Sunday, November 16, 2008

Two Interviews, Two Perspectives

Just read a couple of interesting interviews, one with Mark Zuckerberg (founder of Facebook) and Malcolm Gladwell (author of Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking, and Outliers: The Story of Success).

I feel sorry for Zuckerberg: he sounds like he's being coached and handled. From my point of view becoming that wealthy that early on is pointless. You want to be young and wild before you become middle aged and rich.

From the interview:

Zuckerberg has expanded Facebook to the point where it is among the fastest-growing websites in the history of the internet, but he says the principal mission is the same: sharing.

(((the bait)))

In fact, he uses the word so many times that I wonder if I am talking to a machine. 'The idea was always, tell people, "share more information",' he tells me. 'And that way we could gain more understanding about what's going on with the people around you.'

(((the switch)))

Paul Carr, leading journalistic groupie of the Web2.0 business boom, comments on the nature of success in social networking in his recent book Bringing Nothing to the Party: The True Story of a New Media Whore.

Carr points out that Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Page and Sergey Brin and Tom Anderson and the rest of the [successful] Web2.0 crowd are doomed to a life controlled by minders and advisors, where any and every casual remark could potentially lead to a lawsuit or cause the share price of their company to plummet.

I identify with Malcolm Gladwell quite a lot. Not just because he has a tight 'fro, but also because he is similarly obsessed with the idea of success, his relationship status, his interest in academia whilst not actually being of academia:

Meeting the limits of his own dedication had a formative effect on Gladwell. He has subsequently become preoccupied in his writing with people who would go to greater lengths even than he would to achieve something.


'I don't believe in character,' he says. 'I believe in the effect of the immediate impact of environment and situation on people's behaviour.'


He smiles. 'I have lived with people, though not formally,' he says. And: 'I'm just slow at getting around to things. I am aware of writing about parents' subjects - education and so on - without actually being a parent. I write a lot about kids. It allows me to make all kinds of pronouncements without being confused by actual experience. The other way to think about it is as a rehearsal. It is a way of sorting through those choices before you get there...'

It looks to be a good book. I will read it, and comment on it, then move on.

No comments: