Mark Elliot Zuckerberg / b. 1984 / New York, USA / Software Developer, Entrepreneur, Co-Founder of Facebook
It is better to buy than compete.“‘It’s better to buy than compete’: The FTC is using Mark Zuckerberg’s own words against him,” Business Insider, 2008.
Understanding who you serve is always a very important problem, and it only gets harder the more people that you serve. We try to pay a lot of attention to this by a combination of very rigorous quantitative and qualitative feedback. But if you’re serving 1.2 billion people, it’s very hard.Interview with Farhad Manjoo, “Can Facebook Innovate? A Conversation With Mark Zuckerberg,” nytimes.com, April 16, 2014.
Change starts local. Even global changes start small—with people like us. In our generation, the struggle of whether we connect more, whether we achieve our biggest opportunities, comes down to this—your ability to build communities and create a world where every single person has a sense of purpose.Zuckerberg’s Commencement Address, Harvard University, Harvard Gazette, May 25, 2017.
The idea of a single eureka moment is a dangerous lie. It makes us feel inadequate since we haven’t had ours. It prevents people with seeds of good ideas from getting started.Zuckerberg’s Commencement Address, Harvard University, Harvard Gazette, May 25, 2017.
Every generation expands its definition of equality. Previous generations fought for the vote and civil rights. They had the New Deal and Great Society. Now it’s our time to define a new social contract for our generation.Zuckerberg’s Commencement Address, Harvard University, Harvard Gazette, May 25, 2017.
Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at HarvardInstant messages from 2003, reported by Business Insider, May 13, 2010.
Zuck: Just ask.
Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS.
[Name of Friend Redacted]: What? How’d you manage that one?
Zuck: People just submitted it.
Zuck: I don’t know why.
Zuck: They “trust me.”
Zuck: Dumb f***s.
I think that some decisions that we made early on to localize the website and keep it separate for each college on the network kept it really useful, because people could only see people from their local college and friends outside. That made it so people were comfortable sharing information that they probably wouldn’t otherwise, which made it useful in the long term for people to look up information about other people on the site.Interview with Bambi Francisco, Vator, YouTube, 2005.
My goal was never to make Facebook cool.“Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg First Public Q&A!,” MyNextGadget, YouTube, November 6, 2014.
We were just building stuff ’cause we thought it was cool. I do remember having these specific conversations with my friends where we thought, you know, someone is gonna build this. Someone is gonna build something that makes it so that people can stay connected with their friends and their family, but no way would we be the ones who were contributing to, kinda, leading the whole Internet in this direction.Reported by “Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook: What’s Next?,” 60 Minutes, cbsnews.com, December 1, 2010.
If you want to build a service which is not just serving rich people, then you need to have something that people can afford. . . . At Facebook, we are squarely in the camp of the companies that work hard to charge you less . . . I think it’s important that we don’t all get Stockholm syndrome and let the companies that work hard to charge you more convince you that they actually care more about you.Cited in “Mark Zuckerberg calls Tim Cook’s comments on Facebook ‘extremely glib,'” The Verge, April 2, 2018.
I want make sure that our products are used for good. At the end of the day, other people blaming us or not is actually not the thing that matters to me. It’s not that every single thing that happens on Facebook is gonna be good. This is humanity. People use tools for good and bad, but I think that we have a clear responsibility to make sure that the good is amplified and to do everything we can to mitigate the bad.Interview with Kara Swisher in “Zuckerberg: The Recode interview,” Recode website, July 18, 2018.
We understand the great arc of human history bends towards people coming together in ever greater numbers—from tribes to cities to nations—to achieve things we couldn’t on our own.Zuckerberg’s Commencement Address, Harvard University, Harvard Gazette, May 25, 2017.
Every generation has its defining works. More than 300,000 people worked to put a man on the moon—including that janitor. Millions of volunteers immunized children around the world against polio. Millions of more people built the Hoover dam and other great projects. These projects didn’t just provide purpose for the people doing those jobs, they gave our whole country a sense of pride that we could do great things.Zuckerberg’s Commencement Address, Harvard University, Harvard Gazette, May 25, 2017.
It’s not unusual for us to receive an email from somebody saying, “I spend all of my time on your website and now I have less of a social life than I had before.” We would much rather have people meet people through the website and go out and party than stay at home on a Friday night reading other people’s profiles. And it’s surprising, but we have actually received far less complaints about stalking than we otherwise would have expected.Interview, Current Magazine, November 30, 2004.
It takes courage to choose hope over fear. As I look around the world, I’m starting to see people and nations turning inward, against the idea of a connected world and a global community. The path forward is to bring people together, not push them apart. I hear fearful voices calling for building walls and distancing people they label as “others.” I hear them calling for blocking free expression, for slowing immigration, for reducing trade, and in some cases even for cutting access to the internet.Zuckerberg Keynote Address, Facebook’s F8 developers event, developers.facebook.com, April 12, 2016.
I’m Jewish, and there’s a set of people who deny that the Holocaust happened. I find that deeply offensive. But at the end of the day, I don’t believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong. I don’t think that they’re intentionally getting it wrong. It’s hard to impugn intent and to understand the intent. I just think, as abhorrent as some of those examples are, I think the reality is also that I get things wrong when I speak publicly. I’m sure you do. I’m sure a lot of leaders and public figures we respect do too, and I just don’t think that it is the right thing to say, “We’re going to take someone off the platform if they get things wrong, even multiple times.” What we will do is we’ll say, “Okay, you have your page, and if you’re not trying to organize harm against someone, or attacking someone, then you can put up that content on your page, even if people might disagree with it or find it offensive.” But that doesn’t mean that we have a responsibility to make it widely distributed in News Feed.Interview with Kara Swisher in “Zuckerberg: The Recode interview,” Recode website, July 18, 2018.
Zuckerberg on Zuckerberg
I really want to clear my life so that I have to make as [few] decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve this community.Reported by Andrew Trotman in “Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg: Why I wear the same T-shirt every day,” The Telegraph, November 7, 2014.
I think the reality is that writing code and building a product and then building a company actually is not a glamorous enough thing to make a movie about.Reported by Madeline Boardman in “Mark Zuckerberg Says The Social Network Was ‘Hurtful,’ Parts Were ‘Made Up,'” Us Weekly, November 7, 2014; regarding the movie The Social Network (2010).
The question I ask myself like almost every day is, “Am I doing the most important thing I could be doing?” . . . Unless I feel like I’m working on the most important problem that I can help with, then I’m not going to feel good about how I’m spending my time.Reported by Marcia Amidon Lusted in Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook Creator (2011).