“Why do you think Internet.org matters to investors?” asked a listener on the call.
“It matters to the kind of investors we want to have,” Zuckerberg said.
Internet.org isn’t a profit center for Facebook. It could eventually bring more users to Facebook, but from an investment standpoint it’s not very exciting.
But Zuckerberg’s response is a reflection of how he sees Facebook. In a letter to potential investors in Facebook’s IPO filing, he said “we don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services.”
In other words, even though Facebook is a public company, Zuckerberg’s end goal isn’t to make money. It’s to build a consistently profitable company so it can keep building services that connect people. His letter was clear that he only wants investors who are in it for the long term with him, and today’s sharp response on Facebook’s earnings call reiterated that point.
This isn’t the first time a tech CEO has balked at focusing just on making money.
Last year Apple CEO Tim Cook famously lashed out at a think tank analyst who questioned Apple’s environmental initiatives.
“If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock,” said Cook.