The Today Show has a new interview with Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg (above). I’ve seen videos of some presentations he’s given, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen him interviewed. It turns out he avoids them in general, and really tries to keep out of the press. While talking to Matt Lauer Mark seemed somewhat nervous in parts, but he was so excited to be there, and very into his job. I found myself really liking him and wanting to give him a hug and thank him. This is a guy who loves what he does and is doing his best to roll with it. As we’ve heard, Facebook stock has taken a huge beating and people are wondering if the company is a worthy investment. Throughout the interview, Mark remained positive and upbeat, and his enthusiasm was a little infectious. He also talked about how he tries to stay out of the press, and that’s not what he’s about. He doesn’t mind when they cover him, basically, but finds it strange. He’s awesome. Here’s some of what he said:
On Facebook reaching a billion users
There’s no way when we were getting started with this I would have ever thought that, myself or any of the people around me would be able to be a part of something like this. It’s incredible.
On criticism of him staying as CEO
Well, I take the responsibility extremely seriously. And our responsibility as a company is just to do the best that we can and build the best products for people, and if we build the best products, then I think that we can continue leading in the space for a long time. That’s what we need to stay focused on… I take this responsibility that I have really seriously. Building the products and services and building the business go hand in hand.
On criticism that facebook isn’t making enough money
We are making billions of dollars, we’re a public company, so I can talk about that. But the future is really going to be about mobile and the opportunities for growth there.
On if they’ve been slow to profitability
Well, we do have the most used mobile apps. There’s 5 billion people in the world that have phones, we should be able to serve many more people and grow the user base there.
On Steve Jobs
He was just so focused, right? For him, the user experience was the main thing that mattered, the only thing that mattered. And I think there’s a lot that every company can learn from that.
On morale at Facebook
We’re obviously in a tough cycle now where — that doesn’t help morale. But at the same time, you know, people here are focused on the things that they’re building.
On why he doesn’t do a lot of interviews
I only really want to go out and talk when there’s something to say. A lot of people like being in the press all the time and that’s not me
On getting on the front page of People with his wedding photo
It’s odd. and it’s surprising. You know, it doesn’t take away from these moments. The wedding was an awesome thing. We planned — we intentionally didn’t want a lot of attention. So what we did was, my wife and I planned it as a surprise. And I sent out this e-mail to all of our friends telling them I was having a surprise party for her for graduating from medical school. It was a small wedding, 80 or so people, but it was really nice. and then people want to write about it afterwards, fine, but I wanted to make it so that we can enjoy the moment because that’s what it’s about.
On if he’s surprised at the focus on his personal life
To some extent I always get surprised when people focus on things that I think are at the margin of that…. but I try to keep everything just simple besides that. I mean, my lifestyle is extremely simple. I wear the same thing every day, right? if you could see my closet –
On loving his job
I just love what we’re doing here. it’s my — it’s the company’s mission, my life’s mission. I’m super excited about that.
This is a guy who is on top of the world. He has a $12.1 BILLION dollar net worth, and he married his college sweetheart in a small ceremony in his backyard. He didn’t buy himself a nice house until last year. This is a guy who could be high rolling it with a huge entourage, with Victoria’s Secret Models on multiple yachts with helipads, but instead he’s chilling out taking normal vacations with his wife and going to work every day. I can’t find photos of him at a single event! He loves his work, he’s genuinely excited about creating new products for people and let’s be honest – his innovation and vision have changed our lives. Not all of us use Facebook daily, but a lot of people do and it’s a great tool for keeping in touch with friends and family. I really admire this guy’s drive, and I admire how he carries himself. I just hope that it translates into better stock performance for Facebook. People are still using it constantly, there’s no better alternative (Google plus is like a dead zone), and it grows every day. I don’t see how they can’t turn it around.
Oh and I was just checking out Mark’s FB and this is his desk at Facebook HQ – in the middle of the office. He doesn’t have a big corner office or anything and is on the main floor with everyone else!