Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission – to make the world more open and connected.
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We are a mission-driven company. In order to do this, we have to build a great team. And in order to do that, you need people to know they can make a bunch of money. So we need a business model to make a lot of money.
I hope that Facebook and other Internet technologies were able to help people, just like we hope that we help them communicate and organize and do whatever they want to every single day, but I don’t pretend that if Facebook didn’t exist, that this wouldn’t even be possible. Of course, it would have.
Facebook is in a very different place than Apple, Google, Amazon, Samsung, and Microsoft. We are trying to build a community.
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Hackathons are these things where just all of the Facebook engineers get together and stay up all night building things. And, I mean, usually at these hackathons, I code too, just alongside everyone.
We just think that there are all these different ways that people want to share, and that compressing them all into a single blue app is not the right format of the future.
There are definitely elements of experience and stuff that someone who’s my age wouldn’t have. But there are also things that I can do that other people wouldn’t necessarily be able to.
Our role is to be a platform for making all of these apps more social, and it’s kind of an extension of what we see happening on the web, with the exception of mobile, which I think will be even more important than the web in a few years – maybe even sooner.
When we are thinking about stuff like embeds, we are not thinking about how we are competing with YouTube. We are thinking about how are we going to make it more useful for people to share stuff on Facebook.
At Facebook, we build tools to help people connect with the people they want and share what they want, and by doing this we are extending people’s capacity to build and maintain relationships.
Advertising works most effectively when it’s in line with what people are already trying to do. And people are trying to communicate in a certain way on Facebook – they share information with their friends, they learn about what their friends are doing – so there’s really a whole new opportunity for a new type of advertising model within that.
It’s really easy to have a nice philosophy about openness, but moving the world in that direction is a different thing. It requires both understanding where you want to go and being pragmatic about getting there.
We have these services that people love and that are drivers of data usage… and we want to work this out, so that way, it’s a profitable model for our partners.
There’s a level of service that we could provide when we’re just at Harvard that we can’t provide for all of the colleges, and there’s a level of service that we can provide when we’re a college network that we wouldn’t be able to provide if we went to other types of things.
Our mission is to connect every person in the world. You don’t do that by having a service people pay for.
You can use your real identity, or you can use phone numbers for something like WhatsApp, and pseudonyms for something like Instagram. But in any of those you’re not just sharing and consuming content, you are also building relationships with people and building an understanding of people.