Masters of Scale: Mark Zuckerberg Podcast Notes

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ABOUT MARK ZUCKERBERG

Mark Zuckerberg (@zuck) is an Internet Entrepreneur and Philanthropist known as the founder of Facebook, Inc. He initially built Facebook as a social networking site for Harvard students to connect with each other. However, Facebook expanded to other colleges and was soon launched to the world.

In 2012, Facebook held the biggest Initial Public Offering (IPO) in technology with a peak market capitalization of over $104 billion. Zuckerberg serves as the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and controlling shareholder of Facebook.

On Masters of Scale Episode 4, Reid Hoffman chats with Mark Zuckerberg to understand his journey and how Facebook evolved from the dorm rooms into one of the biggest technology companies in the world.

LESSON LEARNT

Do not be afraid to launch a product to the market before it is perfect. Launch it to the market and find the preference of the audience and make it better. It is almost always bad to work on a product until you fell it is perfect for the launch.

REID HOFFMAN QUOTES

  • “When it comes to launching a product, imperfect is perfect.”
  • “If you’re not embarrassed by your first product release, you’ve released it too late.”
  • “Release. Observe. React. Over and over again.”

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Mark Zuckerberg was creating computer games growing up and created a Snowball Fight game to play with his sisters
  • His father was a dentist who had his office connected to his home. Zuckerberg built a network called ‘ZuckNet’ for his father to connect with other dentists to share information across rooms and to also connect with Zuckerberg and his sisters.
  • At Harvard University, he took a class called ‘Rome of Augustus’ and had a final exam where an art piece from the Augustan period would be shown to the students and they would have to write an essay on the historical significance of it. He was clearly not prepared and was coding for Facebook during the time. Two days before the exam, he created a service where a random piece of art from the Augustan era would be displayed and a student could type the context he/she thought was relevant and after that, the service displayed what other students thought of the art piece. This crowdsourced tool served as a study tool and helped students ace the exams.
  • Zuckerberg created a tool called CourseMatch which showed the names of students enrolled for individual courses that helped others pick their courses
  • He also created Facemash that let students pick the best-looking person from a choice of photos. He built it for fun.
  • Facebook was launched in the dormitory room of Zuckerberg as a way for Harvard students to connect with each other
  • Facebook quickly spread to other colleges and Zuckerberg was regularly receiving requests for adding more colleges to the network
  • Mark Zuckerberg and Dustin Moskovitz moved to Silicon Valley for a summer break after the Sophomore year to work on Facebook
  • Peter Thiel led the first round of investment for Facebook and Zuckerberg decided to stay back in Silicon Valley to scale the growing company
  • Facebook’s initial mantra was ‘Move fast and break things’.
  • Facebook later changed the mantra to ‘Move fast with stable infrastructure’ since the cost of breaking things was becoming too much to bear that it was hindering the progress.
  • At any given time, Facebook has around 10,000 instances of Facebook running and an engineer at Facebook who wants to test some new features for a particular section of the audience can do so without any interference and can present the findings to his/her manager and decide if it is worth exploring in the direction.

FACEBOOK’S GROWTH TIMELINE

2005 – Launched in 2000 Colleges in the United States

2006 – Mark Zuckerberg turns down a Billion dollar offer from Yahoo

2006 – A $15 Billion offer was denied by Zuckerberg

2008 – Sheryl Sandberg is hired as the Chief Operating Officer (COO)

2009 – Facebook turns profitable

2012 – Facebook holds its Initial Public Offering (IPO)

2015 – Facebook logs 1 Billion active users

PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THE EPISODE

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