Facebook is only five years old, but watching its business develop every single day as we do around here, it seems a lot older — like maybe a couple decades.
And so, like a lot of people, we get impatient with Mark Zuckerberg’s deliberate pace running the startup.
When is it going to turn a profit! When it is going to IPO?
25-year-old Zuck, however, is much more patient.
In Q&A with Newsweek’s Dan Lyons, he said he tries to maintain a 10 to 20 year outlook for Facebook.
He said that’s why he OK’d Facebook’s Russian investor DST is buying out employee stock:
One of your investors is buying shares from employees—letting them cash out early. I’ve heard you were not crazy about this. Is that true?
I’m really happy that people have a chance to do this. Back in the early days I had the chance during one of our funding rounds to get a bit of liquidity. It meant that in making decisions about Facebook I didn’t have to worry about the short term. I could just work on making Facebook as good as possible, and optimise it for 10 to 20 years out. To the extent that other people have the chance to do that now, it would be a healthy thing.
You really think in terms of 10 to 20 years out?
Yes, I think this is a long-term thing. There is still a lot of growth. In all these dimensions—users, advertisers—the peak is not for a long time. A lot of that is our willingness to align incentives of everyone at the company for the long term.
Here’s what else we learned from the Q&A:
- Facebook supports languages that are spoken by 97 per cent of the world.
- Facebook has grown from “25 million users at about this time in 2007 to 250 million users just more than two years later.”
- Thre are “15 billion photos on the site, and we add a billion new photos every month.”
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