Mark Zuckerberg Facebook IPO

Mashable OP-ED: This post reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of Mashable as a publication.

Shark Week may be over — but for Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg, the sharks are just starting to circle.

Facebook stock, continuing its disastrous slide, is now worth half of its price at IPO. Peter Thiel, Facebook’s first major investor, dumped nearly all of his stake in the social network for $400 million. Wall Street grumbling has led USA Today, the Los Angeles Times and NBC News to run stories in the last few days all asking the same question: is Zuckerberg’s job secure?

Monday’s Mashable poll asking if the founder should step aside has, at time of writing, 2,600 respondents saying he should go. Just under 2,800 support Zuckerberg, with 800 on the fence. That’s a victory of sorts for him, but not exactly a ringing endorsement.

Let’s be clear: Zuck isn’t in any immediate danger of being booted. The terms of the IPO saw to that. He controls 57% of the voting shares in the company. The movement against him, if you can call it that, has no real leadership. His most obvious internal replacement, COO Sheryl Sandberg, is a longtime ally.

No, the only person who could make Zuckerberg step aside for a different role, or leave the company altogether, is Zuck himself. And why would he ever want to do that?

Well, because every successful founder has to concede at some point that the company has outgrown their abilities to manage it. Because Zuck is 28 and has no prior experience at the helm of a company this large (3,500 employees and growing fast).

Because Facebook appears to be going through a sophomore slump where it could benefit from a fresh perspective, particularly in the areas of user experience, privacy, advertising, and investor relations.

And because there is absolutely no shame in it. There are a number of powerful precedents for tech companies where the founders ceded control, each with positive results for the founder in question. Their names: Apple, Google and Microsoft.

The Apple Precedent

Steve Jobs’ ejection from Apple in 1985, and his triumphant return in 1997, is the stuff of business legend. True, no founder would want to replicate Jobs’ year-long emotional feud with CEO John Sculley (whom Jobs hand-picked to lead his company, then fell out with). Nor would they wish to deal with their baby on life support, which is what Apple was when Jobs was brought back into the fold by the purchase of his second company, NeXT.

But the lesson remains: an arrogant twentysomething founder was forced into the wilderness, and the shock of it turned him into one of the greatest tech leaders of all time.

By 1997, Jobs was in his 40s. He had mellowed considerably, to the point where he was able to swallow his pride and ask his old rival Bill Gates to make a life-saving investment in Apple. The NeXT software he brought with him formed the basis of Mac OSX. He had also bought a tiny animation company, Pixar, turned it into the envy of Hollywood, and forged the connections that helped make Apple such a major player in the entertainment world.

What could Zuck build if he walked away from Facebook tomorrow, leaving it in Sandberg’s capable hands? What would be his NeXT? And how would it benefit the tech world in the long run? Millions of us would no doubt be delighted to find out.

But if he doesn’t want to take that drastic a step, he could also take the compromise that Sculley suggested — and Jobs, in his pride, refused — become the company’s chief innovation officer, take a bright young team of engineers, form a skunkworks.

Had he been freed from major management responsibility and the drama that came with it, it’s possible that Jobs’ second round of revolutionary products could have arrived a lot earlier — and the most valued company in history could be worth even more.

The Google Precedent

Plenty of founders step aside from the CEO role voluntarily. Larry Page and Sergey Brin, both in their 20s and aware of their inexperience in business, headhunted the perfect CEO for Google.

In Eric Schmidt, they found an ideal mentor and partner. They were certain they shared the same values, because of one of the criteria: the winning candidate, Page and Brin said, had to have gone to Burning Man. Schmidt had. He got it, got them, got Google.

Schmidt liked to joke that he was providing the adult supervision at Google; in fact, as well he knew, he was one leg of a powerful triumverate. From 2001 to 2011, Page and Brin were free to learn from him, lead projects, and still effectively retained control of the company if they both agreed something should be a certain way.

The Schmidt decade saw Google go from a promising search engine to a global tech powerhouse. Finally, in 2011, Page was ready to take the helm as CEO and all the boring stuff — management of sales teams and vice presidents — that goes with it. Schmidt settled back into an executive Chairman role.

What if Zuck and Sandberg were to headhunt their ideal CEO and form a triumverate? They could take their time and find the ideal candidate, someone who would fit in with Facebook’s hacker culture. They would still retain control, if they felt the new guy didn’t quite get something.

And Zuck would be able to learn the craft of CEO-ship from a slight distance. Following the Google model, he could step back into the role in 2022, at the age of 38: older, wiser, and ready to take on Wall Street and the world.

The Microsoft Precedent

In January 2000, Microsoft founder and CEO Bill Gates stepped aside for his old friend Steve Ballmer. Gates became Chief Software Architect. One might argue that he should have done it earlier; a different CEO might not have provoked the Department of Justice into its antitrust lawsuit the way Gates did in the late 1990s. One might also argue, based on Ballmer’s record in the last decade, that he should have chosen a different successor.

Regardless, it was a phenomenally good move for Gates himself. Almost overnight, the sullen man in the DOJ deposition video, known for shouting at his underlings, transformed into a smiling, globetrotting philanthropist, known for appearing on the cover of Time Magazine with Bono.

Gates remained at Microsoft until 2008, and still got to oversee key Microsoft initiatives such as the Xbox and Xbox 360. He let go in stages, handpicking his successor as Chief Software Architect, the legendary Ray Ozzie. It’s hard to imagine a more graceful exit from the company you love.

So there are three exit models from recent tech history. One if Zuck wants to go start something else, to relive his glory student days; one if he wants to stay at the top of the company while learning the craft from an industry pro; one if he wants to transition out of tech altogether.

Of course, there’s nothing to stop him sticking around, enduring the slings and arrows of NASDAQ. He’s more than earned the right to stick it out.

But as Facebook tries to figure out how to turn nearly a billion users into a lasting tech company — how to enter the pantheon of thriving giants such as Apple, Google and Microsoft — Zuck could do worse than to follow their examples.

History has taught us that humans are the most curious and smartest living organisms on the planet and as a result of this we invent new things. From the moment some caveman bashed a rock on the ground to make the first sharp-edged tool, to the development of electricity and the Internet, several key advancements stand out as particularly revolutionary. Despite the fact we have hardly spent fifteen years in the new millennium, our century is already full of great and not-so-great inventions which remind us that no matter how advanced our society might be, human curiosity never fails to seek out new advancements and technologies. See how these 25 spectacular inventions of the 21st century is helping to re-define humanity.

25. Indoor Clouds

Berndnaut Smilde, an Amsterdam artist, has been making indoor clouds since 2010. They only last for a moment and they will definitely help anyone who’s trying to impress others with his or her surrealistic photos, but we can’t really see what other use or contribution to society this bizarre invention could have. Hmmm, nowthat we think about it, the people who work in the film industry will probably get really excited about this one.

24. Facebook

If you’re the nostalgic type who misses the real-life parties that took place in the ‘80s and ‘90s then you are going to hate Facebook for keeping people in their rooms in front of their computers. On the other hand, if you love to live in a virtual world where you can be whatever and whoever you want with the click of a button you probably worship Facebook more than anything else in life.

23. Apple iPod

In 2001, before Apple and Samsung started bombing the world with their superb smartphone devices of the last five or six years there was the iPod, a smallgadget that changed how we viewed and played music. To make a long story short, the MP3 was introduced to the world and CDs, which had previously replaced cassettes, which replaced vinyl records before them, joined them in the dusty archives of our music tech history.

22. Virtual keyboard

To be completely honest we don’t see how a virtual keyboard is necessary for someone or at least when it comes to everyday people and workers who have to use a keyboard, but it’s undeniably a cool way to impress your friends in case you’re trying to make an impact. Keep in mind that it will cost you a respectable amount of money though.

21. Flower Sound

In 2004 the Japanese based Let’s Corporation introduced a very ambitious project named Flower Sound, a gadget that consists of a doughnut-shaped magnet and coil at the base of a vase. It hooks up to a CD player, TV, or stereo and relays sounds through a flower’s stem out through its petals. We’re not exactly sure if this strange but cool invention has any real contribution to humanity but it definitely makes you wonder about the creativity of some people, doesn’t it?

20. The Oculus Rift

One of the most credible videogame websites in the world, GameSpy, describes the Oculus Rift as the “closest we’ve come to Star Trek’s holodeck,” and from a gamer’s point of view that’s not an exaggeration at all. But Oculus’s only contribution and purpose is to entertain and nothing more. So don’t get overexcited if you don’t dig video games because youmaybe disappointed.

19. Apple iPhone

Twoto three decades ago the idea of having a mobile phone that would allow you to surf the Internet, watch movies on its 5.1-inch high-definition screen, take photos, listen to music, and do a wide range of other things would have made you sound like a delusional geek. Well, that’s certainly no longer the case in the twenty-first century.

18. The Invisible Skyscraper

The Tower Infinity in South Korea was included in Time magazine’s 25 best inventions of 2013 and is supposed to be the world’s first skyscraper that, for a few hours a day, modestly provides an unobstructed view of the sky behind it. It is expected to be completed in 2016 and most architects around the world are hailing it as an architectural miracle that will open new horizons in the worlds of architecture and engineering.

17. Google Glass

Google Glass is smart eyewear that helps you get exactly what you want right in front of your eyes, literally.It displays information in a smartphone-like, hands-free format but the only difference is that you wear it instead of hold it. Don’t get too excited, though, because it will cost you a small fortune to make it yours on top of the fact that Google announced it is stopping sales.

16. The Plus Pool

The first Plus Pool was designed in New York to filter the very river that it floats in through the walls of the pool, making it possible for New Yorkers and its visitors to swim in clean river water. The layered filtration system incrementally removes bacteria and contaminants to ensure nothing but clean, swimmable water that meets both city and state standards. No chemicals, no additives, just natural river water. Other than super cool this one is totally environmentally friendly so we hereat List25 fully approve.

15. Birth control patch

Have you heard of this small patch that sticks to you (if you’re a lady that is),or your girlfriend’s skin and helps to prevent pregnancy so you can enjoy a more relaxed sex life? No? They have been around for a couple ofyears, are medically cleared, and are considered perfectly safe, effective, and convenient, and all you need is a doctor’s prescription and a few bucks to get some. Welcome to the twenty-first century, ladies.

14. Hybrid Vehicles

To some it may seem like an odd thing that a hybrid car with two energy sources could actually be better for the environment than traditional cars. However, that is exactly the idea that hybrid experts support—that hybrid cars are better for the environment. The jury is still out on hybrid cars, trains, and vehicles in generalbut only time will tell if this is one of the greatest inventions of our century or just another overhyped idea that failed to deliver.

13. SixthSense

We’re not talking about the 90’s film starring Bruce Willis, but rather a wearable gestural interface that augments the physical world around us with digital information and lets us use natural hand gestures to interact with that information. I know, I know, all this probably sounds like a sci-fi scenario, but the truth is that a limited number of these devices are already sold for commercial use and as most experts guarantee us, the near future belongs to the SixthSense.

12. Artificial Memories

An ongoing collaboration between the Japanese Riken Brain Science Institute and MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory has resulted in the discovery of how to plant false memories into the brains of mice. The breakthrough significantly extends our understanding of memory and expands the horizons of psychiatry against mental conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder and depression among others.

11. Amazon Kindle

A typical Kindle allows you to shop online and download thousands of e-books, newspapers, magazines, and other digital media via wireless networks. In other words, with a Kindle you can literally carry a whole library in your purse or bag.

10. YouTube

YouTube first launched in 2005 and since then it has changed the lives of most young people (and many others) around the world. Let’s be honest here: watching every large social and cultural change or even stupid trend from across the globe in an instant is one of the most exciting things about living in the twenty-first century. And yep, YouTube is mainly to thank for this.

9. Teleportation

In a process that involves light and matter, researchers at Caltech where able to teleport a proton while researchers at the Australian National University successfully teleported a laser beam. These breakthroughs have given scientists hope that eventually, we will be able to teleport much larger objects.

8. Bionic contact lens

In 2013, scientists created and successfully tested a functioning prototype of bionic lenses with a wireless antenna and a single-pixel display. Engineers have already tested the finished lenses on rabbits for up to twenty minutes and the animals exhibited no problems. They are expected to enter the market within the next few years.

7. Tooth Sensor

A team of researchers and scientists at National Taiwan University believe that monitoring the oral behavior of an individual can provide doctors with a wealth of information about a patient’s dietary habits, dental hygiene, and overall health. For that reason they came up with the “tooth sensor,” an accelerometer-based oral sensory system that identifies how a mouth is being used based on teeth movement.

6. Camera Pill

Those who have had the misfortune of experiencing the torture of a gastroscopy will probably appreciate the value of this incredible invention. Instead of an invasive probe, twenty-first century patients who suffer from ulcers and similar diseases will only need to swallow a small pill containing a microscopic camera.

5. Bio-artificial liver device

This amazing life-changing artificial extracorporeal supportive device has given hope to all those who are suffering from acute liver failure. A bio-artificial liver device (BAL) can’t permanently replace liver functions, but it can serve as a supportive device and help patients have a better quality of life until a transplant is found.

4. Billboard That Produces Clean Water

The University of Engineering and Technology of Peru (UTEC) was looking for something splashy to kick off its 2013 enrollment application period. It turned to ad agency Mayo DraftFCB, which came up with the genius idea to create billboards that would convert Lima’s thin air into potable water. This is an invention that really matters in an era when water is becoming increasingly harder to find in many parts of the world.

3. ReWalk

ReWalk is a revolutionary wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) to stand upright and walk. Recently introduced to the market, it has already become the most widely used device for people with motion problems and the first available for personal ownership.

2. The Artificial Pancreas

The artificial pancreas is a technology that promises to help people with diabetes control their blood glucose level by providing the endocrine functionality of a healthy pancreas. Four-year-old Australian, Xavier Hames, became the first patient to use the new device in what is being called the first treatment for managing type 1 diabetes. The medical community worldwide is watching this case closely to see the long-term results.

1. Retinal Implants

Retinal implants are meant to partially restore vision to people who have lost their sight from degenerative eye conditions, giving hope to millions around the world. The Argus II retinal implant received U.S. market approval in February 2013 and in Europe two years earlier, becoming the first approved implant.

Read more: http://list25.com/25-spectacular-inventions-of-the-21st-century/


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says 235 million people are playing games on Facebook each month — proving the platform is a new home for gamers.

Zuckerberg made the remarks at TechCrunch Disrupt Tuesday afternoon, during a live interview with TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington.

Zuckerberg made his point about gaming after talking about what things he was excited about on the Facebook platform. He mentioned that Zynga, who has been struggling lately with falling stock prices and departing executives, was losing market share on the platform, but that other game companies had risen to take its place.

In particular, Zuckerberg mentioned two rising stars by name — Kixeye and King.com.

By comparison, Microsoft’s Xbox Live has about 40 million monthly active users as of the beginning of this year.

As developers move aggressively into social and mobile gaming spaces, Zuckerberg’s statement is a good indication on how seriously they should take Facebook as a platform.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2012/09/11/zuckerberg-facebook-games/