Facebook could have very well gone the way of MySpace or Friendster (remember that one?). Why didn't that happen? Arguably the biggest difference comes down to the fact that the company is run by a founder who has a big, uncompromising vision--connecting peope--and the wisdom to assemble the right team to execute that vision.
At this point, Facebook has racked up more than 1.3 billion monthly active users all over the world. But it hasn't always been easy operating a website that advocates for openness on the Internet--particularly in countries that are anything but open--while also trying to make a profit. Facebook is banned in China, for example, but that hasn't stopped the company from trying to make money off of Chinese advertisers. Check out the quotes below on how Mark Zuckerberg is growing Facebook internationally while also trying to tread carefully in different cultures.
1. Don't forget about your mission--or your profit potential:
"Building a mission and building a business go hand-in-hand," he said. "It is true that the primary thing that makes me excited about what we're doing is the mission, but I also think, from the very beginning, we've had this healthy understanding which is that we need to do both."--September 13, 2012, Entrepreneur
2. Expand globally (carefully):
"I don't want Facebook to be an American company. I don't want it to be this company that just spreads American values all across the world... For example, we have this notion of free speech that we really love and support at Facebook, and that's one of the main things that we're trying to push with openness. But different countries have their different standards around that... My view on this is that you want to be really culturally sensitive and understand the way that people actually think."--June 10, 2011, Wall Street Journal
3. Take risks:
"The biggest risk is not taking any risk... In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks."--October 29, 2011, Y Combinator Startup School in Palo Alto
4. Think of the bigger picture:
"Our mission is to help people connect. This will help people stay close to their loved ones, and get access to services like health and education."--March 2, 2015, Mobile World Congress Keynote Speech
5. Put your customers first:
"The way we look at it is that, if we are doing our job well, then people will come to Facebook to consume a lot of content," he said. "If people don't connect to the advertising content, then it's not good for anyone. It's not good for the people using Facebook, it's not good for the advertisers, and then ultimately we don't make money."--April 2, 2013, Vanity Fair