For the 100th anniversary of Forbes magazine the founder of Facebook wrote an essay on what should drive an entrepreneur
I didn’t set out to start a company, I was driven by a desire to bring people closer to each other. A couple of years after Facebook launched, several big companies wanted to buy us. Almost everyone was willing to sell the company, but not me. I wanted to see if we could give a simple communication tool to even more people. There was conflict brewing at Facebook, and employee relations became so strained that within a year all the executives had left the company.
For me, it was the most difficult time as head of Facebook. I believed in what we were doing, but I was alone in it. To make matters worse, it was my own fault. That’s when I realized that it’s not enough to believe in what you do, you have to give others a sense of belonging, too. But at the time I did not explain what result I was counting on.
The meaningfulness of the work creates the necessary motivation and importance, thanks to which people do not just make a living. It attracts other people who are also interested in doing what’s right. Our employees create new products because they want to do something useful and influence the way people use the social web. The company has to be successful to keep us going, but what truly inspires us is the positive impact on the community and the world around us.
I guess that’s the case with most successful businesses. It takes a certain amount of inspiration to build a company like Facebook and run a community like that. The guiding principle for our corporation is to make our services available to as many people as possible and to give everyone a voice and a voice.
I am often asked for advice on how to start your own company. I always answer that the goal should not be to create a company, but to focus on the result, which will make a difference and find people who are striving for the same thing you’re striving for. Eventually there will be an opportunity to create something that is useful, that engages others, and that changes the world for the better.