A lesson for young wunderkinds with visions of unicorns in their heads pitching their ideas up and down Sand Hill Road: Be careful what you wish for.
Mark Zuckerberg always knew what he wanted Facebook to be. Although he certainly couldn’t have imagined more than one billion people using it, he clearly and repeatedly said he wanted it to be a utility for as many people as possible.
That vision shaped the company’s entire growth strategy: In an age when MySpace got a $ 900 million ad deal based on their gargantuan page views, Facebook stubbornly didn’t care about traffic. It wanted to streamline the social networking experience and make it integral enough to your life that you visited several times a day.
At the time some argued the strategy was antithetical to making money: An advertiser— say Citibank— would only get to advertise to the same people over and over again? Where’s the value in that?
Boy, were the critics proven wrong…