A Q&A with Mark Zuckerberg

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Mark Zuckerberg’s Newsfeed is getting more and more interesting. Since 2013, his status updates have gone from one-liners and photos of his vacations to meaningful updates on what’s happening at Facebook. Recently, he held a Q&A session – his version of a Reddit AMA

Recently, he held a Q&A session – his version of a Reddit AMA. Some very interesting questions were raised, ranging from Zuckerberg’s reading habits to his vision for Occulus and Facebook money. Let’s hear them:

Richard Branson: (yes, the Richard Branson): Hi Mark. I share your view that it is crucial to connect the two thirds of the world that don’t currently have access to the internet. What do you think will be the biggest benefits of this?

Mark Zuckerberg: Thanks for stopping by Richard Branson!

When we talk about connecting the world, most people talk about the clear benefits to all the people who will get internet access and don’t have it today. Those benefits are many: access to education, health information, jobs and so on. Many people estimate that for every billion people we connect, we’ll raise more than 100 million out of poverty.

But one thing that we often overlook in this discussion is how everyone who is already connected will benefit from having everyone online.

Think about how many brilliant entrepreneurs there are out there who have great ideas and the will to change the world, but just lack basic tools to do so today. If you go by the population, almost 2/3 of these entrepreneurs don’t have internet access today. Once they get connected, we may have 3x as many good ideas and amazing new services built that will benefit everyone around the world.

Hermione Way: If Facebook is to be truly open, you need a community voting process on content that gets flagged, otherwise, by having your internal team decide which content to allow and which to block, Facebook is a non-democratic platform – Can you give us any insight on this matter?

Mark Zuckerberg: I’ve thought a lot about this and I agree with your sentiment. Designing the right mechanism is difficult though and if we get this wrong it would be very negative for our community. One of the biggest challenges is getting enough people to vote so that it actually reflects the community’s opinions rather than just a very small minority. I’m going to keep thinking about this though.

Brian Ka: What is your vision of Oculus?

Mark Zuckerberg: Our mission to give people the power to experience anything. Even if you don’t have the ability to travel somewhere, or to be with someone in person, or even if something is physically impossible to build in our analog world, the goal is to help build a medium that will give you the ability to do all of these things you might not otherwise be able to do. This will be incredibly powerful as a communication medium as well. Just like we capture photos and videos today and then share them on the internet to let others experience them too, we’ll be able to capture whole 3D scenes and create new environments and then share those with people as well. It will be pretty wild.

Morgan Strebler: I was wondering how much bandwidth it takes to keep Facebook operational? Thanks for all you do here and around the world! 

Mark Zuckerberg: It takes many terabits per second of bandwidth, and many hundreds of thousands of servers!

Denis Cehajic: Do you believe Facebook hinders face to face communication skills?

Mark Zuckerberg: No. Tools like Facebook help people communicate mostly with people who aren’t directly around them. For example, I can stay in touch with family members who are traveling or friends who live in other countries. It’s great to be able to do that since I wouldn’t have good opportunities to stay in touch with those folks otherwise.

Turxan Qarishga: When we can transfer money with Facebook?

Mark Zuckerberg: We’ve already started rolling this out as part of Messenger. You can send money to someone just like you’d send them a photo, sticker or voice clip. We’re going to roll this out more widely soon, and it’s an area I’m very excited about expanding over time.

Dan Higgins: How many hours do you work a day?

Mark Zuckerberg: That depends on what you count as work. I spend most of my time thinking about how to connect the world and serve our community better, but a lot of that time isn’t in our office or meeting with people or doing what you’d call real work. I take a lot of time just to read and think about things by myself. If you count the time I’m in the office, it’s probably no more than 50-60 hours a week. But if you count all the time I’m focused on our mission, that’s basically my whole life.

Omar Gaber: What’s the most important secret of success?

Mark Zuckerberg: Don’t give up.

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