May 28, 2008
I’ve been here at the D6 Conference today.
Most of the day was spent in the lobby.
But now I am in the conference hall for what is — by far — the most anticipated session. Kara is interviewing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg — whom she calls the “toddler CEO.”
Interestingly, Zuckerberg analogizes people now building apps on top of Facebook to him and his buddies hacking apps on top of AOL.
Kara is now turning to Sheryl Sandberg, the former Googler who now is COO at Facebook. Sheryl compares Facebook’s focus on product and consumer experience to a similar focus at Google, explaining that this was one of the things that drew her to Facebook.
Next question: Mark, why should you remain CEO? Great answer: the CEO does two things, set the vision and build a great team, and I am good at both.
Cheryl: if the first phase of the web was about retrieving information, the new phase is social. And Mark’s vision around this is inspiring.
Mark is now talking about the opening of the platform and 3d party apps. One of the areas he finds most interesting is games.
Kara: sure, but these apps seem so trivial and childish. When is there real value?
Mark: utility on the web doesn’t have to be in huge chunks – on the web today there are lots and lots of little things which have value in small numbers, and in the aggregate have real value.
Kara: where are the dollars?
Sheryl: our users tell us lots about themselves, and so we can create real engagement, help get users to engage with products.
Kara: you are a media company. Mark: no we are a technology company. We focus on building technology.
Mark: we found that app developers were focused on getting people to put these boxes on their page, rather than focusing on getting users really engaged. The new platform shift will focus on engaging apps. The apps people like and use the most will be the ones that get on pages the most.
Mark’s best line: when Larry (Page) and Eric (Schmidt) came over I only had a mattress on the floor, so we all had to sit on the floor.
Someone needs to tell the guy he can afford a few chairs…