With Facebook in the business news for all the wrong reasons, a cratering share price, slowing user growth and so on it is useful to think about exactly what type of culture Mark Zuckerberg has created.
In a recent letter to shareholders he made his position clear:
“Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission — to make the world more open and connected.”
This is an inspiring larger than life vision, its not about making money, its about something that will motivate employees everyday they come to work.
Most great people care primarily about building and being a part of great things, but they also want to make money. Through the process of building a team — and also building a developer community, advertising market and investor base — I’ve developed a deep appreciation for how building a strong company with a strong economic engine and strong growth can be the best way to align many people to solve important problems.
Simply put: we don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services. And we think this is a good way to build something.
This last sentence is particularly telling for me. This is the essence of a customer culture. It starts with creating value, creating services that solve problems for people. If you can do this well then money should follow as a result of creating value people will pay for.
By focusing on our mission and building great services, we believe we will create the most value for our shareholders and partners over the long term — and this in turn will enable us to keep attracting the best people and building more great services.
Here is the long term perspective I mentioned in my previous post. By not taking short cuts to boost short term profitability Facebook can take a balanced approach to investing in people, customers and provide returns for investors over time.
Although Facebook are currently not in our Market Responsiveness Index (MRI) database, I would expect them to be strong in all 7 of the customer culture disciplines we measure.
Its current challenges are the short term pain associated with becoming a public company. If it remains focused on creating maximum value for customers it will continue to be relevant and profitably long into the future.
What’s your take on the Facebook culture?