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SXSW Keynote: Mark Zuckerberg – Live Notes Plus Post-Keynote Crowd Reactions
Unfortunately there was no wifi so I was unable to do the liveblogging. Frankly, this was painful. The audience came down on Sarah Lacy pretty hard throughout – I was very much looking forward to this discussion (even arriving 2 hrs earlier) as Sarah is supposedly an excellent journalist but after this, people in the blogger room are wondering if she will ever get another live interview again.
She should have asked him questions about the future but instead seemed to put herself into the interview and pushed her book a few times. For someone who has supposedly spent so much time with Mark, it came across poor. Here are Robert Scoble’s Twitter messages from the session.
I’ve asked some of the people in the blogger room what their thoughts were on the keynote and why it was "so bad" – here are their anonymous responses:
- It was akward and uncomfortable to watch because the interview had no center other than the apparent backchannel relationship which took front stage over why Mark was there in the first place. I walk away with nothing more than knowing Lacy has a book coming out.
- When she talked about her book and that he should read it, it seemed to piss off the crowd.
- I thought it was on the boring side and there wasn’t anything new
- She made the interview about her, versus about him/Facebook/the industry.
- She didn’t do her job, she has a responsibility to not make him look ridiculous and she did
- The bottom line is that she lost control
We do know that Facebook is focused on effective communications.
Here are my live notes:
2:02 – loud music starts – no smoke and lights tho — TONS of cameras – freaking a ton
2:04 – Julia Allison – starts dancing to get attention :-P
2:05 – Sarah asks about the role facebook is playing in the world now. Mark – lots of things people focused on is not what we are focused on. He speaks about the Spanish launch and that they are huge in Colombia. Uses the site to revolt against the guerilla army. Facebook helps cultivate relationships with the people around them.
2:07 – What is it about facebook and not just the internet to use? Mark – there are lots of things like this – they are using facebook to communicate very effectively among people. Extend the empathy and relationships and communicate better.
2:09 – Talk about Facebook and terrorism. Mark – FB has large population in Lebanon. He speaks about the religious studies. People able to keep connections with friends with people who have left Lebanon.
2:12 – Are there things you are doing as a country proactively? Mark — we help people communicate more effectively.
2:14 – Mark – we are trying to build a company that can help solve the world’s problems. People should be able to be heard to help fight a specific cause. The world is excreasingly complex.
2:18 – Mark – we are running at breakeven currently
2:19 – Sarah – web 2.0 companies are more social and helping the world more than web 1.0 buying the book.
2:19 – Sarah – launching French version tonight
2:20 – Sarah – most companies Web can’t scale internationally. How do you do it? Mark – we are tapping into a universal need.
2:21 – Sarah – you guys need to make money – I want to talk about ad stuff. Does Microsoft feel like they are getting their monies worth? Mark – we are building a system to create and connect and everything we do is into that. Business growth has to meet those goals. We want to make money to be in line with how people use the site. The monetization system we are building is organic – AUDIENCE MEMBER "THIS SUCKS"
2:22 – Mark – they’ve been a good partner to us. I think MS is happy and we are happy. We don’t share stats on this.
2:24 – Sarah – How far is FB into implementing the new strategy. Mark – we probably got ahead of ourselves and I view that as a mistake. We want to build a system and the economic engine should be driven by the same mechanisms and we have a lot to do to get there. This is a long-term thing.
2:26 – Sarah – Beacon WTF? Mark – beacon is part of platform team not ad team. He says a lot here that really is meaningless. We probably didn’t communicate this very well.
2:30 – Mark – it’s important to give users control of what they share. Giving people very granular control is important and the more info people will share and then we will achieve their goals.
2:31 – Sarah – are we going to see real apps on the system? Mark – we believe people are fundamentally good. These systems are all about trust. Apps that are the most trustworthy allow for more access and pushing.
2:33 – Sarah – are you creating a music label? Mark – there are great music apps on Facebook but music isn’t something we’ve touched on yet. At this point we have nothing to talk about now.
2:35 – Sarah pushes her book
2:36 – Sarah – forbes says you are the youngest billionaire. Do you think the company is worth that much? Mark – we wanted as little dilution as possible and the most favorable terms.
2:40 – Mark – it’s not that we don’t want to go IPO, it’s just not right now.
2:43 – Sarah – some think you are a know it all kid – and if people don’t agree with you, they are asked to leave. Mark – most of the people who’ve started the company are still around. Sarah – I think it’s ok to fire people.
2:46 – Mark – we are building a product management organization – Matt Coler has been a long-time employee and he’s actually helped us build a lot of the parts of the company.
2:50 – Sarah – why do you like to be CEO? Mark – it’s important for the CEO to set the tone and being in the role is important for me to make sure we focus on our mission.
2:52 – Sarah – Mark has these books and he writes everything down.
2:54 – crowd reacts when Mark tells her to ask a question. "you try to do my job"
2:55 – Audience – I can’t really control what I share. Mark – it’s important that people get as granular a control as possible.
2:58 – Mark – removing friction is important to application growth
3:00 – Audience – what’s the most difficult part of Facebook today? Mark – I think its around building the systems and the control while keeping it an easy product. The most important thing is to give people control.