In response to Fred Jacobs blog post “Zuckerberg by the numbers”, which was about the letter to investors Mark wrote explaining the mission of Facebook
I asked the question - Are we seeing a pattern on the way business is done today? Fred responded – “There is something going on here and it goes to the heart of how businesses are operated. I believe it may have been possible to ignore Zuckerberg a few years ago, or question whether Facebook was a time suck or something your kids did. Today, there is no mistaking that social, service, connection, and community are at the heart of successful enterprises”.
In that letter to investors Mr. Zuckerberg Mark stated –
“Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission – to make the world more open and connected”.
It’s also clear that Mr. Zuckerberg learned a lot from one of his mentors, Steve Jobs. In this letter Mark said “I think more and more people want to use services from companies that believe in something beyond maximizing profits.
To paraphrase, Mr. Jobs said in an interview in 1995…
”what ruined Apple were values brought in from the outside by John Scully. Management cared more about their own glory and wealth that they did about what built Apple in the first place. The original trajectory of the original vision was to make this thing (computers/Next) into an appliance and get it out to as many people as possible. What they should have been doing is making rational profits and going for market share”. Apple did return to the core values of Steve Jobs, which were “everything revolves around the customer experience”. Today Apple is bigger than Google and Microsoft combined.
I feel any business in any category should read, absorb and adopt this manifesto as THE way to do business. It’s clear it’s the way successful business is done today. It’s the exact mindset that brought me into radio 40 years ago. It’s what traditional media needs to get back to if we want to remain relevant. But it won’t be without its challenges due to a traditional top-down management mindset where the leaders in too many cases are not product people.
Felix Salmon wrote a post about how Mark Zuckerberg shouldn’t listen to management gurus. It was in response to advice from GE legend Jack Welch that a multi-billion-dollar company like Facebook needed a seasoned, professional CEO in charge.
Jack and Suzy Welch believe extra management has to be marbled throughout the organization, to be found everywhere as “frequent, rigorous performance reviews”.
It’s also far from clear that the best way to motivate a Silicon Valley engineer is to dangle an annual bonus in front of his face and tell him that if he works hard he could get an extra couple of months’ salary at the end of the year. Rather, the best way to get the most out of engineers is to surround them with other great engineers, in a collegial atmosphere where everybody works hard and everybody does really well building great products that everybody is proud of. Managing a company like Facebook is all about creating a magnetic culture — a place where employees love to work, and where they’ll tell their friends that they’re having a great time and that they should come join them. At Facebook, the ability to continue to attract Silicon Valley’s best coders is very high up Mark Zuckerberg’s list of priorities and concerns.
Jeff Jarvis wrote a brilliant piece yesterday – “the temporary pop-up corporation” – He states –
The average lifespan of a Fortune 500 company is now only 15 years. Whole industries are dying. Mr. Jarvis says – “I have been arguing that vertical industries will be replaced by horizontal ecosystems made up of three layers: (1) platforms that enable (2) entrepreneurial ventures to be created at low cost and risk and (3) networks (e.g., ad networks) that, when needed, bring these ventures together to reach the critical mass that firms used to provide”.
Hugh MacLeod (@gapingvoid) tweets –
There are no more jobs. There are no more bosses. There are only clients and customers from now on.
Your boss/client has to feel lucky to have you AND vica versa.
What we all want is to be a valued member of a winning team on an inspiring mission.
The patterns I see - a group mission to serve people, a total commitment to the user experience (listeners), recruit top talent and give them a work environment that is significantly different than traditional management practices of the past in an effort to bring out the best work they’ve ever done.
I think the Internet engineers of today equate to the great air talent of radio in its prime. Most of that talent is gone now. We have national stars but where are the local market heroes?
What has happened in radio is the equivalent of Nordstrom having no sales people on the floor accept a few hours in the morning and afternoon. It’s like Zappos not having anyone answering their phones. It’s like Apple shutting down the genius bar. Would these brands survive this type of short term thinking?
What is the vision for broadcasters whether you have a network of stations or a combo? What is the mission and why should anyone care? It’s my opinion that radio can become this horizontal ecosystem using its promotional platform and network ability to share digital solutions to improving their lives. There is a roadmap to follow.
Someone said it and I fully believe that community is our greatest asset! I think our mission is to give community a voice. Our clients are our listeners. We must obsess over the listeners in our community to inform, entertain and improve their lives. By serving our local community of listeners…sales happens…the community prospers…the mission continues.