While at TechCrunch Disrupt, I got the opportunity to watch the fireside chat with founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and CrunchFund founder Michael Arrington. This is the first time Zuckerberg has spoken since Facebook went public (so when Facebook went public, Facebook went private).
I have taken a few key moments out of the video for you.
In Hindsight Would You Do Anything?
We are going to do things we think to build value over the longterm. Over the next 3-5 years the biggest question on everyone’s minds is how well we do on mobile. We’ve been in this quiet period for the last 6 months since right up to we started the IPO. A lot of stuff has changed. 6 months ago on mobile, we launched our new set of apps, so we were still in a pretty bad place. Apple hadn’t announce the iOS integration and we hadn’t put a single ad on mobile, so I think it’s easy for a lot of folks to underestimate how fundamentally good mobile is for us. That’s one of the main things that I think is misunderstood.
We Make Money to Build Better Services
There is no doubt we are a mission driven company. We exist and we wake up in the morning and the thing that gets us excited is making the world more open and connected and the things we are doing to build to do that. You can’t just focus on that. Since the beginning of building Facebook, one of the core things that I’ve learned is in order to do this we have to build a great team. In order to build a great team, the best people want to work on the mission that they believe in but they also want to make a bunch of money.
In order to do that, you have to build a great business. We want to build a platform. In order to build a platform, we need to build tools that are going to make it so developers can make the things they want. In order to do that, we need to have a business model that makes them want to work with us.
Building a mission and a business go hand in hand. The primary thing that makes me excited is the mission, but I also think from the very beginning we’ve had this healthy understanding that we need to do both. That is a key understanding of the philosophy that we have.
Moral on the Stock Problem
Facebook has not been an uncontroversial company in the past. We’re used to the good and bad of the press.
What really motivates people is building something that they are proud of. That’s just not Facebook – that is universal. What resonates is I’m building something that I’m showing to my friends and family.
The Mobile Product – Is it the weakness?
We are already seeing the stats: since we did the new version of the app, we are seeing double the amount of feed stories. On monitization, I’m optimistic. Mobile is a lot closer to TV than the desktop. For the last 5-6 years, there is this ads team that is building product. We’ve built a multi-billion dollar business. On mobile, that’s clearly not the answer. There’s no room.
Each of the product teams are taking ownership. We are seeing some great mobile monitization get developed. They have to be fundimentally integrated into the product. What we are seeing is they are performing better than right column ads on the desktop.
Is Native the Way to Go – HTML5
We came to the conclusion is it wouldn’t get to the quality level that we want anytime soon. Good enough is not good enough. The only way to get there is to go native. So we said “Scrap this” but not completely. Native is going to be the approach we are going with for iOS and Android.
There is a lot more to this discussion. Check out the video and let me know what you think of the chat!