There are a few other things that I built when I was at Harvard that were kind of smaller versions of Facebook. One such program was this program called Match. People could enter the different courses that they were taking, and see what other courses would be correlated with the courses they are taking.
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I just think people have a lot of fiction. But, you know, I mean, the real story of Facebook is just that we’ve worked so hard for all this time. I mean, the real story is actually probably pretty boring, right? I mean, we just sat at our computers for six years and coded.
Video is growing very quickly on Facebook. A lot of people compare that to YouTube. I think that kind of makes sense. YouTube isn’t the only video service, but I think it’s the biggest, and it probably makes more sense to compare Facebook video to YouTube rather than Netflix because that’s a completely different kind of content.
Facebook is inherently viral. There are lots of sites that include a contact importer, and for lots of them it doesn’t really make sense. For Facebook it fits so well. It wasn’t until a few years in that we started building some tools that made it easier to import friends to the site. That was a huge thing that spiked growth.
The real story of Facebook is just that we’ve worked so hard for all this time. I mean, the real story is actually probably pretty boring, right? I mean, we just sat at our computers for six years and coded.
After launching the first version of Facebook for a few thousand users, we would discuss how this should be built for the world. It wasn’t even a thought that maybe it could be us. We always thought it would be someone else doing it.
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A lot of times, I run a thought experiment: ‘If I were not at Facebook, what would I be doing to make the world more open?’
We’re a community of a billion-plus people, and the best-selling phones – apart from the iPhone – can sell 10, 20 million. If we did build a phone, we’d only reach 1 or 2 percent of our users. That doesn’t do anything awesome for us. We wanted to turn as many phones as possible into ‘Facebook phones.’ That’s what Facebook Home is.
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.
If you grew up, and you never had a computer, and you’ve never used the Internet, and someone asked you if you wanted to buy a data plan, your response would be ‘What’s a data plan, and why would I want to use this?’
I think a lot of the time there isn’t such a black-and-white difference between what’s a platform and what’s an app. It’s really just like the most important apps become platforms.
People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people – and that social norm is just something that has evolved over time.
Look at the way celebrities and politicians are using Facebook already. When Ashton Kutcher posts a video, he gets hundreds of pieces of feedback. Maybe he doesn’t have time to read them all or respond to them all, but he’s getting good feedback and getting a good sense of how people are thinking about that and maybe can respond to some of it.
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.
The amount of trust and bandwidth that you build up working with someone for five, seven, 10 years? It’s just awesome. I care about openness and connectedness in a global sense.
Facebook is in a very different place than Apple, Google, Amazon, Samsung, and Microsoft. We are trying to build a community.
The companies that work are the ones that people really care about and have a vision for the world so do something you like.
There is a huge need and a huge opportunity to get everyone in the world connected, to give everyone a voice and to help transform society for the future. The scale of the technology and infrastructure that must be built is unprecedented, and we believe this is the most important problem we can focus on.
My goal was never to just create a company. A lot of people misinterpret that, as if I don’t care about revenue or profit or any of those things. But what not being just a company means to me is not being just that – building something that actually makes a really big change in the world.
The real question for me is, do people have the tools that they need in order to make those decisions well? And I think that it’s actually really important that Facebook continually makes it easier and easier to make those decisions… If people feel like they don’t have control over how they’re sharing things, then we’re failing them.