In an interview that was widely covered on TechCrunch (and where I pulled these quotes from), Mark Zuckerberg offered some great insight into his early years in the Valley. Say what you will about the man (I’ve never seen the movie and don’t intend to), I’ve always found him to be a direct talker. People expect him to be Carol Bartz or Meg Whitman or even Jobs, but he’s a tremendous geek and not very smooth. He’s more like Bill Gates than anybody else. However, he applies the same level of transparency to his life that he expects of his userbase and for that, I do respect him. What did Zuck do yesterday? Look on his wall. What did Tom from MySpace or any other corporate celebrity do yesterday? Look at the ValleyWag rumor mill.
He had some good advice how to guide on how to handle acquisition offers, and gave interesting insight on how he kept his focus on building a lasting corporation despite a culture of “flipping companies”.
We really had one phase of this and the only reason why its’ this big story that everyone knows about us turning down a lot of money is because I messed up the process. It’s one of the biggest management mistakes I made through Facebook’s whole history. I learned a lot about the team at that time, and ended turning over a lot of that same team. I wasn’t in it for the acquisitions, and I wanted people around me who were in it for the long-term.
He also had this:
Once you have a product that you are happy with, you need to centralize things to continue growth.
So the fastest-rising (and most enduring) star of Silicon Valley tells us to focus on the long-term and build a culture of stability within your startup. Very, very wise words.