Mark Zuckerberg Has Clearly Grown Up

Mark Zuckerberg

Photo: Julie Bort/Business Insider

Mark Zuckerberg just blew us away on stage at TechCrunch’s Disrupt conference.Unlike the majority of his public speaking appearances, Zuckerberg didn’t look shy or hesitant about being on stage. He was on the edge of his seat and speaking a million miles an hour.

He was refreshingly forthright about matters like how the stock price affected employee morale. He skipped the canned talking points he’s used in the past and acknowledged the obvious: It wasn’t great, but given how Facebook rewards employees, it didn’t matter as much as people might think.

And yes, employees join companies like Facebook because they like its social mission and because they want to make, in Zuckerberg’s words, “a bunch of money.”

That’s Zuckerberg getting real.

He was also realistically self-critical when it came to Facebook’s products, particularly its mobile ones. And he explained why Facebook has been so slow to get going in mobile.

The explanation was clear and logical: Facebook bet heavily on a technical strategy—building mobile versions of its website rather than native smartphone apps—that just wasn’t the right one for the time.

Now Facebook is building proper apps for Apple’s mobile operating system and Google’s Android, and Zuckerberg sounds bullish on the efforts.

If Facebook gets those native apps right, mobile should be a plus for Facebook’s business, not a minus.

This is all investors have really wanted to hear: How’s it going? What are the problems? What are the opportunities?

And today they heard it directly from the CEO of the company.

Well done, Mark!

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