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Mark Zuckerberg Discusses Steve Jobs' Influence on Facebook

Much has been made of the apparently tense relationship between Apple and Facebook, sparked in large part by the spat over Facebook integration in Apple's Ping social networking service last year. According to one report, the companies have also faced over such topics as Apple's desire for systemwide Facebook integration in iOS 4 and Facebook's plans for tablet platforms.


But in a new interview with Charlie Rose set to air on PBS tonight, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg reveals (transcript from AllThingsD) how he was mentored by Steve Jobs, who advised Zuckerberg about building high-quality teams and maintaining a sharp focus on Facebook's products.
Mark Zuckerberg: Oh, I don’t know. I mean, he — he’s amazing. He was amazing. I mean, he — I had a lot of questions for him on –

Charlie Rose: Like what?

Mark Zuckerberg: How to build a team around you, right, that’s focused on building as high quality and good things as you are. How to keep an organization focused, right, when I think the tendency for larger companies is to try to fray and go into all these different areas. Yeah, I mean a lot just on the aesthetics and kind of mission orientation of companies. I mean, Apple is a company that is so focused on just building products that — for their customers and their users. And — and that’s like — it’s such a deep part of their mission is build these beautiful products for their users. And I think we connected a lot on this level of, okay, Facebook has this mission that’s really more than just trying to build a company, right, that has a market cap or a value. It’s like we’re trying to do this thing in the world. And I don’t know, a lot of it I just think we connected on that level.
Apple is of course famous for its laser-like focus on a relatively small number of products, offering greater clarity to customers and users while also ensuring that the company's employees do not become spread too thin or stray too far from the overall objectives.

In the wake of Steve Jobs' passing, the extent to which he served as a mentor to other high-profile industry personalities has become more clear, as evidenced by an on again-off again relationship with Google executives Larry Page and Sergey Brin and a connection with Salesforce.com founder Marc Benioff that ultimately resulted in Benioff giving Jobs and Apple the "App Store" trademark and URL free of charge out of gratitude.

Jobs' advice to Zuckerberg parallels some of the advice he gave to Page, shared in Walter Isaacon's biography of Jobs, in which he told Page to figure out what five things Google wanted to focus on "when it grows up". Seeing Google straying dangerously toward a bloated array of apps and services, Jobs warned Page about the possibility of turning into the next Microsoft, with an assortment of peripheral products dragging the company away from its core areas of focus and expertise.

Top Rated Comments

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40 months ago
I hate reading his name and seeing his face so often as a tech interested user, I hate it even more when they mention his name in any topic related to Steve Jobs.
Rating: 101 Votes
40 months ago
Zuckerberg might be smart, but he sure doesn't know how to articulate. That was one of the most incoherent quotes I've ever re-read.
Rating: 88 Votes
40 months ago
What the hell did Zuckerberg say?
Rating: 64 Votes
40 months ago
I know this is just a transcript, but he really needs to learn how to speak well.
Rating: 54 Votes
40 months ago

I hate reading his name and seeing his face so often as a tech interested user, I hate it even more when they mention his name in any topic related to Steve Jobs.
Image (http://i.imgur.com/YP6Ql.jpg)


I would create another macrumors account just to +1 this one twice.
Rating: 47 Votes
40 months ago

Zuckerberg might be smart, he sure doesn't know how to articulate. That was one of the most incoherent quotes I've ever re-read.


+1. I couldn't help but think the same thing as I was struggling to get through it.
Rating: 36 Votes
40 months ago
Zuckerberg is a um, ya know ----- very dumbed-down version of Bill Gates - an opportunist who got in at, ---- who like got in at the right moment.

But that's where the resemblance fades, and now he's looking more like a Steve Ballmer.
Rating: 34 Votes
40 months ago
Thousands of employees, $billions in "value", and Facebook still can't get their iPhone app to work properly.

Give us a break!

There are better apps written by hobbyists in their spare time.
Rating: 23 Votes
40 months ago
Woah.

Zuck sounds like he's been drinking a few pints of bong water. Incoherent much?
Rating: 18 Votes
40 months ago

Again, might be a clever guy and all, or then not. He really can't articulate nor compose simple sentences. Quite the contrast to Steve, who learned how to think about the interviewers question, think what he was gonna say, and then said it.


Exactly. One thing I noticed about Steve Jobs interviews is he wasn't afraid of silence. Sometimes after hearing a question, he would sit there in silence for 10-20 seconds while he figured out how he wanted to answer it. Mark should learn that from Steve.
Rating: 16 Votes

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