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Learning from the world’s youngest billionaire

Did you know there are now 1,011 billionaires in the world? Who’s the youngest? The founder of Facebook, Mark Zukerberg, 26 years old.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRUOl03nZIc

It’s great listening to successful people as they are always sharing clues about how they think and what makes them successful. And what’s REALLY great about listening to successful people is you don’t hear them COMPLAINING. They just look at what’s possible, what’s next.

At 35 minutes in, Mark is asked “How much do you think about maintaining the culture of Facebook?” Mark’s reply, “Every day!” Mark clarifies by saying a bit about what culture means to him. Facebook has five written values all the employees know. Two of them are 1) move fast & 2) be bold. Later, Mark also talks about 3) take risks.

If you read my recent article about Richard Branson, he also revealed his values. Values are our guidance system. They are the most powerful thing guiding us, yet most people don’t know what theirs are and don’t have them written down. If you’re not happy, your values are off. Period.

Mark also shares a core belief: “If you make something people like you can make mistakes.” This belief supports his third value of taking risks and drives Facebook to massive success. You’ll see this belief in the companies dominating the markets today, like Apple. They make plenty of mistakes, but that doesn’t matter because they focus on making products people actually like and use.

Values and beliefs are crucial for the success of any company and for individuals. What are your values? What are your beliefs? That’s the only reality that exists for you. Think about it.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Joe Rose December 9, 2010, 12:42 am

    Erol, you’ve come a long way from visual basic stuff at SST. All interesting stuff. It’s not true however that successful people don’t complain – I have worked for a few very successful people (if $ in the bank is a measure of success) and when something has not been done exactly when they wanted it done, they would complain very forcefully.
    I think what you mean to say is that they are very good at moulding their public image, to the extent where they don’t want to be seen to be complaining in public… in private, Zuckerburg is probably quite pleased that Apple Ping isn’t gathering much momentum and that Google Wave has been cancelled, for instance. There are lessons from history here though – Microsoft partnering with 3com to try to bring down Novell with OS2 LAN Manager and then NT etc. – that battle was eventually won with Win2000 and the Active Directory in particular – nearly as good as NDS, but easy to setup and operate. It will be more interesting to see how Zuckerburg behaves when he has some serious competition, which is inevitable…

  • Erol Fox December 9, 2010, 12:56 pm

    Ah, great point! There are two kinds of “complain”:
    1) expressing dissatisfaction, as in “filing a complaint”
    2) the victim: something is happening “to me” and I am helpless.

    I agree that there may be some people with millions of dollars that act like a victim, complaining that they are powerless. But, are they “successful” or do they just have money?

    In fact, I bet rich victims are pretty rare, if they exist at all. I would suggest that MLK Jr. was a successful man. A man striving consistently towards his worthy ideal. He did make several clear complaints about a situation that had to change. Yet, he was not complaining, not coming from victim, or he never would have had the power to take each step. His focus was on solutions, which is where money is earned. Solutions to problems.

    Thanks for the clarification!

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