The Enigmatic Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg - InformationWeek

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11/7/2008
02:53 AM
Fritz Nelson
Fritz Nelson
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The Enigmatic Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

I can't tell whether Mark Zuckerberg is obtuse or just plain real. I can't tell whether he's going to follow in the footsteps of Bill Gates (debated forever as simultaneously genius and evil). But what I can tell you is that he is an never-ending source of amusement and wonder, and never more so than when he's on stage at Web 2.0.

I can't tell whether Mark Zuckerberg is obtuse or just plain real. I can't tell whether he's going to follow in the footsteps of Bill Gates (debated forever as simultaneously genius and evil). But what I can tell you is that he is an never-ending source of amusement and wonder, and never more so than when he's on stage at Web 2.0.

Zuckerberg and Web 2.0 host John Battelle spent the better part of 10 minutes fencing around the issue of whether Microsoft had overspent on its investment in Facebook. Battelle was never going to get an honest answer here, but the honest reaction from Zuckerberg was -- as it always is -- priceless. The honest answer: it will be impossible to live up to $15B. Enough said.

In this lengthy but entertaining conversation, Zuckerberg tackles everything from business models to the company's growth. On the former, he talks openly about the now-solidified channels of branding and advertising (hundreds of millions in revenue, both strong, both growing, was all Zuckerberg would say). On the latter, he discussed the slowing of Microsoft-related revenue, and the tremendous international growth the company is seeing.

It is fairly clear that Facebook aims to be the virtual operating system, or platform of the social graph, moving from its once-innovative opening of its platform to developers, to the checkmate position of its Connect product, which will essentially allow Facebook to be the underlying plumbing for all social connectivity, save for its still proprietary approach to that platform.

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