Mark Zuckerberg is a fascinating individual.  By all accounts, he appears to lack even rudimentary people skills but he has created a medium for inter-personal communications that has made him the world’s youngest billionaire.

I am currently reading the critically acclaimed book The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick, the former senior editor for Internet and technology at Fortune magazine.  The following are some of the leadership quotes and principles from the first six chapters which traces Facebook’s conception to becoming a legitimate company.  All quotes are from Zuckerberg unless otherwise noted.

  1. The most important investment theme for the first half of the twenty-first century will be the question of how globalization happens.” – investor Peter Thiel
  2. We’re a utility.  We’re trying to increase the efficiency through which people can understand their world.”
  3. Zuckerberg’s Facebook profile listing his interests – “openness, breaking things, revolutions, information flow, minimalism, making things, eliminating desire for all that really doesn’t matter.”
  4. Others – “Facebook is the first platform for people.” – Esther Dyson
  5. Leaders Make Things Happen – He was a leader simply because he started things. – Kirkpatrick
  6. He didn’t ask permission before proceeding.  It’s not that he sets out to break the rules; he just doesn’t pay much attention to them.
  7. Give People A Chance To Tell Their Story – The Facebook was a tool for self-expression…there were many facets of the self that could be projected on its screen.
  8. “The nature of the site is that each user’s experience improves if they can get their friends to join it.”
  9. Genius Is Making Things Simple, Not Complicated – “It (Facebook) wasn’t something that had to be explained.” – fellow student
  10. “(Facebook) is about performing…and letting the world know why we’re important individuals.” – Crimson author Amelia Lester
  11. “Let’s build something that has lasting cultural value and try to take over the world.” – Sean Parker
  12. Team Building – Zuckerberg had now put into place, consciously or not, an ideal team to bracket his own talents. (Dustin) Moskovitz is the kind of person every start-up needs – diligent, down-to-earth, versatile, and pragmatic. – Kirkpatrick
  13. Decisions – “The leader of a company needs to have a decision tree in his head.” – Parker
  14. “Only the paranoid survive.” – former Intel CEO Andy Grove
  15. Vision – “Really great leadership, especially in a start-up, is about knowing when to say no – evoking a vision very clearly, getting everybody excited about it, but knowing where to draw the line, especially with products.  You can’t do everything.” – Parker
  16. Performance – (Zuckerberg) became obsessed with how well thefacebook was working technically.  He knew that for a communications service like this, performance was key. – Kirkpatrick
  17. Big Picture Thinking – “We would make more revenue in the long run if we didn’t compromise the site.” – Moskovitz
  18. “(There) will be (on-line) communities not of common location, but of common interest.” – written by J. C. R. Licklider and Robert Taylor in 1968.  Churches, we need to rethink our strategy.  Proximity should not be our primary method for reaching people, commonality should.
  19. “The trick isn’t adding stuff, it’s taking away.”
  20. “Look at the world around you.  With the slightest push – in just the right place – it can be tipped.” – Malcolm Gladwell

Does any of these quotes illicit strong feelings from you?

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