Zuckerberg Tells Investors, “We Don’t Build Services to Make Money; we make money to build better services”
Liz Gannes, AllThingsD, had an interesting article about Zuckerberg’s political vision for Facebook.
Although the average person tends to think of those who run Internet companies as somewhat anti-social geeks, I’m more often struck by their strong political views and mission. I cannot think of an example of an official corporate statement from a CEO of a traditional company that would contain the sentiments below. It goes beyond the usual corporate social responsibility mantra.
(There was also another news story that Facebook will not yet operate in China because they didn’t see how their model would work, given the political system there.)
Of course, even assuming that Zuckerberg’s intentions are as good as they sound, the question is whether the typical pressures on public companies will diminish the priority of these goals.
Highlights from Zuckerberg’s letter:
Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission — to make the world more open and connected. …
There is a huge need and a huge opportunity to get everyone in the world connected, to give everyone a voice and to help transform society for the future. The scaleof the technology and infrastructure that must be built is unprecedented, and we believe this is the most important problem we can focus on. …
We hope to change how people relate to their governments and social institutions.
We believe building tools to help people share can bring a more honest and transparent dialogue around government that could lead to more direct empowerment of people, more accountability for officials and better solutions to some of the biggest problems of our time.
By giving people the power to share, we are starting to see people make their voices heard on a different scale from what has historically been possible. These voices will increase in number and volume. They cannot be ignored. Over time, we expect governments will become more responsive to issues and concerns raised directly by all their people rather than through intermediaries controlled by a select few.
Through this process, we believe that leaders will emerge across all countries who are pro-internet and fight for the rights of their people, including the right to share what they want and the right to access all information that people want to share with them.
Finally, as more of the economy moves towards higher-quality products that are personalized, we also expect to see the emergence of new services that are social by design to address the large worldwide problems we face in job creation, education and health care. We look forward to doing what we can to help this progress.
© 2012 Norman Jacknis