In a wide-ranging interview with TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington Wednesday at Disrupt in San Francisco, Facebook CEO and Co-Founder Mark Zuckerberg talked about how going public made the company stronger, how Facebook is still focused on Home, and criticized the U.S. government for its handling of the National Security Agency leaks.
[contextly_sidebar id=”d158fd61b4c722d1ea3f5c3b85387637″]Here are excerpts from the interview:
Zuckerberg on this year at Facebook
It’s been an interesting year. A lot of things always change around you. I tend to think that it’s my job to keep us centered on what matters. Different companies focus on different things, you know, there companies are really obsessed with their way of doing stuff. You hear about the HP way of doing things. For us, we are really singularly focused on this mission. We want to connect everyone in the world and give people the tools to share whatever they want. That’s been the unifying theme for us for as long as we’ve been around.
On the 1 billion user milestone and Internet.org
For a while, as a company, getting to a billion people was this big rallying cry. We started looking closer into it and it became apparent that it’s not like we wake up and say, “OK, I want to get one-seventh of the world to do something.” It’s a nice round number and it happens to be bigger than anything else we’ve built. A billion isn’t like a magical number. But now, as we’ve approached that and passed that, the focus is retooling and retooling the company to go take on a lot of harder problems the world is facing.
On Facebook’s IPO
I’m probably the person you’d want to ask last about how to make a smooth IPO. But seriously, it’s actually a valuable process. Having gone through, what I think most people would characterize as an extremely turbulent first year for our company, I can tell you that I was really worried that people would leave the company and people would get demoralized as the stock price would go down, but people were really focused on the mission. … I actually think that it’s made our company a lot stronger.
On the “move fast and break things” culture at Facebook
I’m of the belief that values are only useful when they’re controversial. There are companies that write all these value statements that I think are kind of meaningless because they’re saying the same stuff. People are saying “be honest,” and it’s like, of course you’re going to be honest. That’s not a choice, that’s a value, you have to be honest. Go home if you’re not honest. Move fast is good because it’s something that people passionately disagree with. … What I really mean by move fast is I want to empower people to try things out and I don’t command that every iteration of what we release is perfect. What I optimize for is learning the most and having the best products 3, 5, 7 years from now.
More highlights of Zuckerberg’s fireside chat will run on Inside Facebook Thursday.