Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook's mission and his advice to Twitter

Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook's mission and his advice to Twitter
Just ahead of Mark Zuckerberg's interview with Michael Arrington at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2013, Facebook's stock closed at an all-time high of $45.05.

Understandably vindicated after the turnaround of his company's dismal stock market performance since its IPO on May 18, 2012, the Facebook co-founder and CEO had a lot to say at the interview, speaking on topics ranging from his experience taking the company public, Facebook's mission, the 1 billion user milestone, advice to Twitter for its upcoming public offering, and his childhood hero, Bill Gates.

Facebook's mission
(This has) been an interesting year. A lot of things always change around you. I tend to think that it's my job to keep us centred on what matters. Different companies focus on different things, you know, there companies are really obsessed with their way of doing stuff. You hear about the HP way of doing things. For us, we are really singularly focused on this mission. We want to connect everyone in the world and give people the tools to share whatever they want. That's been the unifying theme for us for as long as we've been around. (Source)

Zuckerberg on the Facebook IPO
I'm probably the person you'd want to ask last about how to make a smooth IPO. But seriously, it's actually a valuable process. Having gone through, what I think most people would characterise as an extremely turbulent first year for our company, I can tell you that I was really worried that people would leave the company and people would get demoralised as the stock price would go down, but people were really focused on the mission. ... I actually think that it's made our company a lot stronger. (Source)

Advice to Twitter on its IPO
I've been very outspoken about staying private as long as possible. But in retrospect, I was too afraid of going public. I don't think it's necessary to do that... As long as Twitter... focuses on what they're doing, I think it's wonderful, it's great. (Source)

On Facebook's controversial "Move fast and break things" culture
I'm of the belief that values are only useful when they're controversial. There are companies that write all these value statements that I think are kind of meaningless because they're saying the same stuff. People are saying "be honest," and it's like, of course you're going to be honest. That's not a choice, that's a value, you have to be honest. Go home if you're not honest. Move fast is good because it's something that people passionately disagree with. ... What I really mean by move fast is I want to empower people to try things out and I don't command that every iteration of what we release is perfect. What I optimise for is learning the most and having the best products 3, 5, 7 years from now. (Source)

Who should be the next Microsoft CEO
I can tell you what I hope. There are probably a lot of people who can run Microsoft and do a good job. When I was growing up, Bill Gates was my hero. Bill Gates ran one of the most mission driven companies that I can think of. Right now, I think Microsoft's mission is less-focused than it used be. But when I was growing up, I thought Microsoft had a great mission - put a computer on every desktop and every home. There are companies that define themselves by a way of doing things, like HP, and there are companies that define themselves by making a concrete change in the world. Microsoft did that. I have a huge amount of respect for him for pushing them to do that... I think he's one of the greatest visionaries our industry has ever had. (Source)

1 billion user milestone and
For a while, as a company, getting to a billion people was this big rallying cry. We started looking closer into it and it became apparent that it's not like we wake up and say, "OK, I want to get one-seventh of the world to do something." It's a nice round number and it happens to be bigger than anything else we've built. A billion isn't like a magical number. So now, as we've approached and passed it, the focus is retooling and you are going to see us retooling the company in a lot of ways to go take on a lot of harder problems that fulfil this mission [connecting people]. For example, connecting the next five billion people - it's going to be really hard, because a lot of them don't have internet access. (Source)

Check out the entire interview here:


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