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How Mark Zuckerberg Became Too Big to Fail

How Mark Zuckerberg Became Too Big to Fail

Read more on The New York Times

Contributions

  • Yes, Facebook is 2 billion users strong and has become so ingrained into our society that it is impossible to ignore. But it is ingrained in a social way and not in an economic way, so I don’t believe Mark Zuckerberg is too big to fail. Now if he ran something like Google, I would say he is definitely

    Yes, Facebook is 2 billion users strong and has become so ingrained into our society that it is impossible to ignore. But it is ingrained in a social way and not in an economic way, so I don’t believe Mark Zuckerberg is too big to fail. Now if he ran something like Google, I would say he is definitely too big to fail, as Google is essential to my daily life, from email communications to finding info on just about anything I need/want to know. If Google gets unplugged tomorrow, I would be up a creek without a paddle.

  • There are some important points in this piece by Farhad Manjoo. Perhaps the most important is the illustration of how essential establishing good governance is, even when everything looks fine at the early stage of a company. Two-class stock/ownership structures that give exceptional power to founders

    There are some important points in this piece by Farhad Manjoo. Perhaps the most important is the illustration of how essential establishing good governance is, even when everything looks fine at the early stage of a company. Two-class stock/ownership structures that give exceptional power to founders are inherently problematic. The idea that one person will always be correct or can see everything better than everyone else seems fundamentally flawed. And this context reduces, rather than improves, Facebook’s ability to see and process the relevant information from the real environment. So even if this crisis can be resolved, this structure could precipitate the next crisis. (Additionally, this dynamic can also inhibit innovation, but that’s secondary in this moment.)

  • This will be an unpopular opinion, but somewhere along the way, Sheryl also became untouchable. Her job is literally to 1) make sure there are processes in place that prevent data and security breaches and 2) to have an adequate response after sh*t hits the fan. She failed at both. Yet nary a criticism

    This will be an unpopular opinion, but somewhere along the way, Sheryl also became untouchable. Her job is literally to 1) make sure there are processes in place that prevent data and security breaches and 2) to have an adequate response after sh*t hits the fan. She failed at both. Yet nary a criticism. I love what Sheryl stands for independent of FB, but from a day job perspective, I expect better from both these leaders.

  • Wall Street's "Too big to fail" now encompasses Silicon Valley. Well-functioning competitive markets are steadily being eroded across America.

    "Zuckerberg, thanks to his own drive and brilliance, has become one of the most powerful unelected people in the world. Like an errant oil company or sugar-pumping

    Wall Street's "Too big to fail" now encompasses Silicon Valley. Well-functioning competitive markets are steadily being eroded across America.

    "Zuckerberg, thanks to his own drive and brilliance, has become one of the most powerful unelected people in the world. Like an errant oil company or sugar-pumping food company, Facebook makes decisions that create huge consequences for society — and he has profited handsomely from the chaos."

  • I love that Farhad has zeroed in on the example of Facebook’s pivot to a mobile-first operation, and whether a similar pivot is underway now. Zuckerberg radically recast the business and product, as critics were carping and investors barking. And then, bang, the company took off as the changes took effect

    I love that Farhad has zeroed in on the example of Facebook’s pivot to a mobile-first operation, and whether a similar pivot is underway now. Zuckerberg radically recast the business and product, as critics were carping and investors barking. And then, bang, the company took off as the changes took effect. Are a wave of parallel adjustments under way today at Facebook? Are they as bold and forward looking? Or are they patchwork attempts to keep a leaky craft afloat? In assessing whether Zuckerberg is too big to fail, these are the central questions. Will Zuckerberg create magic yet again, in an even thornier, more difficult situation? Or will he fall short, amplifying critiques that undercut his long term viability and credibility?

  • Facebook is a user phenomena that took off like a fad. There is nothing significant about the technology behind Facebook except their use and sale of their user’s data. The fact their corporate focus is on figuring out new and innovative ways to collect and make money off their user’s data (in ways their

    Facebook is a user phenomena that took off like a fad. There is nothing significant about the technology behind Facebook except their use and sale of their user’s data. The fact their corporate focus is on figuring out new and innovative ways to collect and make money off their user’s data (in ways their user’s never imagined) is a distasteful break in business ethics and responsibility. It sprouted like a weed in a well kept garden and created a new, previously unimagined, market for the abuse of its own customers. They grew too fast and gained success they didn’t deserve which left them with responsibilities they didn’t understand and were not interested in or focused on addressing. It’s interesting to watch this young man, who is in over his head, try to steer this company toward sustainable success in a climate where the public will become hostile once they understand how the data they ignorantly supplied is truly being used. Facebook is the realized ‘wet dream’ for the cia, kgb, fbi, and every other ‘big brother’ organization in the world. They could not have developed a greater tool for their needs and it’s ironic the public created and continues to update its database voluntarily. It is literally a record of user behavior and that data is being used and abused in ways society never imagined.

  • This is a huge analysis. Hope it’s not just an opinion that Zuckerberg feels ”Hmmm, no one can’t understand what is going on inside of company”.

  • I think what is often overlooked in pieces like this, which seek to raise sensible questions about how large companies operate, is that the American people generally want to see "people" succeed. It isn't so much about the company as it is about the mind that started it all.

    To think that Apple began

    I think what is often overlooked in pieces like this, which seek to raise sensible questions about how large companies operate, is that the American people generally want to see "people" succeed. It isn't so much about the company as it is about the mind that started it all.

    To think that Apple began in a garage, or that Facebook was conceived in a dorm room, or that Tesla and Space X come from the same person. These are things that could have only of happened in America, and the American people are drawn to those stories.

    If we really held all CEOs to a certain standard, companies would be changing leadership every week. It's the reason Musk still has a job despite his management shortcomings. It's the reason Mark is still trying to perfect the social network he created when he was still a college nobody.

    And we want them to succeed, we want them to be better, we want them to overcome and outlast their mistakes and see their ideas through to the end, because that's the American way.

  • It’s striking that even Facebook’s critics can’t imagine the company without Zuck at the helm.

  • Z never intended Facebook (at least from early on) to be the powerful force in our society that it is today. I would argue that Facebook is not simply a social network for “social purposes”, but as this article points out, has far reaching implications. The social network has the ability to define and

    Z never intended Facebook (at least from early on) to be the powerful force in our society that it is today. I would argue that Facebook is not simply a social network for “social purposes”, but as this article points out, has far reaching implications. The social network has the ability to define and redefine culture, mobilize, inspire, communicate quickly, and influence (politically, economically, socially, etc). These abilities can have positive and negative results. And when BILLIONS of humans are accessing this power there needs to be proactive policy-making and forward-looking thought leadership ‘at the helm’. Instead, Z and FB have spent the last couple years constantly wiping up milk thats spilled and addressing internal controls issues and areas of exposure that have previously had no infrastructure...simply because they weren’t planned for, and likely not even envisioned. I don’t know whether Z should step down from this or that. What I do know is that they need to put some strong Controls in place immediately (in the self-regulatory internal-audit sort of way), and go over-the-top with communicating those Controls to the public. Additionally they need to reshape their vision for the the future, over-communicating it outwardly constantly.

    Z and FB may not be accountable to an internal power structure because of his talent, reputation, and shareholder power...and he may not be accountable to a government to a large degree (since regulating this ‘new world’ is still gray and full of ambiguity)...BUT he is accountable in the greater ‘idealistic sense’ to his fellow Humans.

    That being said, I apologize for the length of my comment, which I will click ‘submit’ now and share to Twitter and Facebook.

  • I'll stick to this wonderful paragraph: "If Facebook admits now that its problems were caused by a too-idealistic, move-fast culture, and if it is conceding now that its culture must change, how can we be sure that’s happening if most of the people who run Facebook remain the same?"

    I agree completely

    I'll stick to this wonderful paragraph: "If Facebook admits now that its problems were caused by a too-idealistic, move-fast culture, and if it is conceding now that its culture must change, how can we be sure that’s happening if most of the people who run Facebook remain the same?"

    I agree completely, Facebook's problem isn't one of business model but of culture. Culture breathes life into the business model and informes all critical decisions. And Zuckerberg is the chief lemming. Oh and for the record, they'll fail with Oculus and they'll break the system trying to monetize stories.

  • If Facebook was gone tomorrow, what would really change? Too big to fail? Hardly.

  • My Space...AOL... both huge in their days. I see people saying the internet bubble is over. Nothing new to be created. If we all thought like that where would we be now?

  • GOD has the biggest plateform - THE UNIVERSE AND BEYOND ! We can't even get out of Our solar system !

  • No one is too big to fail. Facebook announced recently it was at the early stages of a shift.... so what do you think it means? It is simply trying to stay relevant. Just like yahoo, aol at one point in recent history. Funny how people have short term memory....

  • I am curious why Zuckerberg is so indispensable to Facebook that he can’t be fired. I am also wondering if his direction is the real cause behind many of the data breaches and how Facebook’s reach has spun out of control. I do agree with the article’s point though that some of the most influential people

    I am curious why Zuckerberg is so indispensable to Facebook that he can’t be fired. I am also wondering if his direction is the real cause behind many of the data breaches and how Facebook’s reach has spun out of control. I do agree with the article’s point though that some of the most influential people on our lives and policy are unelected. Large corporations are huge stakeholders in our political and civic lives. How do we keep them accountable?