Mark Zuckerberg is anything but an ordinary leader.
He is a change-maker, a visionary who has proven time and time again that it is possible to actualize your passion, monetize it and build something that truly adds value to the people you are serving.
Zuckerberg is today the 16th richest person in the world with a net worth of $33.3 billion. But behind his success is a story of failures, demoralizing criticism and triumphs as he built the world’s largest social networking site right from scratch.
As an entrepreneur and leader in his own right, there are great lessons to be learnt from this super-successful 30-year-old self proclaimed ‘computer geek’:
As the owner of your company, it’s easy to want to cover up your lack of expertise in some areas. Failing to identify your weaknesses can keep you from bringing in the right people to help you take your business to the next level.
Zuckerberg recognizes that he is not a businessman; much as he has the tenacity and aptitude to code and build a world-class social site, he is not an expert at financials and business models. But he knew that he had to hire the best person to ensure that the business side of his company was sustainable and competitive. He brought in Sheryl Sandberg from Google to become the Chief Operating Officer at Facebook.
With his tech skills and her business acumen, Zuckerberg and Sandberg have managed to build a company with annual revenue of $ 5.97 billion.
“A lot of people hire people who look exactly like them. Here we just value balance a lot more. It takes work to build relationships, but if it does work, you end up with a much better system.”- Mark Zuckerberg.
Zuckerberg is known for his great mission to connect the world, increase freedom and create transparency. For him, Facebook is more than just a cool social media site; his product serves a larger function. The fact that he has identified the bigger picture is what guides his company, product development and overall business.
What value is your product adding to your customers or target audience? Will you create a movement? Will the product change the way things are done for the better? What sort of impact will it have in the community? For your business to work and for you to stay on course, it’s important that you, your employees and your customers understand your grand mission.
According to Zuckerberg:
“My goal was never to just create a company. Many people misinterpret that, as if I don’t care about profit or any of those things. But what not being ‘just’ a company means is building something that actually makes a really big change in the world.”
Building a product from scratch has never been easy. It is no wonder that many start-ups or new businesses fail within the first or second year.
Zuckerberg is no stranger to failures. Although he famously started Facemash (now Facebook) from his college dormitory, he spent 6 years just coding the basic structure of the site. Up until today, he is still involved in building and improving on the platform.
To see your product to fruition, there should be no excuse for non-commitment.
“I mean, the real story is probably pretty boring, right? We just sat at our computers for six years and coded.”- Mark Zuckerberg
No product is ever fully complete. Customers’ demands and market trends change and you need to be open enough to continuously improve your product for the marketplace.
At his company, Zuckerberg encourages a culture of creativity and improvement. First, employees are encouraged to start their own side projects alongside company work. In addition to it, they are compelled to have the improvement of Facebook as a top priority.
Zuckerberg understands what he wants to accomplish with his product and he is constantly improving Facebook—from the ad platform, usability to privacy concerns—to facilitate the company’s mission.
Hackers believe that something can always be better; nothing is ever complete.” – Mark Zuckerberg.
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