Facebook CEO goes back to school
By Andy Goldberg Nov 9, 2011, 6:31 GMT
San Francisco - Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has gone back to Harvard - but has no plans to finally get the degree he missed out on when he left the elite college to develop Facebook in 2004.
Instead the young billionaire was on a recruiting mission for new Facebook workers and regaled some 200 undergraduates with his views on academic life and social networking - though not necessarily in that order.
'We weren't originally planning this as a business or anything,' said Zuckerberg, who originally developed the social networking site as a way for his fellow students to stay in touch. He also advised students to refrain from following in his footsteps and to complete their studies.
'If I had a chance to do it again I would have gone to classes,' he said.
Zuckerberg is also taking in other elite universities on the two-day recruiting drive, including MIT and Carnegie-Mellon. 'There are a lot of really smart people here,' he said at a press conference, explaining that 'it's a great time to come here' since many students will soon be making decisions about where they want to work following graduation.
Zuckerberg predicted that Facebook would continue to keep growing, doubling in size every year and having an even more transformative effect than it has until now. 'The last five years on Facebook has been about getting people signed up and connected with their friends,' he said. 'But I think that the next five or ten years will be about all these products and industries that need to be rethought now that you have this space.'
Zuckerberg also used his time on the East Coast for an interview in which he revealed that he had turned to Apple founder Steve Jobs for advice on how to build his company.
'He was amazing ... I had a lot of questions for him on ... how to build a team around you, right, that's focused on building as high quality and good things as you are. How to keep an organization focused ... It's like we're trying to do this thing in the world. And I don't know, a lot of it I just think we connected on that level.'
Zuckerberg said he regards companies like Apple and Amazon as allies, while Google was more of a competitor.
'Google, I think, in some ways, is more competitive and certainly is trying to build their own little version of Facebook,' Zuckerberg said in an interview with Charlie Rose on public television. 'But you know, when I look at Amazon and Apple and I see companies who are extremely aligned with us, right? And we have a lot of conversations with people at both companies just trying to figure out ways that we can do more together, and there is just a lot of reception there.'