Facebook's Culture Book (2012)

Oct 31, 2022

When Facebook hit one billion users in 2012, it started leaving little red books on everyone's desk. These books contained stylized graphics of the company's culture and what it aspired to. It's an interesting snapshot of Mark's thinking at the time and interesting to reflect on today, especially since the company is at an important crossroads. The full text is below:

Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission – to make the world more open and connected.

Changing how people communicate will always change the world
Changing how ideas spread changes how society functions, changes how people speak, changes how people live, changes how people tell stories, changes how people fall in love, changes who people consider friends, change who people consider strangers, change what being alone means.

Greatness and comfort rarely coexist.

When you realize what you can't do, you can do some pretty cool stuff.

We don't build services to make money; we make money to build better services.

This means that each Facebook engineer is responsible for approximately 1,000,000 people using Facebook.

Remember, people don't use Facebook because they like us. They use it because they like their friends.

The quick shall inherit the earth. Fast is better than slow. While slow is adding unecessary embellishments, fast is out in the world. And that means fast can learn from experience while slow can only theorize. Those who ship quickly can improve quickly. So fast doesn't just win the race. It gets a head start for the next one.

Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these hackers from the swift completion of their code.

Hacking can be playful – as long as it works.

6 months or 30 years. There is no point in having a 5-year plan in this industry. With each step forward, the landscape you're walking on changes. So we have a pretty good idea of where we want to be in six months, and where we want to be in 30 years. And every six months, we take another look at where we want to be in 30 years and plan out the next six months. It's a little bit shortsighted and a little bit not. But any other approach guarantees everything you release is already obsolete.

Historically, those who controlled the media controlled the message. If you're the only one with a printing press, you control what people read. Same with radio. Same with TV. But what happens when everyone can put their message in front of a lot of people? When the playing field is level? When everyone has a printing press, the ones with the best ideas are the ones people listen to. Influence can no longer be owned. It must be earned.

If we don't create the thing that kills Facebook, someone else will. "Embracing change" isn't enough. It has to be so hardwired into who we are that even talking about it seems redundant. The internet is not a friendly place. Things that don't stay relevant don't even get the luxury of leaving ruins. They disappear.