Fourth District Illinois Appellate Court. He enjoys cycling, swimming, and collecting swing records.


Steve Chen is one of the founders of YouTube. Steve Chen, though, is husband and father and Blogspot blog proprieter who did not co-found YouTube. His Chinese zodiac sign is the dragon, and he has been a U.S. citizen since 1976. Steve Chen writes on his blog that he guesses he looks “a little” like Steve Chen. Both Steve Chens are of Taiwanese extraction.

[Image credits: photos via links above; illustrations by Andrew Smith]

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About the author

David Zax is a contributing writer for Fast Company. His writing has appeared in many publications, including Smithsonian, Slate, Wired, and The Wall Street Journal.