Basically, Zuckerberg now understands that the mission is great when you are a startup and a private company. People want to work there because they want to be a game changer and they know there could be a big treasure for joining the party with an IPO. Now the IPO happened, stock tanked and getting and retaining talent is much tougher. "People want to make a bunch of money," he said and the company is taking steps, like giving more shares of stock, to keep people from deserting and to bring in new talent. It may be that those who get in with the share price today, could end up better off than many who have been there for a while.
Two years ago, Zuck says, is when he bet on HTML 5. That, he said, was a strategic mistake -- the "biggest strategic mistake" he made so far. "The only way we can get there is doing native." And so now FB is building iOS and Android apps in native code.
Re: Dan: That's true. At a certain point, the stock is going to bounce and if Zuckerberg figures out mobile, the recruitment pitch to engineers becomes that much more convincing.
He has the hometown advantage, but he's talking to Wall Street at the same time. Keeps mentioning promise of mobile and has mentioned monetization many times.
For Android users, he says a new app will be ready soon, sort of. "It'll be ready when it's ready," he said.
Zuckerberg is energized and articulate, talking fast, within his skin, much more sure of himself and getting his messages out: Facebook mobile is way better than people think, Facebook native mobile (not HTML 5) is the way to go, and FB is doing what is necessary to financially incent talent to stay on the mission.
Android users around the world - me included - just leaped to their feet to offer Zuckerberg a standing ovation. "You hear our misery. THANK YOU!!"
He's talking about the organization, which as of end of June had almost 4,000 people. He's "retooled' the teams, and is pointing out that although there is a "mobile core team," now the entire company is mobile.
Zuckerberg says he codes for fun on the side. At Facebook, all code gets seen and tested by peers. He concedes even his code breaks, which gets a good cheer.
Unlike most speakers, Zuckerberg is talking less to Arrington, turning his face to the audience of more than 3,000 people. He is even smiling alot and no flop sweat.
Zuckerberg: "Everything I make breaks. But we fix it quickly."
Easy to forget how young he is. Zuckerberg moving through each of these questions without breaking a sweat. And he's not shucking and jiving; he's offering precise, detailed answers. Dunno whether Wall Street is hearing what it wants but he's on his game.
He's making the case for Instagram. "They're just killing it," he says. He says he spent a lot of time with Kevin Systrom, Instagram's CEO, and then tension occurred about how much Instagram wanted to bet on Facebook. That tension led to merger talks. "We want to help it grow to hundreds of millions of users...but we have no agenda to force them to go into our infrastructure."
Zuckerberg goes through the Instagram acquisition, which closed last week. Instragram will be prioritized more than if it were an open graph partner, he said. Good for Instagram, not good for other photo sharing apps using the social graph.
Zuckerberg: Building a Facebook phone is "so clearly the wrong strategy for us.''
On a Facebook phone: On the 2nd quarter earnings call, Zuckerberg dismissed the idea of building a Facebook phone, saying it "wouldn't make much sense for us."
He's making the case again, saying he wants to build a system that's deeply integrated into other devices. It makes more sense -- and it does -- that he doesn't make a device, but works with others, as he's doing with iOS, and with Android.
He says he wrote the founders letter -- in the S-1 -- on his phone.
Zuckerberg says Facebook phone is wrong direction. Not doing it, even theoretically. The idea is to build FB system into every device--mobile web, iOS, Android--instead of 20 M FB phone users, not a good number, hundreds of millions of FB enabled mobile devices.
That was Zuck's way of saying, everything is mobile.
The challenge, of course, is that Facebook was built in 2004 and mobile wasn't in the picture. Had he built Facebook now, it would be phone first.
Re: Paul. You're right. I wonder how Facebook might look today had the company started later in life so that Z could build it around mobile.
What's Zuckerberg's take on search? He says search engines are evolving to getting a set of answers. And when you think about from that perspective, Facebook is uniquely positioned.
And yes, he says, "We have a team working on search."
We do a billion queries and day and we aren't even trying. Mostly trying to find people or brand pages or apps. There is a big opportunity in search, evolving to giving a set of answers to a specific question and FB is uniquely position to do that. For example, "Which of my friend or friends of friend work in a company I might like to work at." "At some point we will do it," he said.
Topic is Zynga: He says gaming isn't all bad news -- that Zynga has lost share. But gaming is still huge.
The thing he's spending most of his time on is Open Graph, which helps Apps spread themselves and add social context. Gives a shout-out to Spotify, backed by first Facebook president, Sean Parker.
Last question: Are you still having fun. "For me it's not really about fun," says Zuck. "It's about mission."
There are times people think we're awesome and times people think we're super pessimistic. "I'd rather be in the cycle where we are underestimated."
He says a "bunch of people" are underestimating Facebook.
Boilerplate farewell. But it's the right answer for this crowd.
"I think everyone is amped for what we're going," he concludes.
Zuckeberg was sounding like Marc Andreessen, who is a FB board member. At the depths of the dot-com bust -- in 2003 -- Andreessen told me that he tried to avoid all the press because, as Zuck said, people always say you're smarter than you are and say you're dumber than you are.
Arrington asks Zuckerberg if he is still having fun. He says not thinking of it that way...more about the "mission." In other words, he is a missionary, focused on achieve his goal of colonizing the planet for the better on the Facebook platform. That makes him far more interesting that those who would answer directly about fun or how he is spending his money. He thinks being underestimated is better, so they can do things that surprise people. Don't think people are underestimating Facebook, just looking for it to live up to its reputation.