Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Time Person of the Year Profile on Mark Zuckerberg

Excellent Person of the Year piece from Lev Grossman in the latest Time Magazine.

It's a pretty large feature on the Facebook founder and conveys the fascinating confluence of events that brought Zuckerberg and his company to where they're now at. You've got an immensely smart guy with an idea that to him seemed obvious... which he's then pushed forward both personally and through people brought into leadership roles at the company.

Couple of things that struck me about Zuckerberg and the piece on him...

- Grossman's description of the character portrayal in The Social Network movie as being a fiction (which of course, it was). Rather, he describes Zuckerberg as having solid personal relationships and being more like the brilliant and driven characters from The West Wing television series (also written by Aaron Sorkin).

- The concept of Facebook serving as a sort of referendum on two separate, but related areas. The first being the Internet as something controlled by people using it as they will and the second on the idea of living life in the open... as opposed to having a "personal life" and then an "online life."

- The notion of what Facebook could potentially become in the area of recommendation around business. A sort of holy grail of the web is it's power to have consumers sell product and with Facebook becoming a ubiquitous platform, it could become THE place for personal product and service recommendation online (with this concept of online recommendation previously posted on here). All this through the idea of "liking" an ad, product or company just as you can "like" a new friend.

- A comment by a Facebook Product Manager about his job being "a shot to actually truly affect the course of a major piece of evolution." Even if you view the enthusiasm expressed with a grain of salt and consider it being about just building a product for a company, it's still got to be pretty great to have that be your field of work.