Straight talk from Mark Zuckerberg
Undoubtedly, Mark Zuckerberg is one of the most inspiring young leaders of our time, here are some of the “not to be missed” points from his talk at TC Disrupt here in San Francisco.
A lot of things always change around you when you are running a company. I think it’s my job to keep us centred on what matters. Different companies focus on different things; some obsesses around their way of doing stuff. You hear stories about them, like back then about HP, and the HP way of doing things.
For us, we are singularly focussed on our mission to connect everyone in the world and give people the tools to share whatever they want; and that’s been this unifying thing for us, as along as we have been around. The story of Facebook has really been about this. We started in one college, then we spread, and have been growing since then. The reason has been that we cared more than anyone about this mission of connecting the world.
Next 5 billion
Now that we have connected 1 billion people, we are retooling the company in serious ways and take on this harder problem, this mission of connecting the next 5 billion people in the world (lot of these people do not have Internet access), and take on a roadmap where we try and understand everything in the world, play a role in helping people build companies, get a job, and build knowledge economies. We are very proud of the work that we do. There are 1.15 billion people on Facebook currently. And 699 million are active users daily.
The IPO (initial public offering) process has made the company a lot stronger. The process to lead up to an IPO makes you understand everything about the company inside out. The work that we did to take us to public really took us to the next level.
Stay focused on doing the right stuff, and it might take the market some time to catch up. Last year, we focused on mobile, and we made no revenue. This year, 40 percent of the revenue has come from mobile. We focused on getting the right experience on mobile first, and we did things in the right order.
How our brain is wired
When I started Facebook, I felt this void in the way we developed technology. As people, our whole brain is wired towards communicating with other people, and a part of our brain is focussed on seeing these micro expressions and thought processes, emotions from other people. And the way we built software and services didn’t reflect that at all. Every year I take on a challenge. This year, my challenge is to meet a new person outside of Facebook every day.
Early social networks tried to do everything themselves, and one thing we realised early is that no one company can do everything themselves. Instead, we should focus on doing a few of the core things and build platform that helps other companies build great apps. Three pillars of our platform strategy, therefore, are: Build, Grow, and Monetise. If we can help people build, grow, and monetise their social apps which are more human, then I will feel real good.
Peers in the tech industry deeply care about the world, and I am proud of my colleagues in the industry who have joined in supporting the immigration cause. We are going to push on this and we are going to push to get full comprehensive work to be done on this. It’s not about hiring great folks; it’s about the right thing.
When I was growing up, Bill Gates was my hero. Bill Gates ran one of the most mission-driven companies that I could think of. Right now, Microsoft’s mission is less focussed than it used to be, which was to have a computer on every desk, office and home. Microsoft did that concrete change in the world. Bill Gates is one of the greatest visionaries that our country has ever had.
I think moving fast is good. Moving fast is what people naturally disagree with, and it gets us in tons of trouble too. What I mean by moving fast is that I want to empower people in Facebook to try things out. And I don’t demand that every iteration of what we release is perfect, but what I want to optimise for is learning the most and coming with the best product 3, 5, 7 years from now, by iterating quickly, getting the feedback, learning and iterating in the process. Some companies will never agree with this, like Apple will never come out with anything that is not perfect. I am not a very good liar.
I am an optimist. I think you have to be one, to be an entrepreneur.
While you build your entrepreneurial story, we at YourStory hope that some of these pointers from Mark Zuckerberg will be good food for thought in your journey.