Facebook: A Company Who Lost Focus
A company whose goal from the very beginning was growth dedicated years to it. Focusing on it. What Mark Zuckerberg did at the time was a bold move that even I praised once for such a tactic.
But it’s funny that while he dedicated so much time to growing the platform, he didn’t focus on everything. The company lost focus by merely focusing on growing as quickly as possible.
This has nabbed Zuckerberg several times over the past few years and slowly Facebook is declining.
We’ve already seen plenty of posts on Medium discussing issues with Facebook. Some going as far as recommending us to close our accounts.
And as Facebook gets wrapped up in scandal after scandal, it’s easy for us to see now that Facebook — as focused as it was — has lost focus entirely.
It’s to the point that some of the executives are pushing blame onto other people which is a big no-no as a leader.
One should never shift the blame unless they have concrete evidence that they were not involved at all.
But setting the blunders of Facebook aside, it’s important to be looking at the company as a whole.
How did Facebook lose focus exactly?
And what can we learn from these mistakes as entrepreneurs?
Because it goes deeper than mere loss of focus. Not to mention it’s clear that focusing on one thing can be dangerous.
Loss Of Focus
In the early stages of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg held a strategic meeting. It was a stellar one where he explained the company’s goal at the time where not many people took Facebook seriously.
His priority and everyone else’s should be on one specific goal.
Any ideas, or suggestions that don’t align with growing Facebook would be turned down from that point forward.
All in all, it’s a great example of intense focus on a goal and it clearly works. Today, Facebook is one of the largest social media platforms around. And even with the issues that Facebook is plagued with, it’s still getting a lot of usage. Not to mention advertisers are still paying Facebook to run ads on there as well as companies using their promotional services to boost pages, posts, and more.
But this growth has come at a cost to Facebook.
You could say this is a massive opportunity cost that turned into an actual cost to the company.
While Facebook was growing its user base, their focus was on getting advertisers attention, making the platform looking appealing and attractive and driving value that way. And while that’s a good thing there comes a point where you have to turn back to the customer.
And Facebook didn’t do that.
We know this because there have now been a series of breaches and hacks, exploitations of the platform and more. This violates our own privacy and security which we were assured was protected when we signed up for Facebook.
But if we dig deeper, we know just how unfocused this company is.
Facebook has taken pride in their mantra “make an impact.” And while it’s a good mantra, it only really celebrates the individual achievements. It doesn’t look at the efforts of an entire team. And it’s through that where we get a sense of the company culture.
A disorganized culture.
Imagine the chaos of what staff have to go through whenever they run into big issues like this.
It’s in these situations where we see Facebook for what it really is. Completely cluttered and with no actual structure.
And that’s a big issue when you’re a $200 billion dollar company.
And this is scratching the surface as many other people have horror stories about working for Facebook. The stories being enough to say Facebook was destined to be hot garbage eventually.
What Really Matters
What’s happening to Facebook and how we saw Facebook reminds me a lot of the story of Daedalus and Icarus. Not that the pair were imprisoned, but when Icarus and Daedalus escaped the prison by creating wings.
Icarus was excited with the new experience and started to fly higher and higher. And while Daedalus warned Icarus, he didn’t listen and continued to fly higher.
He did that until his wings caught on fire and he crashed down into the water and drowned.
Facebook was hellbent on growth (gaining altitude) so much that it avoided considering other options. Facebook wasn’t aware of what was around them even though it was staring at them right in the face when issues rose up.
What’s important for us to know in our businesses is that while focus is good, it's important to be aware of what’s going on.
A business will always have fires to put out.
To avoid them is to let them fester and grow into massive blazes.
And we already know how devastating fires can really be.
But it’s also important to look at other weaknesses that you have. When Zuckerberg went to Congress to talk about one of their massive scandals, one question came up that stuck into my head.
“Do you know who Facebook is competing against?”
“I don’t know if any company has a product similar to ours.”
Facebook is certainly a unique tech company. It’s not just a social media platform, but a lot more. But on top of that, it makes it very difficult for Zuckerberg to pinpoint any weaknesses.
After all, a monopoly is not going to know what weaknesses it has.
Or at least it’s not going to be the forefront issue.
Weaknesses build a company. And while they are devastating, that only occurs if you’re oblivious to them or never address them or try to mitigate them.
It’s through these particular lessons where we can learn to not create our own massive blazes. We may not be a massive tech giant, filled with disorganized people and be up to our eyeballs in scandals, but at least we know now how to avoid being a massive tech giant, filled with disorganized people and be up to our eyeballs in scandals.