In response to a question about what he thinks has contributed most to Facebook's success, billionaire Mark Zuckerberg said, "When I look back over the last 10 years, one of the questions that I ask myself is, why were we the ones to help do this? And I think a lot of what it comes down to is, we just cared more." (Today Show)
Facebook Cared More?
Facebook's success has been extensively chronicled. Some of the most commonly mentioned reasons include:
- Execution: Lots of people had similar ideas for social networking, but Zuckerberg and company expertly executed an innovation plan that iterated rapidly through a cycle of build, measure, learn, repeat.
- MVP: They started with a simple minimum value product, then adjusted as they learned from the target market.
- Focus on the Process: The process of developing a great product was the one and only priority in the beginning. Zuckerberg is famous for having ignored potential sponsors or advertisers because of the driving desire to build demand. Only later were senior executives hired to run the business.
- Hire Well, Fire Well: Zuckerberg quickly learned that building a great product required great people--talent that was fanatical about the mission, culture, and strategies. Every leader is judged based on how they deal with the bottom 20% of employees--the Facebook team delivered.
- Innovation beats Perfection: Facebook (like Google, Apple, Amazon, Walmart, etc.) learned to keep rolling out features in a cycle of innovation rather than waiting for perfection. Client complaints are okay, if you listen, learn, and improve.
- Never Stop Innovating: Competitors are constantly improving their product/service too, so Facebook learned that if they ever stopped innovating the company would die.
- Innovate Short-Term, Build Long-Term: Great organizations are built through a shared vision that creates raving fans for decades, but they are constantly engaged in key activities that deliver a unique value proposition today and every day.