Interviewer: Hello, I am here with Mark Zuckerberg, the founder, CEO, and president of Facebook. Hello Mark.
Mark Zuckerberg: Hey!
Interviewer: So, let’s begin with some brief history, how old were you Mark, when you began programming? Who taught you how to program? Had you worked on any projects as a kid?
Mark Zuckerberg: I began to using computers when I was in early middle school. I enjoyed using them because I thought they were so fascinating by the things they could do. My first programming language that I was taught was by my father, and he taught me Atari BASIC Programming. I caught on to it really quickly and it was hard for my dad to stay ahead of me. At that point, my dad hired a professional software developer named David Newman to tutor me privately. This helped me out a lot because he knew so much and he would teach me things that I never knew were possible with a computer. While I was in high school, I began taking classes at a college near my house called Mercy College which also improved my programming skills dramatically. At that time, I would say my programming skills were very sharp and to prove that to other people I developed a program which I called “Zucknet”. What this did was, connect the computers at my house and my dad’s dental office to communicate with each other by pinging each other. It was a much simpler version on AOL’s instant messenger which eventually came out a year later.
Interviewer: Very interesting! Now let’s talk a little bit about money and how you have turned down many offers from other major companies to purchase Facebook. For example, a really old one was Yahoo in 2007 offered nearly $1 Billion and I know now that the company is worth much more but is Facebook staying independent still the plan?
Mark Zuckerberg: Yes, for sure it always has been and I think it always will be. Right now as a company we are very focused on right now and not so focused on the exit. We believe that by building a website like this we are just adding so much value and connectivity to people’s lives. We want users to connect easy and by giving them a product like we have, it is very easy. That’s why more than half our users use Facebook everyday – it’s simple, easy, and a much more efficient way to communicate with friends and family. Also by giving our users a product that is not owned by a major company gives them something that is very simple, like I mentioned which think is important. Users do not want to visit a site and be faced with side-ads or complex navigation, they just want to visit a clean, nice website and connect with friends whichever way they want. At this time we are still not looking to sell the company and I don’t think we will for a while, it just isn’t the core focus of the company.
Interviewer: Also very interesting! Now, you are a 27 year old worth about $13.5 billion and on top of that you are a CEO of a fast moving company. How do you deal with this pressure?
Mark Zuckerberg: It’s crazy, however I was watched this video with Steve Jobs a while ago and he said something that really, I’ll say influenced me and actually relates to this question. He said “In order to do something like this, you have to really, really like what you're doing, because otherwise it just doesn't make sense.” And that’s really with anything, if you are not into what you are doing 100%, then the outcome is just not there. The amount of work and dedication it takes to put to together and run something like Facebook is so much and if you are not into it, the outcome wouldn’t be good. What makes this whole thing fun and a very good experience is that we have built a very strong team that come from different places and think in different ways. This gives us a wide range of ideas on how to do something, either it be a new idea for the company, or if we are trying to tackle a problem we always have a wide range of ideas to choose from. Basically what I’m saying is, if your heart is into what you are doing and you really want to do it and you give 100% on it, the outcome will be there.
Interviewer: Very inspiring Mark, I would like to thank you for spending your time here today with us and answering some of my questions.
Mark Zuckerberg: Oh no problem, thanks for having me.