Facebook Turns Eight; Mark Zuckerberg's Six Factors for Success

Facebook on February 4 celebrated its eight birth anniversary. On February 4, 2004, the social network services was launched at Harvard University in Mark Zuckberg's dorm room.WIth over 800 million members worldwide, it's pretty amazing how Facebook has grown and changed peoples lives over the years. Even more notable is how Facebook expanded internationally, now […]

Facebook on February 4 celebrated its eight birth anniversary. On February 4, 2004, the social network services was launched at Harvard University in Mark Zuckberg's dorm room.

WIth over 800 million members worldwide, it's pretty amazing how Facebook has grown and changed peoples lives over the years. Even more notable is how Facebook expanded internationally, now available in over 70 languages, 80% of the company's monthly users are from outside the U.S. and Canada.

Facebook Turn Eight

Facebook's success has come from building a better user experience and resisting the temptation to make fast money. Indeed, the S-1 filed on February 1, featured a section titled "The Hacker Way," a declaration by Mark Zuckerberg, who wrote that the company's mantra has long been to focus on delivering features first and improving later.

Here are Zuckerberg's six ingredients for success are "ambition + vision + execution + persistence + luck + timing = success":

  1. "Ambition - When the Winklevoss twins first hired Zuckerberg to build their social networking site, he never revealed his ambitions to build his own site. It was only later - far too late for the Winklevoss - that Mark revealed his true ambition.
  2. Vision - A design glitch allowed MySpace users to customize their profiles. In Mark's case, he has had the good fortune to let Facebook's massive growth rates do the talking for him.
  3. Execution - "Stay Focused, Keep Shipping", Mark Zuckerberg
  4. Determination is the most important variable, as demonstrated by Mark through his relentless coding early on to launch Facebook to catch the Winklevoss brothers off guard; adding colleges; attacking MySpace; defending against the subsequent lawsuit from the twins; repeated encroaching into people's privacy (which remains one of Mark's Achilles heels).
  5. Luck made him run into Sean Parker, who introduced him to Peter Thiel, without whom as an ally and first outside investor it's unlikely he would have remained CEO to this day.
  6. Timing - Mark's managed the clock all along: slowing down the Winklevoss brothers; launching Facebook on Harvard first to then expand to other colleges; relocating to California; refusing Viacom and Yahoo!'s offers; closing his deal with Microsoft," Ashkan Karbasfrooshan notes.

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