The Wall Street Journal recently interviewed Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg as well as Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in separate interviews. While they were conducted in October 2011, excerpts from them have only been published now.
When Zuckerberg was asked about companies he looks up to, he named three. Here's the relevant excerpt:
WSJ: What companies do you admire? Zuckerberg: Amazon is a great recent example of focusing on the long term and accepting shorter margins on the short term. [Amazon CEO] Jeff [Bezos] went through years of people thinking he's crazy. Apple is amazing in terms of the quality of stuff that they do. And Google, too, for the same thing.
WSJ: Do you place Facebook in the same category as those businesses? Mr. Zuckerberg: I hope one day we will be. We're a lot younger than all of them and still quite a bit smaller in terms of size of employees. Because we focused so much over the past five or six years on building things that are going to have lasting value for people, I think we have a good shot at that.
I agree with all three companies listed by Zuckerberg. Facebook has a long history with both Apple and Google, but barely anything to do with Amazon, so it's nice to know that the company's leader is paying attention to what is happening in the technology industry. In fact, Facebook has a poor history with both Apple and Google, though it is slowly rebuilding the one with the former (and not so much the latter).
It's worth noting Zuckerberg skipped over Microsoft, which is a big investor in Facebook. The two companies are solid partners; just last year the duo launched multiple initiatives and new features. On the other hand, they are also competitors: Facebook is quickly gaining on Microsoft in terms of advertising market share.
Regardless of which companies Facebook competes or partners with, Zuckerberg can still have his own personal opinion. Sometimes it will influence his company's decisions, and other times it will simply remain his own view. Are you surprised by his thoughts?
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