Hacking is the way ahead, for Facebook at least, which company other would have hacked the NASDAQ button to add an event on Mark Zuckerburg’s Timeline that read, “Mark Zuckerburg listed a Company on NASDAQ”.
One of the Facebook engineers turned NASDAQ button to his B*tch to automatically postÂ “Mark Zuckerberg has listed a company on NASDAQ â€“ FB” to the CEO’s Timeline as heÂ rung the bellÂ to open the NASDAQ’s day of trading.
Here is how, David Garcia, a senior software engineer at Facebook, Open-graphed NASDAQ in just 3 days.
It was 14th May 2012, the last Monday before Facebook could go Public, a normal day in a life of a Facebooker, when suddenly during lunch an idea stuck, howÂ awesome would it be if the second Mark rang the bell a story would post to his timeline to let his friends and subscribers know.
And then the quest of Hack the NASDAQ button began.
I was so excited about this idea that when I got back to my desk, I posted on Facebook: “We should totally hack the button so it pushes an open graph action, “Mark Rang the NASDAQ bell”, said David.
The first person to comment? Zuck: “It would be epic if you pulled that off.”
I got to work that night.
The Solution: Connect the NASDAQ button to a Mobile phone logged into Facebook to generate an OPEN GRAPH Action, sounds simple, implementing it would be tough.
Hack the headphones of the Mobile Phone
Just like you use a headphone to play and pause music, the button needed to be hacked to have publish an action on Facebook. A Soldering Iron was what did the trick, so the trigger was read.
Hack the NASDAQ Button
By the time NASDAQ arrived on Wednesday, a few engineers rushed there and checked the button, NASDAQ also provided it’s support under one condition: “DO NOT BREAK IT.”
As we unscrewed the cover and poked around inside, we discovered that it looked quite different from what we were expecting. While the system wasn’t too complicated (a touch pad, a light, and grey box containing some relays connecting to the power supply), our hack was going to prove a bit of a challenge. We plied open the gray box to test the various circuits and figure out exactly how they worked. After some delicate tests with a voltmeter, we came up with a solution.
A couple of us then headed off to Radio Shack to pick up a couple relays, capacitors, and resistors. A couple of hours later, we had built our hack. The finished product wasn’t exactly the prettiest thing, but hacks aren’t supposed to be. They’re just supposed to work.
We ran back to the conference room with the button to make sure it did.
We hooked up our hack to run at exactly the same time as Mark pushed the button to turn on the light and ring the bell. Then we attached a wire that hooks to the hack and into the headset jack of a cell phone. When the button was pressed, it sent a signal through the hack, and the phone got the signal that triggered the custom action through our Open Graph API, posting a story onto Mark’s Timeline. It worked,Â Said one of the Engineers.
“Mark listed a company on NASDAQ â€“ FB â€“Â with Chris Cox (VP of Product) and 4 others [Sheryl Sandberg (COO), David Ebersman (CFO), Cipora Herman (Treasurer), and Dave Kling (Deputy General Counsel)”
In less than 3 days, an idea became reality, something that would be seen by people all around the world. All in all, a normal day at Facebook.