Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and CEO: What to know

Mark Zuckerberg turns 36: 10 lessons to learn from founder

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and CEO: What to know

Mark Elliot Zuckerberg, founder, and CEO of the world’s largest social network turns 36 today. Happy birthday, Mark from Silicon Canals and team! 

Born in 1984 in White Plains, New York, Zuckerberg launched “” in the room of Kirkland House at Harvard University, when he was 19-years old (2004) along with college roommates Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes. And that’s how it all started. Since then, Mark Zuckerberg has faced several accolades, appreciation, accusations, and controversies. 

One of the attributes that separate a great leader from others is the ability to single out the focus on what is important. This is what Mark is all about.

Over the years he has established himself not only as a successful businessman but as a great leader who can influence others to achieve the collective goal as well. For any budding entrepreneur, this is a good lesson to learn.

It’s worth mentioning that, as of March 2020, his net worth is estimated to be nearly $54 billion.

Mark Zuckerberg has certainly built an impressive organisation, and there is a lot that leaders can learn from this social media mogul. Here’re some of the lessons that could help young entrepreneurs survive in the entrepreneurial world.

Be passionate about what you do!

One of the common traits in most of the successful entrepreneurs across the globe is that they are passionate about what they do. “Find that thing you are super passionate about” advised Mark Zuckerberg.

Interestingly, Mark rejected Yahoo’s billion-dollar buyfer at the early stage. His passion for enabled him to overcome obstacles and innovate continuously.

Passion is what turns an entrepreneur into a successful business leader.

Dream big and have a purpose 

Every successful company is driven by some purpose at the root of all they do. In Mark Zuckerberg’s case, ’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. Keeping the purpose in mind lets you focus on creating the best product. Also, it is important to build something that creates a positive impact as did.

Problem-solving skills!

Mark Zuckerberg’s focus has always been about solving problems and implementing new ideas. He simply didn’t accept less than what he saw perfect. This is what made one of the most successful companies in the world. 

Stay humble!

No matter the heights you reach, it is always important to be grounded and humble. As we all know, Mark Zuckerberg is one of the richest people in the world. With such riches at his disposal, he chose to stay humble.

Notably, he does not own any expensive fancy cars, rocks simple grey T-shirts (there’s a reason behind it though), and denim.

According to Mark Zuckerberg, “Helping billions of people connect is humbling and by far the thing I am most proud of my life.”

Hire the right people

It’s important to have the right people on board! Notably, has an interview process that only selects employees who are the right fit for the company. Mark’s advice for young entrepreneurs is that they should never compromise on hiring the best employees. His formula is “Be upfront about what you stand for.”

Philanthropy is important!

Successful leaders in history know the value of giving back.

Recently, the foundation established by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan has donated $25 million to the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, to help speed the development of virus treatments.

Furthermore, he has also signed the “Giving Pledge” in 2010, where he promised to donate at least 50% of his wealth to charity.  

Own up to mistakes

Right from the start, Mark Zuckerberg witnessed numerous controversies, accusations, and many more. If he makes a mistake, he owns up to it. And that’s what the greatest leaders do. Once you own up the mistake, it is important to resolve it and move on. No good things happen when you just dwell upon it. 

Focus on product

Mark Zuckerberg is utterly committed to his product “”. According to him, you should not expect positive results and success without making your product great. No matter what, it is important to understand the product and work on it. As an aspiring entrepreneur, you need to focus on customers’ wants and develop them accordingly.

Be a risk taker!

According to Mark Zuckerberg, a good CEO should take a risk, but doesn’t need to do big or crazy things too often. “In a world that’s changing so quickly, the biggest risk you can take is not taking any risk,” he said. Furthermore, Zuckerberg allows its employees to openly present their interests and take the risk. 

Have confidence

Greatest leaders in history have unshakeable self-confidence and self-belief. When Mark was a teenager, he developed a music software called ‘Synapse’. The Redmond giant Microsoft wanted to buy the software and hire him, but he rejected it. That’s some self-confidence! Never doubt your abilities and don’t let anyone ever fill you with negativity.

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Mark Zuckerberg: The Rise of the CEO of (5 P’s)

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and CEO: What to know
Startup Funding EventAug 28, 2020 · 9 min read

“Understanding people is not a waste of time.”
— Mark Zuckerberg

Your team is so crucial to the success of the company. As a leader, you’re responsible for steering everyone in the right direction. Duty calls to create a thriving work environment and to encourage all employees to produce the best work possible.

This year, celebrates its sixteenth birthday. With over 2.4 billion users, it is the largest social media platform that can be found on almost everyone’s smartphone. As it aims to connect the global population, the app has become a huge part of modern society.

Continuing the trend of successful college dropouts is Mark Zuckerberg. Dropping Harvard in his sophomore year to focus on , Zuckerberg co-founded the service along with some college mates. Today, he serves as not only the co-founder, but as its chairman, chief executive officer, and controlling shareholder.

Finding success at a very young age, the CEO became a billionaire at the age of 23 following the social network’s IPO in 2008. This move made him one of the youngest self-made billionaires of all time.

Regardless of your company size, there’s so much you can learn from this young billionaire. Let’s dive deeper into how he leads his employees and the management strategies that made him the social media juggernaut he is today.

The 5 P’s

If you’ve ever read the book Think Zuck: The Five Business Secrets of ’s Improbably Brilliant CEO Mark Zuckerberg, you would have come across the 5 P’s. Over the years, the social media magnate built his empire with a mentality that drives great leaders to build amazing businesses.

The 5 P’s described in the book are:

PASSION — Keep your energy and commitment fully charged at all times by pursuing something you believe in

Zuckerberg once explained, “The question I ask myself almost every day is ‘Am I doing the most important thing I could be doing?’”

Ever since he was a young boy, he’s always been passionate about designing programs where people got to interact with each other. This is what drove him to start .

If the work you do is something you believe in, it won’t feel work at all.

PURPOSE — Don’t just create a great product, drive a meaningful movement

Purpose goes beyond the product. In terms of , it’s not just a great product. Zuckerberg has a long-term vision that he’s driven about. He won’t stop until he’s fulfilled his purpose — which is to connect the global population through his social networking platform.

PEOPLE — Build powerful teams that can execute your vision

The third P involves all the humans that will bring you closer to your vision. You’ve got to not only hire amazing people, but also those that align with the company’s culture and vision.

You can do this by sifting through a ton of resumes and also by having a strict screening process.

Make sure that they are qualified individuals and that they share the same values to be a team player.

PRODUCT — Create a product that is innovative, that breaks all the rules, that changes everything

Having majored in Computer Science and Psychology, Zuckerberg has always had a deep understanding of the way humans technology. He prioritizes the problems of people first. In doing so, he’s been able to develop a product that fulfills the needs of its users.

More than 2 billion people around the globe are able to stay connected with each other. Moreover, they get to share updates and media with their networks. There are also many other features that Zuckerberg has developed, putting far in front of other platforms.

Here are some of the innovative features he’s added to the social networking platform that has taken it further than what it set out to be:

  • A platform for developers
  • Social Ads
  • Messenger
  • Graph Search
  • Business Manager
  • Marketplace

PARTNERSHIPS — Build powerful partnerships with people who fuel imagination and energize execution

The saying that you can’t do things alone is often true. To be able to achieve great things, you’ll need a sidekick. Look at Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak for example. Having a partner that shares the same vision as you gives you more motivation and purpose.

When it comes to Mark Zuckerberg, he’s got a great vision and tremendous creativity. But alongside Sheryl Sandberg, the Chief Operating Officer, things at have skyrocketed. A lot of its business success has been owed to Sandberg’s efforts. Although they have different strengths and weaknesses, they just seem to complement each other and it works.

As you’re moving along, always think about the right partnerships. It could be a business partner, supplier, distributor, producer, developer, or something else.

Office culture

Depending on your beliefs and interests, you’ll have to create an office culture suitable to you and your team. At , the young billionaire has a relaxed and open corporate culture that heavily emphasizes on diversity and equality. There are no physical constraints — no cubicles, no walls, just office furniture. Everything feels open.

What’s interesting is that the top guys in the company also don’t have their own offices. Zuckerberg and Sandberg occupy the same workspaces as the other employees. This emphasizes even more on his principles of openness and equality.

Outside of that, Mark also holds 1 hour Q&A sessions every Friday. It gives employees the chance to voice their opinion and feedback on work-related matters.

Giving them the freedom to be open encourages better teamwork and friendlier communication.

Another jaw-dropping factor is the dress code. In a superficial world where what you wear says a lot about you, people who work in high-level positions are often pictured wearing suits. Not at . Employees are allowed to wear T-shirts, jeans, and flip-flops to work! Besides being comfortable in whatever you want to wear, you’ll see another reason as you continue reading this.

Spend less time in the office compared to other CEOs

The social media tycoon doesn’t spend hours and hours in the office. According to some studies, working long hours can affect your productivity levels. Instead, Zuckerberg spends a lot of time pondering about connecting the global population and bringing better products to the community.

Razor-sharp focus

“Once you know what change you want to make in the world, all of the tactics and strategies for how you do that just fit into that change,” said Zuckerberg.

If you are truly passionate about something, all those ideas will transform into focus. To start with, you’ll need to find that fire that’s going to drive you to make changes.

Don’t waste time on small decisions

Connected to one of his office culture principles, you’ve probably seen the grey shirt often worn by ’s CEO. In fact, he wears the same type of shirt daily. He believes that dressing simply is not only comfortable, but it eliminates having to make small decisions.

Being so fixated on his vision, he wants to be using his energy on important decisions. Having to make fewer decisions, gives you more time to concentrate on priorities.

Be proactive, not reactive

With the way he manages his time, he tries to maximize his productivity and effectiveness. Rather than waiting for something to happen, he’d rather be proactive than reactive. When you’re reactive, you’re just waiting for something to happen. And when it does happen, it might waste your time reacting to it.

Don’t wait for something to happen. Be proactive and set out to accomplish goals each day.

Encourage your employees to correct you

A lot of CEOs might have a huge ego that intimidates their employees. But this is not the case with Zuckerberg. With the open office culture, he is not embarrassed about making mistakes and being corrected. He’d much rather have employees stand up and voice out.

That’s the whole point of being a team. If anyone in the team, including the leader, makes a mistake, he or she should be corrected.

Recognize and accept your mistake, then quickly move on

Many of the world’s most successful innovators say this as well. You’ve got to be able to fail and keep going. Don’t dwell on your mistakes. As humans, we’re bound to make mistakes. No one is perfect.

Have the courage to make mistakes because you will learn a lot from it. A lot of people play it carefully as they focus on avoiding mistakes. Living life this won’t get you your comfort zone. Playing it safe will give you fewer worries, but it will also limit your potential.

Taking calculated risks is okay

Zuckerberg has been risking it his whole life. Not many people dare to drop a great school Harvard. But he did in his sophomore year. He saw the opportunity on and prioritized it.

If you look into the other moves he made over the past few years, you’ll notice that he was not afraid of risk at all. Betting heavily on the future of going mobile, he got his company publicly listed in 2012. Not only that, but he also bought Instagram for $1 billion and WhatsApp for $19 billion. He took really big calculated risks.

Know when to say NO

As a leader, knowing when to say no is also crucial. For example, if you’re focused on something, in particular, try not to take on too many projects if you don’t have the infrastructure or resources to do so.

In Zuckerberg’s case, he was keen about venturing . But he learned his lesson. The young CEO developed a software called Wirehog. It was a service that allowed users to share media. He envisioned this service to be integrated into .

Although he was excited about this project, others opposed it. Sean Parker, who had experience working in Napster, advised him against it. However, Mark didn’t listen to anyone.

He continued developing Wirehog and it launched in November 2004. After a few months, it wasn’t working out and the young leader had to make a tough decision.

In the end, he shut down Wirehog and re-focused on building .

Acknowledge your weaknesses

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. It’s only normal. If you can identify and acknowledge your setbacks, you’ll be able to improve. As a very young CEO, Mark said this to his team:

“It may not make you comfortable to hear me saying this, but I’m sort of learning on the job here.” — Zuckerberg on his role as a CEO during the early days

Honesty and transparency are values he embraces. What is admirable is that he makes the effort to become a better leader as he learns from his experience. When he was only twenty-two and rumors were going around that would get acquired, he started going for sessions with an executive coach. This taught him how to be a stronger leader during uncertain times.

As employees started to feel restless not knowing what the future held, he also organized more meetings with everyone as well as with the executive team. From this, he learned that candor is certainly one of the most essential leadership qualities.

What the Future Holds for the CEO

As we look back to the birth of , it was a social networking platform available for only Harvard students. After 16 years in existence, it has become a global success with one-third of the world’s population. With the acquisition of WhatsApp and Instagram, Zuckerberg has become a household name in the communications industry.

“I believe the future of communication will increasingly shift to private, encrypted services where people can be confident what they say to each other stays secure and their messages and content won’t stick around forever.” — Mark’s opinion on the future

The social networking mastermind aims to get the whole world on one communication platform. As he continues working towards this, there will also be extra emphasis on privacy.

Take a look at how quickly jumped into “Stories”. Although Snapchat was the first to introduce this feature, Instagram and quickly adopted it as well. With “stories”, content only lasts for 24 hours.

People don’t always want to have content saved on their profiles.

When users know that content will automatically expire, they feel more comfortable to share. Not only that, but you have the choice to save them in your archives if you want to. This provides a glimpse into the future that perhaps content expiration will be extended to all areas of communication, including private messaging.

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