Mark Zuckerberg and what he has accomplished in launching Facebook is nothing short of miraculous. He is truly the visionary CEO of our generation.
From his dorm room at Harvard, to Silicon Valley and everything in between, he has led his social network to become not only one of the most valuable companies in the world, but a necessary means of communication.
After falling in love with the film The Social Network, I started reading a book called “The Facebook Effect” by David Kirkpatrick. It’s an incredible insight to the life of Facebook, and has actually been a career motivational tool to some extent.
Kirkpatrick brings up many topics, but I’ve found many underlying themes that I think are very important to today’s young professional.
Don’t Let Your Job get in the Way of Your Career
I think this is one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever heard. Zuckerberg’s job, in this case, was a student. He ended up dropping out of Harvard to focus full time on Facebook. However, it still took a while for Facebook to become his career. He had multiple side projects he was working on even after he was a millionaire from Facebook. His job became Facebook, but his career has always been connecting people through technology.
Don’t take your eyes off the big picture. Don’t decide on your career right after college, because chances are you’re going to change jobs a few times. Don’t get stuck doing a job you hate when you have other career aspirations.
Don’t Ever Stop Evolving and Learning
“Facebook is like fashion. Fashion is never finished, constantly evolving,” is one of my favorite quotes from The Social Network. One of the most interesting parts of the book is about the evolution of the “News Feed” feature on Facebook. I remember when it was first introduced and I hated it. So did hundreds of thousands of people who joined groups titled, “I hate the new Facebook,” or something like that.
What these people, and I, didn’t realize was that it was the evolution of the News Feed that allowed us to discover these groups in the first place. Facebook keeps being relevant because of the constant evolution.
And Zuckerberg keeps learning from Anti-Facebook groups. They revamped security features because of posts they were able to see on groups criticizing the News Feed.
Don’t Sell Out
One billion dollars. That’s what Yahoo! offered Mark for Facebook. He didn’t flinch. He doesn’t care about the money. He lived for years in a one bedroom apartment in Palo Alto with nothing but a mattress, book shelf and kitchen table. This created a huge problem with initial Facebook investors who were obviously in it for the money and would have profited massively from the sale to Yahoo!.
Zuckerberg genuinely cares about making the world more connected. His visionary quotes in this book are absolutely phenomenal, and he knows Facebook would have gone downhill under Yahoo!. His ability to turn down the money has made our connections via Facebook more valuable.
Don’t Live Multiple Lives
We all act differently around our friends, family, teachers and even online. But Zuckerberg stresses that you should only have one identity. “The days of you having a different image for your work or friends or co-workers and for other people you know are probably coming to an end pretty quickly… The level of transparency the world has now won’t support you having two identities of a person. Having multiple identities for yourself is an example of lack on integrity.”
Your parents are right when they tell you that you should delete certain Facebook photos, but just realize that you are to a certain extent creating another identity for yourself.
Mark Zuckerberg is not only one of the world’s youngest millionaire, but he is truly the visionary of our generation. He has created the world’s most popular website and he did it pretty much by himself. He’s very socially awkward, but understands online social interaction better than anyone out there. His journey with Facebook is a career model that crosses all industries, and we can all learn from this journey.