Business Lessons From a Young Mark Zuckerberg

CNBC recently compiled some quotes Mark Zuckerberg gave to the Harvard Crimson in the early days of Facebook – or, as it was called back then, The Facebook. While this CEO’s rise to fame has been chronicled heavily in print and in movies like The Social Network, the quotes reveal a less confident, more humble side of this Internet mogul. A side that was really not sure his idea would take off at all.

We took a few of the quotes reprinted by CNBC to show you how even one of the biggest successes in the world can doubt his creation and its potential reception. If you’re struggling to regain your footing in this commercial real estate market, or if you’re wondering whether your latest out-of-the-box idea is fit for consumption, just remember, we all have those moments of doubt.

Maybe your idea or sales strategy is golden. Maybe it’s one of the other millions of ideas that fall by the wayside. Either way, know that it takes a whole lot of belief, hard work and yes, sometimes failure, to succeed. We think it was Michael Jordan who said it best: “I’ve failed over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed.”

Zuckerberg’s Early Thoughts on Facebook

1.     “If I hadn’t launched it that day, I was about to just can it and go on to the next thing I was about to do.”
Sometimes the one thing separating success from failure is execution. Who knows why Zuckerberg decided to hit the figurative green button that day that launched the second most popular website in America, but he did. So take a chance, put yourself out there and see what’s waiting to bite.
2.     “I have no idea why it’s so popular. I was pretty surprised.”
It may seem odd that someone who pours blood, sweat and tears (or at least a copious amount of time) into a concept would then be so surprised at its success, but it’s not all that rare. We really have no concept of whether an idea that sounds brilliant – and perhaps a bit crazy – in our heads will strike a nerve with our audience. Sure, we can conduct our due diligence. Ask friends. Do market research. We can, and should, do all these things before introducing a new strategy or product into the market, but in the end, consumers can be fickle and unpredictable. All the research in the world can’t ensure the success or failure of a product until it’s hit a mass audience.
3.    “I don’t really like putting a price-tag on the stuff I do. That’s just like not the point.”
The lesson here is let passion be your guide. Zuckerberg created a product he thought would be unique and useful. In fact, he first created The Facebook as an alternative to the paper “facebooks” Harvard had been publishing for individual campus houses since the mid-‘80s. Many products are created as alternatives to other products. We know we’re not the only commercial real estate database on the market, but through our passion for properties and customer service, we strive to provide the best version of this type of database as possible. If you create your strategies based on passion rather than profit, the profits are a lot more likely to follow because they were based on a genuine desire to provide the best product or service possible.