Five Core Zuckerisms That Will Benefit Your Brand
February 7, 2012
Last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg included a letter to potential investors about the company’s thinking and philosophies during the initial public offering filings.
Zuckerberg starts the letter out about how Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social undertaking:
Zuck writes that while he knew his goal sounded big, it would have to start small - with the relationship between two people. The idea of Facebook would be (and still is) to strengthen how people relate to each other.
“Personal relationships are the fundamental unit of our society. Relationships are how we discover new ideas, understand our world and ultimately derive long-term happiness.”
Facebook is the tool Zuckerberg believes we needed to elevate our capacity to build and maintain connections. And that goes for brands on Facebook, too. Facebook was never intended to be a “megaphone for marketers” - but for creating more substantial businesses:
“...[an] open world will also encourage businesses to engage with their customers directly and authentically. More than four million businesses have Pages on Facebook that they use to have a dialogue with their customers.”
The letter is quite lengthy and incorporates many of the values that we have discussed here on “Merge” over the past year - about being genuine.
But near the end of the letter when Zuckerberg starts to outline the culture within Facebook in which he calls “The Hacker Way,” that’s when things get interesting.
“The Hacker Way” is essentially Zuckerberg providing his initial investors (and us) with a revealing window into the core of Facebook’s “code of conduct” - where ethics like solving what matters first, building fast, foregoing fear, being open and bringing value in everything you do are all emphasized.
There’s no doubt these five core Zuckerisms laid out below from Zuck’s letter should be explicated into some kind of leadership book but for now, here they are in brief - an excellent guide for our own business enterprises and relationships.
- Focus on Impact
- Move Fast
- Be Bold
- Be Open
- Build Social Value
Solve the most important problems first. It sounds simple, but Zuckerberg thinks most companies do this poorly and waste a lot of time. Be good at finding the biggest problems to work on. A deep dive into many radio brands might reveal that we often do anything but tackle the biggest issues.
This is really the old Woody Allen mantra, “If you’re not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative.” Zuck writes that it’s not a matter of getting things done perfectly as it is just getting something done, and “hacking” your way through the project to make it even better. Opportunities are lost when you don’t move fast enough.
As Zuck says, “Building great things means taking risks.” This often holds companies back because it can be scary and no one wants to fail. That’s understandable. But not being bold can also set you up to fail. Even if it means being wrong sometimes - “the riskiest thing is to take no risks.”
When people have more information about your vision, goals and strategies -they can make better decisions and lend to your success. Managers often fear transparency, believing that it will show vulnerability. But as communities and relationships form around brands, better clarity leads to success.
Focus on every thought and word you speak. Choosing your words wisely can make an impact on the world around you. Similarly, treat every post (or tweet) as bringing value to your community or customers. We often talk about the importance of on-air breaks - it is even more important socially.
The IPO filing is an eye-opener as it offers insights into stats such as Facebook usage and the revelation they don’t yet know how to monetize mobile.
We live in a world that is faster, more open, and complicated with technology, lack of privacy, and immediate accountability. Sometimes we can lose focus by getting caught up in all the noise, and forget that the greater purpose is to serve the relationships we’ve built and nurtured over the years.
You can have all the coolest gadgets for your listeners to “connect with you,” but if the relationships just aren’t there - nobody benefits long term.
Remember the emotional roots that radio has built, and perhaps put these “Zuckerisms” into play as you continue to build on what made (and continues to make) our medium so special: the one to one relationship.
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
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