Mark Zuckerburg on Missions, Caring and Looking Ahead

I watched this video this evening and LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it!

I just gave my first ever speech in Chinese at Tsinghua University in Beijing — on why you need a strong sense of mission to change the world.This was also my first real speech in any language sharing how I started thinking about Facebook’s mission, what has kept me going through challenging times and what our mission means now looking ahead for our community of 1.5 billion people.This video also has English subtitles and you may find it interesting if you’re thinking about building something or are interested in Facebook’s history.The themes of believing in your mission, caring more deeply than anyone else and always looking ahead are relevant to anything you might build.Last year I joined the board of Tsinghua’s School of Economics and Management. This is a great center of innovation and many of the students here will become global leaders in technology, business and government. It’s an honor to have the opportunity to help this university and talk with its students. I look forward to coming back again next year!

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Saturday, October 24, 2015

First of all I was highly impressed with Mark Zuckerberg’s apparent command of Mandarin as he spoke to Tsinghua University in Beijing. (I say apparent as I have no idea whether it was a good command or not, but the audience certainly seemed enthralled!).

But most of all, I loved the content of his talk. He covered three incredibly powerful points within three stories that he told. I won’t cover them in detail as the best thing to do is to watch the video (22 minutes incredibly well spent), but I wanted to summarise his three key points as they are all things that I’m passionate about myself:

Believing in a mission

Someone else spreading the word about the importance of knowing your WHY is always going to please me! (My other business hero Simon Sinek does this admirably in his many talks and books). So why is this so important? Having a strong sense of WHY you are doing something keeps you focused, and is far more likely to lead to success. You don’t have to know the whole plan, but by knowing why you are doing something, and solving an important problem will keep you going, even when things get tough. Simon Sinek often refers to Apple when illustrating this point, and Mark Zuckerberg shares some fascinating insights into Facebook’s development to illustrate this point fabulously in this video.


If you know your mission, then you don’t need to know the whole plan, you just need to care more. Why did some young student build the largest online community in the world? Why didn’t a huge company with thousands of programmers and huge amounts of money do it? Because Mark Zuckerberg and friends simply cared more about the mission. If you can demonstrate that you care more about your mission, others will follow and will care too.

Looking Ahead

Facebook’s mission is to connect the whole world. To do that, a lot of seemingly impossible things need to be achieved (providing affordable access to the internet to the billions of people who currently live nowhere near a network and have never used a computer to name just one minor thing!), but Facebook are looking ahead at how to achieve this. (Check out to see how). Mark Zuckerberg does not yet know how this will work, or how it will make money, but he knows that by helping enough people in his mission, he will benefit too. What a great philosophy!

His final message really hit home… Before you start anything, don’t just ask how you’ll do it, ask why. Solve important problems. Believe in your mission and care deeply about making life better for people.

Yes – I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this video.


October 26, 2015

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