Zuckerberg’s partner quits to form ‘Facebook for business’

6 Oct 2008

Shortly after expanding to open European headquarters here in Dublin, social networking site Facebook has lost one of its co-founders, Dustin Moskovitz, and also one of its top engineers, Justin Rosenstein, who was originally headhunted from Google over a year ago where he was a product manager.

Moskovitz and Rosenstein have both left to work on a joint venture that looks like it may be software as a service combined with social networking elements for business, and plan to start a new company where they will “build an extensible enterprise productivity suite, along with a high-level, open-source software development toolkit, built for the web from the ground up,” according to Rosenstein in a goodbye note on his Facebook page.

Rosenstein said that the new venture evolved during his time at Facebook, when Moskovitz and himself had looked into building the product there.

“Efficiency-through-software was dear to his (Moskovitz’s) heart as well, and we would stay up ’til 3am raving about how shortcut keys and high-level abstractions would change the world. We shared a passion for technology, for entrepreneurship, and for using them to solve the same set of problems,” he added.

A year previously, in an interview with www.insidefacebook.com, Rosenstein had raved about his move to Facebook and how ideal it was as a work environment, but explained that this move was part of the entrepreneur bug that has never gone away during his time with both the social networking site and with Google.

He went on to say that the new products being developed by the two ex-Facebook employees will “become to your work life what Facebook.com is to your social life”, and that it will sync with Facebook Connect, using it as an optional authentication and identification tool.

“Our user interface will adopt many of Facebook’s conventions, creating a seamless and familiar experience for current Facebook users. And if our new development tools turn out to be useful, we hope the Facebook engineering team will come to adopt them.”

By Marie Boran

Pictured: will Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, face competition from co-founder’s new venture?