Everyone makes mistakes, and Mark Zuckerberg isn’t afraid to admit some of his own, such as the late realisation that virtual reality was worth investing in.
In an interview with Sam Altman, president of Y Combinator, Zuckerberg discussed Facebook’s $2 billion acquisition of Oculus back in 2014, noting that having to spend that amount of money on a company to get into the space instead of having the foresight to build out a team in-house early on was an oversight. However, he says these kinds of big moves are not only unavoidable, but necessary.
“We bought the Oculus team for a lot of money,” Zuckerberg said. “I actually view that as, you know, if we’d done a better job of building up some of the expertise to do some of that stuff internally, then maybe we wouldn’t have had to do that.”
But, Zuckerberg points out that once he had the realisation that virtual reality technology was worth investing in, buying the leading company in the space, rather than developing something in-house, was the only way to go.
“The Oculus team is by far the most talented team working on that problem, so it just made sense to go make this big move,” he added.
It’s important to note that Zuckerberg doesn’t view Facebook’s purchase of Oculus as a mistake, but rather an expensive solution to the company’s desire to get into VR.
“As a CEO, it’s your job to not get into a position where you need to be doing these crazy things,” Zuckerberg said. “Of course, it’s inevitable, over a period of doing stuff, you can’t be ahead of everything. So, it’s better to make big moves and be willing to do that than have pride and not do that and never admit that you could have done something better in the past.”
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