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An informal, stream-of-consciousness reflection on business ideas, events and issues in modern business, modern life and with some specifics to the web-software industry by Paul Tomori, Internet Entrepreneur

Mark Zuckerberg Channels Howard Roark
By Paul Tomori
Thursday, February 02, 2012 at 09:25:06 (EST)

The upcoming Facebook IPO has started quite a media frenzy. Finally, that little social networking site is going to hit the world's stage and by of its transition from private enterprise to public company, it is going to have to become a lot more transparent. Hopefully, the hacker mentality that brought them to where they are will continue despite shareholder expectations for evened-out earnings growth. Mark Zuckerberg, founder and 25% owner of the company refines his definition of "hacker" to put a halo of connotations over hacking. He refers to it as quick execution, less debates over how something should work (code wins arguments he says), multiple iterations on the original idea and social interactions to drive new tools.

As part of the IPO process, and like the Google guys, Mark has written a vision letter about how Facebook will pursue several audacious goals and he even refers to social networking as a pivot point like television was. The reality is that the internet was the pivot point and Facebook, while large, is just a part of the internet.

Having read his letter, I was struck by one of his more cerebral tenets. It resonates with me personally, but it is not original. In reference to the profit motive, he channels Ayn Rand's Howard Roark character who said "I am not in business to have customers - I have customers in order to be in business". Zuckerberg writes: "we don't build services to make money we make money to build better services." Way to go Zuck. You got your philosophical foundation - now go and rock it!

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