Y Combinator is helping entrepreneurs build more successful businesses with the launch of a video series entitled “How to Build the Future.” Sam Altman sits down with Mark Zuckerberg to talk about how to build the future.
Just a casual chat between a super VC/YC boss and the founder of the world’s biggest social network about everything from the early days of Facebook and the challenges it faced, to Zuck’s views on what’s going to happen to Facebook and tech in the next 20 years.
“The best companies that get built are things that are trying to drive social change, even though it’s local in one place, more than starting out because you want to make a lot of money or have a lot of people working for you or build some company in some way,” Zuckerberg opined. “I always think that this is kind of some perverse thing about Silicon Valley in a way, which is that people decide often that they want to start a company before they even decide what they want to do. That feels like really backwards to me. For anyone that has experience building a company, you know that you go through some really hard things along the way. I think part of what gets you through that is believing in what you’re doing and knowing that what you’re doing is really delivering a lot of value for people. That’s how the best companies are getting made.”
When asked about the hardest parts of Facebook, he shared his experience when Yahoo offered “a lot of money” for the company a couple of years in, when there were 10 million users. Zuckerberg described this point in time when interesting conversations took place in the company and established Facebook’s future, even amid debate by some investors to sell to Yahoo. Much of the tension was caused by a lack of communication of Facebook’s mission to the team, which eventually resulted in Zuckerberg’s management team departing.
This isn’t the first time that Zuckerberg has regaled the Y Combinator audience about the origins of the popular social network. He’s shared his experience at multiple instances of the program’s Startup School events in 2012 and 2013. Other talking points he brought up include the move to artificial intelligence and virtual reality.
In the end, Facebook’s CEO offered up this advice: “Over time, the biggest risk you can take is not to take any risks.”