CEOs sometimes use literature to pass wisdom on to employees. Square CEO Jack Dorsey, for example, gives every person he hires a copy of Atul Gawande’s “The Checklist Manifesto: How To Get Things Right.” It’s a book about how a simple checklist can help people manage complex situations.
Mark Zuckerberg pays close attention to details and likes his products to be perfect. One early employee says Zuckerberg gave him a Hanukkah present one year to make a point that even things like punctuation are critical to the success of a business.
The gift Zuckerberg gave the employee, Noah Kagan, was a famous grammar book by Strunk & White called “Elements of Style.”
Kagain writes about the gift and the reasoning behind it in an ebook about Facebook:
There was a common thread weaved throughout the way things were done [at early Facebook]: an unbreakable set of “laws.” I still vividly remember these six laws…[One was]
Fix it…NOW! Periods and commas are everything! Attention to detail, grammar and ease of use are the most critical things on the site. I even got an early Hanukkah present from Mark, the book Elements of Style by Strunk and White.
Zuckerberg allegedly gave Kagan, who served as an early product manager for Facebook, the gift with a Star Wars-adopted quote:
“The product is strong with this one. Now learn some grammer [sic].”
Funny enough, Zuckerberg appears to have spelled “grammar” wrong.
Here’s a picture of the gift from Kagan’s blog, OkDork:
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