Life Lessons from the Facebook Founder Part 2

By: Prof. Enrique Soriano

I am back in Manila for another week of business coaching. Last week was back breaking, having to fly to Jakarta and Singapore for meetings, sessions and exchanges with visionaries, owners and country heads of businesses. While going through all these engagements, it makes real sense to reflect on Zuckerberg’s life and business lessons in a more personal manner. Thus, I will continue this article starting with the first lesson below. As always, having the passion can make a huge difference in running a business.

Mark says, “Passion is what turns a successful entrepreneur into a successful business leader: If you are driven by passion you won’t give up, no matter how long the journey, and you keep learning constantly.”

“Find that thing you are super passionate about. A lot of the founding principles of Facebook are that if people have access to more information and are more connected, it will make the world better; people will have more understanding, more empathy. That’s the guiding principle for me. On hard days, I really just step back, and that’s the thing that keeps me going,” says Zuckerberg.


Lesson: Passion fuels perseverance, one of the key ingredients of success.


  1. Purpose

The really great companies have a sense of purpose at the root of all that they do, from hiring employees, to attracting the right investors, to their marketing and their customer service. That sense of purpose breeds the sense of belonging, it sparks intense employee and customer loyalty. Great leaders (and great companies) create movements, not just products. Facebook isn’t just a social networking site, it is a way of staying in touch with people around the world, a place to bring people together and build communities, and a tool for sharing information.

By always keeping his purpose in mind, Zuckerberg has been able to focus on creating the best product for achieving this.

“At Facebook, we’re inspired by technologies that have revolutionized how people spread and consume information. We often talk about inventions like the printing press and the television; by simply making communication more efficient, they led to a complete transformation of many important parts of society. They gave more people a voice. They encouraged progress. They changed the way society was organized. They brought us closer together,” Zuckerberg says.


Lesson: Great companies don’t just create great products, they create movements.

  1. People

In an article released in, Zuckerberg highlights the need to develop the habit of thinking in terms of the people inside and outside of your business who are responsible for every element of your sales, marketing strategies, and activities.

It’s amazing how many entrepreneurs will work extremely hard to think through every element of the marketing strategy and the marketing mix, and then pay little attention to the fact that every single decision and policy has to be carried out by a specific person, in a specific way. Your ability to select, recruit, hire and retain the proper people, with the skills and abilities to do the job you need to have done, is more important than everything else put together.

In his best-selling book “Good to Great”, Jim Collins discovered the most important factor applied by the best companies was that they first of all “got the right people on the bus, and the wrong people off the bus.” Once these companies had hired the right people, the second step was to “get the right people in the right seats on the bus.”

To be continued…