Zuckerberg: “We don’t focus on optimising the revenue”


Can’t make it to Web 2.0? Neither can we. Luckily there’s no shortage of frame-by-frame coverage: We like the comprehensiveness of Barron’s Eric Savitz and the gut-punch style of Valleywag. We’re also pleased to provide some Gotham perspective via Alberto Escarlate, CTO at Flatiron-based Entertainment Media Works. You can also read his posts at his blog.

A Conversation with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg

I watched John Battelle interview Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg while sitting two rows behind (MySpace marketing chief) Shawn Gold and other folks from MySpace, hoping to gauge their reactions. They didn’t jump out of their seats, but then again Mark (wearing his standard adidas) ducked some of the direct questions from Batelle. Some of their discussion:

Financing: Going well, almost done

How he spends his day:
Some time on corporate development, no time on financing, some time on hiring, no time working on FB’s revenue model. Most of time is spent on product development. “We don’t focus on optimising the revenue.”

Hiring Process:
Facebook has 300 employees (all with equity) and will have 700 in a year. All hires are found through referrals and networking…

Social graph“:
A set of connections that everyone has in the world. FB is trying to map the real world graph and overlay a series of application on top of that model.

“It was a vision from very early in the company. It’s been incredibly humbling to see the platform ramping up so fast.” When asked about the silly applications that dominate Facebook, he said it’s still very early but the growth is fast: 6,000 apps and 100,000 developers. He’d like to see apps developed on health, personal application.

Developers Terms of Service:
“The intent is not to go around and yank apps.” The TOS was created to allow the platform to have flexibility to evolve in the future. News feeds is only more than a year-old; the platform will be always evolving. There are plans to allow creation of group applications further down the road.

An App Facebook Is Creating For Itself: More sophisticated ads, coming soon.

Will FB Create A Media Business Or Media Apps?
Batelle asked: “And media?. Mark: “We’re not a media company””

The ad deal with Microsoft:

“I think we’re both happy…I’m pretty sure.”

Mark said that people are getting used to exposing their data. Kids today are more comfortable sharing their personal data than we were years ago. “If they have control at a very granular level the system works better cause there’s more information to be shared.”

Allowing users to export their data from FB:
“It’s the user’s data; we want to get there. We realise it’s a flaw in the system. But I don’t know when this will happen.”

Time to bring a grown up to run the company?
No comment. “We’re just building a great team”