Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who turned 28 today, has said many times that he's much more interested in connecting the world than he is in making sure his company's revenue and profits are increasing. This is something investors are understandably finding difficult to accept.
Nevertheless, Zuckerberg is all about the social mission, and every business decision he makes revolves around it. He recently tried to put this into perspective by comparing Facebook to two other companies: Google and HP (see also: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admires Amazon, Apple, Google).
"I think the biggest difference between Facebook and other companies is how focused we are on our mission … Different companies care about different things," Zuckerberg told The Huffington Post. "There are companies that care about, just really care about having the biggest market cap. Or there are companies that are really into process or the way they do things. Hewlett Packard, right? The thing that you always hear about them is 'the HP Way.' … Google, I think, is very tied to their culture -- they really love that. For us, it is the mission: building a company that makes the world more open and connected. The articulation of that has, I think, changed over time. But that's really been, like, the belief the whole time."
When Facebook goes public later this week (on May 18 or later), its valuation will put it near the market capitalization of Amazon and Disney. It will be far from Google's market capitalization, but well ahead of other technology giants, including HP.
Some think this is crazy, and it is. If you think Facebook is worth as much money as many are saying it is, you're banking on one thing and one thing only: Mark Zuckerberg. He has a mission, and if he ever fulfills it, or declares that he's come as close as it is possible, then Facebook will be worth much more than Google and HP combined. Until then, place your bets!
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