Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, joined Michael Arrington, founder of TechCrunch, on stage for an interview at TechCrunch Disrupt. There, they began an impassioned discussion about Facebook, companies, and internet
The duo kicked off with how Facebook has been doing for the last year and Zuckerberg’s plans for the next few years. Zuckerberg said that Facebook had hit 1 billion users—that’s an astounding seventh of the world. From here, he plans to focus on retooling the company, especially by focusing on the mobile platform. Perhaps this is so, because of the results he saw from Facebook’s mobile experience—the mobile platform brought in 0% revenue last year, but soared to 40% of Facebook’s revenue this year.
In order to move forward with his plan to build core platforms for others to use, Zuckerberg will use a 3 step plan: build, grow, and monetize. The build aspect refers to how convenient the platform is for developers; they only need to create an app and just require a sign-in without worrying about things like server costs. The second step, growing, is about getting more developers to use the facebook platform. This already is successful on desktops and, looking at the trend, will possibly bring more to Facebook’s platform.
Asking one of his signature questions at the event, Arrington picked at Zuckerberg’s brain for who he thought should be the new CEO of Microsoft. Zuckerberg mentioned that Bill Gates was his childhood hero and that he “is the most mission driven person ever.” He commented that Microsoft “is a company that defines itself by making a concrete change in the world” and that Microsoft has simply just “lost its focus.”
Staying on the matter of “company,” Arrington asked Zuckerberg on his company value, “move fast.” Zuckerberg retorted by saying that “a good value is one that is controversial.” He then elaborated that they want to optimize learning the most, initially, and perfecting the product later on. In this manner, “it allows [them] to build a lot of infrastructure.” Though, it doesn’t mean that this is the only way to do things—Apple is a prime example of a company that does the opposite. The overall goal is “to be 1 or 2 clicks ahead of everyone else.”
The final major topic of the interview delved into the internet and its penetration throughout the world. What brought about this topic was Arrington’s asking Zuckerberg about the people’s “right to privacy versus the government.” Zuckerberg believes that his job and other companies’ jobs are to protect the privacy of their consumers and that the government “blew it” when it came to balancing the protection of people’s freedoms and safety. To close the issue of government requests, Zuckerberg stated that he tries his hardest to increase transparency of the government. “People deserve to know that the government is making 1000—9000 requests in the past year.
Zuckerberg concluded with his excitement of the internet.org project. He commented on how startling it is that only one third of the world has internet with a growth of less than 10% a year. The goal of getting internet to the world will help to connect everyone to each other. To do so, the problem that needs to be overcome is the reduction of the amount of data used by phones as well decreasing the cost of data.
Zuckerberg definitely crammed a lot of ideas in the short time he had with Arrington, but will they be realized in the expected 5 to 10 years coming?