A book entitled, “Think Like Zuck:The Five Business Secrets of Facebook’s Improbably Brilliant CEO Mark Zuckerberg” by Ekaterina Walter was published in late December. I’ll be honest, I haven’t yet read it, but it’s on my short list.
In case you don’t know who Zuck is (and I’m guessing if you’re reading this you probably do, but for our less than Netizen friends), we’re talking about Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO and founder of Facebook. He has built Facebook into a household-word site. And I’m guessing that even if you don’t know who Zuck is, you DO know about Facebook. It’s been integrated into most websites and gets more traffic than ghod of the Internet.
So, I was reading an article at WebProNews.com, entitled “What ‘Thinking Like Zuck’ Could Mean for Your Business,” by Chris Crum, and there were several different takeaways that Crum had about the book. Here’s what I saw:
- Don’t be talked out of anything you feel strongly about
The first thing that struck me was that Zuckerberg often has ideas that aren’t well-received by his staff. For example, the news feed. I don’t know about you, but that’s the first place I land and I try to visit, even for 5 minutes every day. Facebook is a hangout to be with friends and family, for sure, but it’s also a great place to learn — more about business in general, about your niche, about your competitors, and with the new graph search, you can plugin just about anything you can think of and come back with lots of suggestions to check out.
Don’t be afraid to try new things, even if your mentors, co-workers, or friends are advising against it. I’d start small to see how something works before going whole hog, but intuition does play a HUGE part in success. If you feel strongly about something, you have to give it a shot. Sure, you might be wrong, but that’s part of the learning process, too. Failing is a good thing, if you look at it the right way.
Don’t let anyone stop your progress, even when they disagree.
- Have some entrepreneurs on board
Lots of folks have entrepreneurial spirit, but aren’t comfortable going off on their own and taking the chances that entrepreneurial ventures can present. I mean, there’s infrastructure, public relations, customer service, human resources, and on and on. There’s lots to think about when you’re running a business that’s yours alone. And there’s the money thing and the health insurance thing, and …
Many people just prefer the security of a job. I know I did for five years. I knew what to expect in my paycheck every week, had that precious insurance, and a great team of people to work with. It was very difficult for me to leave and just outright do my own thing. Now that it’s over, I’m glad it is, but I think one reason for the success of my old employer was the number of entrepreneurs that worked for the company. Of the staff of 15, at least 7 of us had ongoing concerns on the side.
Hire people who think like entrepreneurs. They’ll help you in ways you don’t yet understand.
- Run a Hackathon on a Regular Basis
Have a full day where people can work on projects they’d like to see fulfilled on a regular basis. You get some of the best stuff that way!
But Facebook isn’t the only company does this. Fed Ex is another company that does, and we used to have “Fed Ex Day” once a month at my old employer, too. Some of us figured out ways to save money. Some built whole websites in a day. And some worked in their part of the company to make things work more efficiently. It didn’t’ matter what you did. It just had to be something you felt strongly about. Some great things came from it.
Let your employees create things on their own. You never know when that ONE idea becomes a killer moneymaker for you.
- Monitor your niche
I spend at least a couple of hours every week studying the search and Internet business landscape. Things change on a dime, and if you’re not paying close attention to what’s happening online, you’ll fail. Make it a point to put some study time in. It can only make you stronger.
Make your employees study, too. In my old job, one great thing the CEO made us do is read and learn. One hour a day education, one hour a day implementation was the rule. He’d often buy books for the whole company and make them mandatory reading, which was AWESOME. It helped us all to be on the same page and to be smarter about what we were doing.
Study, study, study. Learning is not finite.
- Hire for passion, not skills alone, and treat your employees well
If your employee’s aren’t passionate about what they’re doing, they won’t care about your company’s success. They’re just collecting paychecks. You need people excited about the niche you’re working in and the necessary skills to do the job. People who are passionate and excited about something work much harder than people who don’t care.
Once you have the right people in place, you MUST treat them well. Disgruntled employees will take a company down faster than anything. Pulling people up instead of pulling them down is important!
Tell people you think they’re doing a good job for you. Give them small perks now and then. Get to really know them, too, and about their families.
If you want your company to run well, nothing works like making your people feel like they’re part of something bigger, that what they’re doing for you matters, and that they are appreciated.
I’m on my own now. I have five people working with me as contractors, but one day, I hope to be hiring full-time employees. For now, I know that I have people who care about what they’re doing and I try to let them know how much I appreciate them. But I’m learning more every day about many different niches, and it’s making me passionate about learning something about all of them. It’s not only making me a better business person; it’s making me more passionate about what I do.
Find your passion. Put it to work. Find others that are passionate about what you’re doing and who have the skills, let them be creative, but never let them tell you, “No!” when you’re thinking, “YES!” You’ll have a much better business for it. So, thank you Mr. Z. I’m excited about buying that book today. 🙂