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"We don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services....." ~Mark Zuckerberg

Stashed in: Google!, Zuck!, Monetization, @arrington

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On 2/1/12, Facebook filed its S-1 so it sell shares to public.

Facebook’s S-1 Letter From Zuckerberg spends a lot of time telling us that Facebook didn't start as a company; it started as a mission:

Facebook was not originally founded to be a company. We’ve always cared primarily about our social mission, the services we’re building and the people who use them. This is a different approach for a public company to take, so I want to explain why I think it works.


Through the process of building a team — and also building a developer community, advertising market and investor base — I’ve developed a deep appreciation for how building a strong company with a strong economic engine and strong growth can be the best way to align many people to solve important problems.

Simply put: we don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services.

I take special note in Facebook’s 5 core principles: Focus on Impact, Move Fast, Be Bold, Be Open, Build Social Value.

Interesting that those core principles neither include Don't be evil nor Be a force for good.

I guess this means Michael Arrington can trust Facebook because they don't say "Trust us" in the S-1 anywhere?


Certainly saying you're not out to make money is an unusual thing to include in an S-1 filing but this letter could be seen as Zuck's public declaration that Facebook (unlike, say, Zynga) is a company with a vision. It's common knowledge that Steve Jobs and Mark met often and this may be a move on Mark's part to follow in the footsteps of his mentor to some extent.

Actually, this reminds me more of Google's S-1.

Specifically, the founders' letter in Google's S-1, which says,

Sergey and I founded Google because we believed we could provide an important service to the world -- instantly delivering relevant information on virtually any topic. Serving our end users is at the heart of what we do and remains our number one priority.

Our goal is to develop services that significantly improve the lives of as many people as possible. In pursuing this goal, we may do things that we believe have a positive impact on the world, even if the near term financial returns are not obvious. For example, we make our services as widely available as we can by supporting over 90 languages and by providing most services for free. Advertising is our principal source of revenue, and the ads we provide are relevant and useful rather than intrusive and annoying. We strive to provide users with great commercial information.


As a private company, we have concentrated on the long term, and this has served us well. As a public company, we will do the same. In our opinion, outside pressures too often tempt companies to sacrifice long term opportunities to meet quarterly market expectations. Sometimes this pressure has caused companies to manipulate financial results in order to "make their quarter." In Warren Buffett's words, "We won't 'smooth' quarterly or annual results: If earnings figures are lumpy when they reach headquarters, they will be lumpy when they reach you."


When Sergey and I founded Google, we hoped, but did not expect, it would reach its current size and influence.


We will live up to our "don't be evil" principle by keeping user trust and not accepting payment for search results. We have a dual class structure that is biased toward stability and independence and that requires investors to bet on the team, especially Sergey and me.

Again, Mark Zuckerberg has no principle that is anywhere close to "don't be evil".

Instead, Zuckerberg talks boldly about "The Hacker Way".

In doing so, Zuckerberg strikes a similar tone to the Google letter; Levi Sumagaysay agrees.

BusinessInsider says the problem with Zuck is that he does not care that much about making money.


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