‘New York’ Cover: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

By Julie D. Andrews 

We admit to going ape-wild at the sight of our belovedly snarky, smart, sharp New York magazine taking a stab at telling the story of Mark Zuckerberg’s transcendence as boy-man co-founder and chief executive officer of the company he started and wrote the initial code for in 2005.

Now that the company is valued at around $86 billion, making his lion’s share some $25 billion, the article takes a look at his eight years spent growing into the role at the top. It’s a long read, but a worthwhile endeavor, so grab yourself a coffee and dig in. Bring a pen — you’ll want to highlight.

Among the myriad management structural points made throughout the six-page article, this is one that quickly leapt to the fore of noteworthy observations: Facebook has operated on a “move fast and break things” philosophy, reports Henry Blodget. And perhaps that has made all the difference. The social network has not wasted time and/or resources assembling market research groups. It rolls out products and allows its users to judge and review them.

As Blodget writes of Zuckerberg:

It’s the last crucial part of his natural feel for the tech business, and it’s been critical to the company’s success.

And Facebook listens to its users, often willing to make suggested modifications to new products and even creating new products based on user requests.

See, Zuckerberg did not want to muck up his social network with gaudy ads. He wanted to focus on the product and keeping the users happy. This was the core that grew stronger every day. He wanted to avoid the pitfalls that befell others such as MySpace. Blodget wrote:

MySpace cluttered its pages with ads and underinvested in product development, becoming an ad-choked cesspool.

The sleekness and user-friendliness Zuckerberg aims to maintain is rather reminiscent of late Apple CEO Steve Jobs, no?

Other industries could learn from the constant releasing, seeking feedback, and evolving and changing model set by the social network and the enterprising tech industry in general.

Just do it: Action is better than nonaction. So perhaps other social networks would do well to just put new products out there and respond to what happens as a result of that action.

There are a whole slew of other ideas swirling around this article. So, dig in now. Find yourself some nuggets.