For Impact


Facebook’s 5 Core Values

For Impact Ideas | | Tom Suddes

Today Facebook goes ‘public’.

Regardless of what you think about Facebook, Mark Z and his ‘hoodie’, the almost 1B (that’s billion) users or the expected valuation… there’s something pretty amazing about the Facebook ‘story’.

(My partner Nick will probably add to this post, since he actually built the first ‘Facebook’ with a couple of other guys while he was at Notre Dame. I think they even called it ‘eFacebook’ when they went to other schools.)

I’d encourage our For Impact audience to read Zuckerberg’s letter that went with the offering. It talks about the Hackers Way, which Nick is waaaay more able to speak to than I am.

From ‘Hack-A-Thons’ (I think there was one last night before the IPO) to ‘Boot Camps’, there’s a lot of interesting stuff going on. From my perspective, the distillation of their principles should have meaning to all of us.

Here’s their 5 CORE VALUES:

    1. FOCUS ON IMPACT. Seriously, that’s the first one. “If we want to have the biggest impact, the best way to do this is to make sure we always focus on solving the most important problems. It sounds simple, but we think most companies do this poorly and waste a lot of time.”

    I’m all in on this one.
    2. MOVE FAST. “Moving fast enables us to build more things and learn faster.” Facebook has a saying, “Move fast and break things.” “If you never break anything, you’re probably not moving fast enough.”
    Again, I’m all over this.
    3. BE BOLD. “Building great things means taking risks. This can be scary and prevents most companies from doing the things they should. However in a world that’s changing so quickly, you’re guaranteed to fail if you don’t take any risks.”
    They have another saying: “The riskiest thing is to take no risks.”
    Again, you can see why I love these principles/core values.
    4. BE OPEN. My spin on this would be to use one of our favorite words, which sits at the top of the 3-Part Presentation Framework: AUTHENTICITY.
    *It’s probably worth reading the exact wording which could or should be a mandate for most, if not all, of our organizations.
    “We believe that a more open world is a better world because people with more information can make better decisions and have a greater IMPACT. That goes for running our company as well. We work hard to make sure everyone has access to as much information as possible about every part of the company so they can make the best decisions and have the greatest IMPACT.” (Note that the word IMPACT is used twice!)
    5. BUILD SOCIAL VALUE. A simple sentence: “We expect everyone at Facebook to focus every day on how to build real value for the world in everything they do.”
    Real value for the world. Again, regardless of your views on Facebook… they’ve built a company that’s having a HUGE IMPACT. I thought it might be worth your time to review these core values.

Special Note: As part of my work with Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, I met with the Head of Facebook Europe/Africa, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. 3 things amazed me that day:

    1. The unpretentiousness of both the facility and the ‘head guy’. He was smart and easy to talk with about Entrepreneurship, Economic Development, etc.
    2. Size. I think he said he had 400 or 500 people in the Dublin Office… overseeing roughly one-half of the world. (Google, on the other hand, has 2,000 people in their Dublin Headquarters and just announced plans to add 1,000 more!)
    3. Facebook had no ‘policy’ on philanthropy! We forget that they are not even a public company until today. They have not really thought about or dealt with philanthropy.
    As you know, Zuckerberg stepped up with a $100M commitment to the Newark Public Schools. Say what you want, that’s definitely a transformational gift.