Think Like Zuck

Discover the secrets to becoming a great entrepreneur

Today, our world is filled with those aspiring of being the next Mark Zuckerberg or even the next Jeff Bezos. Obviously, it’s no secret that only a few will end up at the top while the rest will end up very far from the billions that they are going after.

How come the companies of some entrepreneurs work while other ones aren’t as successful. When you take a look at the details of Mark Zuckerberg’s success in Think Like Zuck, you’ll learn the business practices that he along with many other successful CEOs had followed. If you follow this advice, there’s a much better chance that you’ll be able to beat everyone else and turn into the next Mark Zuckerberg.

In this text, you’ll find out:

  • How come Mark Zuckerberg started off slowly
  • How come it’s alright to “take inspiration” from time to time from your competition
  • How come one business only ever hires happy employees

Successful entrepreneurs let their passion drive them.

Suppose, for instance, that you want to create a start-up. What do you need to do, look for the industry that’s the most up-and-coming? Should you make a concept that works for the largest market available? What you should actually do is take an entirely different approach; allow your passion to be the driver. Indeed, that’s just what Mark Zuckerberg had done in order to create the career that he has.

Even prior to Facebook, Zuckerberg had a passion for connecting people with one another. In fact, back in the 90s, he had created the messaging system “Zucknet” in order to connect the computers in his parents’ home.

In addition to providing Zuckerberg with the direction his career would take him, going after his passion provided him with another benefit: notice how initially, Facebook was quite similar to both Myspace and Friendster. That being said, because Zuckerberg’s passion revolved around socially connection people online, his solution was actually just what the people had wanted, causing it to overcome his competition.

Therefore, from this, you can learn that if you go after your passion, there isn’t any serious problem with “stealing” some inspiration from some other location as your idea will end up standing out by itself naturally.

Another benefit to going after your passion as that there’s a much greater chance of you being persistent, meaning that you won’t give up, even in the case of failure.

For example, prior to when Zuckerberg had created Facebook, he had made “Facemash”, which was a social platform which had let users both compare as well as rate the photos of those studying at Harvard. It ended up failing, though, as the website had used students’ photos without them having given any permission, which is why Harvard’s disciplinary board ended up shutting it down. Despite the fact that Zuckerberg had failed, because his passion drove him, he continued persistently.

It’s also important to note that even though his passion was crucial, being able to act had also played a really big role in why he ended up being so successful.

It’s no secret that regardless of how much you love something, if you don’t end up acting on it, you won’t end up succeeding. Fortunately, you can get over inaction by recalling the message on one of the posters at Facebook’s headquarters which says, “Done is better than perfect.”

Successful companies are built around an inspiring vision.

In addition to being passionate, a successful entrepreneur will also have a mission, or a personal goal, which they won’t give up on until it’s actually done.

The mission of an entrepreneur is what will help outline the mission of their company, but that’s followed by a lot of consequences. Keep in mind that a mission that’s inspiring is able to turn customers into followers that you can count on, which is highly advantageous to any business that would like to stand out from everyone else in the marketplace.

For instance, although Apple sets much higher prices while they’ve got a much smaller market share in comparison to their competitors, it is still very successful. A part of this success comes from their inspiring mission to make items that defy the convention and get people to “Think Different”. Since a lot of customers relate to that strong message, they all go after their items.

In addition to differentiating your business, a mission is also advantageous as it allows you to see your company as so much more that a business, thus increasing the likelihood of succeeding in the long run.

That’s just what had happened in Mark Zuckerberg’s case. Facebook’s mission had been “to make the world more open and connected”. Therefore, whenever he would get an offer to sell Facebook, he would always decline as it seemed to him that his mission still hadn’t been fulfilled. In fact, that mentality is the basis of one of Facebook’s most well known slogans: “The journey is only one percent finished.”

On top of being a very important guidepost for the founder, the company, as well as the customers, the mission is also important as it’s one of the main motivators for their staff. This is due to the fact that very skilled professionals that don’t care much for the project won’t work as well as experienced staff that care a lot about the mission.

This idea is apparent at Threadless, which is a successful business that prints designs from unknown artists onto shirts. The CEO always goes for those with less experience but with his vision of providing those artists with a platform for their art, rather than those with a lot of experience but not enough interest in the mission.

Successful companies are built around an inspiring vision.

As we had mentioned earlier, a person that likes their job will be a much better staff member than someone who doesn’t like it. Entrepreneurs need to keep that in mind if they’d like to hire the proper people.

So, how exactly do you hire the proper people? Begin by outlining your business’s culture. The thing is, if you’d like to find staff with the same core values as your own, you need to have a good understanding of what those core values actually are.

That’s exactly what the top online retailer, Zappos, had done when they made fun slogans that summed up the business’s main value; a few examples include “deliver wow through service” or “create fun and a little weirdness”.

In order to make sure that every member that’s hired match those values, Zappos tests them out by asking, for instance, to analyze how lucky they are based on a scale from one to ten. Right away, Zappos gets rids of all of the pessimists, which is essentially any person under a seven.

If this process looks like it’s too complicated, keep in mind that whatever choices you end up making throughout the hiring process will either end up making or breaking your company. As a result, one of the reasons why Zappos cares a lot about the recruitment process is due to the fact that the CEO had once figured out that they had lost over $100 million because of poor hiring choices.

However, even if you do end up hiring the proper people, there is still a whole lot more that you can do to make sure that your staff actually like their jobs and work to the utmost of their abilities: You need to treat them well and put their happiness first. The thing is, if you end up taking care of your staff, they will end up taking care of the customers just like you did them.

As a result, businesses need to create an atmosphere filled with trust as well as make the company seem like a fun place to work at. As a result, Facebook’s offices have music and gaming equipment which lets their staff to take breaks and relax.

Never compromise on the quality of your product.

Facebook had begun as the coding project of a 19-year-old-college student, but with time, it turned into an essential communication tool. How did this end up happening? The reason why Facebook ended up gaining the success that it has is because it had always paid attention on both a solid product and user experience.

Indeed, a solid item needs to be at the heart of any business strategy, which is something you shouldn’t ever compromise on. This means that you want to make sure that the item is either identical to or higher than customers’ expectations and needs to be at the base of each business decision that you make.

For instance, when Facebook had begun to expand, Mark Zuckerberg made sure that the expansion was slow and careful that way the business was able to handle every new demand. Therefore, at the beginning, only Harvard students could use Facebook. Zuckerberg didn’t end up opening the service to various other universities until it had enough server capacity. That being said, even though you need cautious and make sure that the quality of the product is high, that is simply one part of the puzzle; you also have to be quite innovative. In other words, you have to consistently try to come up with other ways that you can make your item much better.

Due to the fact that innovation is such a big factor in product quality, staff need to be supported to think in other ways.

As a result, take into consideration Facebook’s philosophy to “move fast and break things”. Going off of that principle, they host internal hackathons so that developers have time to come up with some new ideas. This process has helped create a lot of cool Facebook features like Timeline, Chat, as well as the Like button.

That being said, this hackathon model doesn’t simply create innovation; it is also a great way to teach staff an important lesson: not every single new idea will work from the first time and it is okay to fail.

The thing is, there are times when you will have to fail many times if you want to make big success. For instance, James Dyson had created 5,127 prototypes before he ended up finally getting the right one and creating the bagless vacuum cleaner that turned into the bestselling item in Britain as well as the market leader in the states.

A great leadership team is made up of people with complementary capabilities and experience.

The top teams have people with all sorts of skills. For example, each solid football team has got some defenders, midfielders, and strikers. Unshockingly, this model also works to create amazing leadership teams.

Naturally, just as any amazing football team, the most successful leadership teams don’t only have various skills, but they’ve also got complementary capabilities as well as experiences.

Therefore, in that case, a solid business team would put together a visionary, which is someone with nice ideas and innovative enthusiasm, together with a builder, which is someone that’s got really good organizational skills and is business savvy. The balance helps make sure that the mission will remain in focus and the operational part of the company will keep on being developed.

For instance, because Sheryl Sandberg, who is the builder, became COO at Facebook, Zuckerberg, who is the visionary, could put all of his attention on the things that he was the best at which was creating products and the vision of the company. On the other hand, Sandberg brought her copious amounts of experience in business development to the table in order to optimize the operations at Facebook, which is something Zuckerberg had struggled with.

It’s important to mention that making this balance of staff is important as that’s how you can multiply the chance of a company succeeding. This is due to the fact that your team has knowledge and expertise in a variety of areas, allowing you to evaluate issues and opportunities from lots of various perspectives.

That is just what had occured when Steve Wozniak had showed his very first invention, which was the personal computer, to Steve Jobs, one of his friends. Wozniak had been so proud of his creation that he was prepared to give it away at no cost, simply for the good of it all. That being said, Jobs, who was quite business savvy, recognized the opportunity for a couple of friends to make their own business. That’s just how Apple Computers came to life: Wozniak had made an innovation and Jobs learned how to make it into a business.

Final Summary

The most successful businesses are those that are run by leaders who are passionate and who have purpose as they can make strong alliances and pay attention to making innovative and quality items.

Practical advice:

Don’t stay put on something that you aren’t passionate about.

It’s very simple to go into either a project or a job that you don’t care much for, but you just go through it as you feel like you should. However, don’t give up on your passion and instead, keep on looking until you are able to find something that actually inspires you. Believe us when we say that you’ll know when you’ve figured it out!