Zuckerberg’s Painful 60 Minutes Interview
Posted on January 14, 2008
Filed Under Web 2.0 Kool Aid |
Despite the fact that Drama 2.0 is currently fighting some sort of cold bug, I found the energy to get out of bed tonight and watch the . The word that best describes the interview: painful. It was so horrid that couldn’t help but note how bad it was.
Obviously, to give Zuckerberg the benefit of the doubt, he’s young and this is new territory for him. But the interview was revealing nonetheless. The things that stood out most to me:
- Zuckerberg’s body language. It’s clear that Mark is, as he has been described before, quite “awkward.” While he did smile a few times, for the most part he never demonstrated a healthy amount of animation, passion or facial expression. Most interesting to me was the fact that he often failed to make any eye contact with Lesley Stahl to the point where it seemed intentional. My take: Zuckerberg was nervous but that doesn’t explain it all. I suspect that he is quite unconfident and has underdeveloped social skills. He may have a high IQ, but probably has a low EQ. We’re all different and I respect that, but it’s worth noting that “great” CEOs typically have high EQs. In my opinion, Mark’s lack of social skills has and is increasingly becoming a liability for the company in his role as CEO.
- Zuckerberg’s speech. This was the first time I’ve actually watched/listen to Mark for any length of time and I was unimpressed with how he spoke. I expected him to be much more articulate and not only did he seem to have trouble finding the right words at times, when he was asked difficult questions (i.e. about Facebook’s revenues, the comparisons to Google’s founders, Beacon, the ConnectU lawsuit) his responses were quite embarrassing and as Lesley noted, evasive. There is, however, effective evasion and ineffective evasion and Mark was ineffectively evasive.
- The discussion of Facebook’s revenues. I found it interesting that Mark defended Beacon with the rationale that Facebook has to find ways to make money so that it can support its 400 employees. Perhaps Facebook shouldn’t have scaled to 400 employees before it found a way to effectively monetize? At the very least, perhaps it shouldn’t offer all the perks it does (which apparently includes unicycles and bad DJs)?
- Charlene Li of Forrester Research. She looked extremely uninformed when she stated that Facebook is a real threat to Google and could become the number one destination for many Internet users. MySpace still has significantly more traffic than Facebook but beyond that, the idea that Facebook and Google are in any way competing (or going to compete) head-to-head in the search market seems pretty darn naive. Google’s share of the search market continues to increase and the company had over $4.2 billion in revenue in the quarter ended September 2007. Charlene’s Maui search analogy made me go “huh?”. Even if Internet users utilize social networks to get travel recommendations from friends, for instance, where are they going to find the best deal, etc.? That’s right, a search engine. The market for search will always be bigger than that of social networks because there are a lot of demographic groups that just won’t use social networks. There are often times when you don’t care what your friends recommend, and I’m sure Charlene would be amazed to learn that to get recommendations from friends, you don’t need to use Facebook (the telephone system still works and I even hear that people still meet up with their friends in real life in some backwards places).
I’m going back to sleep now. Hopefully I won’t have any nightmares of the robotic CEO with no sense of humor. I only take solace in the fact that, if Facebook’s investors have any intelligence, they’ll be experiencing worse nightmares than I.
Update: If Hasbro’s attorneys were watching, the segment on the “Scrabble” Facebook application (which I’m assuming showed Scrabulous - I don’t know because I’m not on Facebook) gives Hasbro even more ammunition for any possible legal action against Scrabulous.
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9 Responses to “Zuckerberg’s Painful 60 Minutes Interview”
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While I mostly agree with you, I thought Zuckerberg was quite composed, and behaved quite smartly. This is not a lucky hipster like Kevin Rose or Jakob Lodwick.
400 employees. No real way to monetize. And Web 1.0 perks? Can you IMAGINE their burn rate? If they don’t figure out how to get the cash coming in, it’s going to look like the Hindenberg when it goes down.
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