|Forum Home > Book reviews > the Facebook effect by David KirkPatrick|
This is probably one of the few books i have felt a bit nervous about commenting on, mainly because its on social nertworking and inadvertently anything i post on it will become public knowldge on the internet one day with a click. I am one of the few people who have not yet had a facebook profile but i have certainly felt the pressure to have it since it has become so common that many times my friends don't ask for my email address but whether i am on facebook and after every conference i have attended a facebook group is created to exchange information.
Reading the inside story of Mark Zuckerberg, one can't help but admire the young 19year old who has built this worldwide phenomenon. There are a number of business lessons i have learnt from his story, which i thought would be useful for any young entrepreneurs who visit this site.
1. As in Outliers oor the making of an expert, books we have discussed before, the 10,000hour rule still applies if you want to be an expert and really good at something. Mark had designed many other sites way before he did the Facebook and he worked hard at it.
2. Continuous product innovation and improvement- if you want to stay in the game and certainly ahead of it then you need to keep improving your service and product in line with the market trends and sometimes ahead of them. Consider the way Mark introduced the newsfeed and there was an uproar on privacy issues, the photos application and amny other innovations and now its a platform that you can even use your facebook name to log onto other sites like this one. Never get satisfied with any product or service you are offering.
It is also very interesting to note that facebook was not an entirely new idea. It built on a number of other ideas and websites but they managed to make it a simple unique product that many people love.
3. Surround yourself with a team of competent people- very similar to the google story, the Mark chose his facebook team carefully, friends he could trust and other experts in their fields. Just as in the book Tribes, to be successful, you need a tribe arround you that can do well other things that you can not do. If your team can keep the company moving and can do what you do even better without you, then you are on the road to success. One of the challenges entrepreneurs face is they want to do everything themselvesand be all over the place, spreading yourself too thin and end up being ineffective in the long run. you need to learn the power of delegation and one of the true tests of leadership is also knowing when and being able to be follower sometimes.
However i am not sure if i buy in completely to Mark's belief in an open society where privacy will no longer matter so much. Certainly a more open society will probably mean more transparency and accountability in governments and other leaders. The question that has been asked and remain unanswered in the book is that, with over half a billion users, does facebook have the right to have that much information about all those people. Who should own that much amount data, or should anyone really but the person themselves? The challenge is many young people i play with on facebook don't care much about those questions or maybe they do not understand what happens to all the information and chats they do on facebook. Its almost like a little child who can do a number of thiings and be naive or not think about the consequences of their action. But is that also not taking advantage of such innocent and uniformed young people.
Anyway this is such an interesting story i would recommend all my friends to read. I will leave you with a quote from 'Tipping Point"one that Mark Zuckerberg also stuck in his office once, "Look at the world around you. With the sllightest push-in just the right place-it can be tipped." and Facebook did tip it.