Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg answered questions yesterday during a live public Q&A about the future of the social network. The last question was asked by a shy 8th grader from a local school; she wanted to know how he forged through the hard times in the early Facebook days.
Zuckerberg’s answer was simple: Don’t go it alone. He faulted the media for propping up startup celebrities as superhuman, as though they can tackle any problem by themselves.
“No person knows how to deal with everything. But if you can find a team of people, or friends, or family — and there will be different people over time because different people like to focus on different problems or different scales of the problems — then that’s what’s really going to get you through, that’s what’s gotten me through and that’s what continues to get me through all the stuff that we have. Yeah, you don’t have to be superhuman, you have to just kind of keep on going and not do it alone and find people who share your passion for what is the important thing in the world.”
Interestingly enough, at Stanford this week, Linkedin cofounder Reid Hoffman gave a lecture on the exact same topic, although he gave more specific advice about how to leverage local and personal networks to found a great tech startup. Both he and Zuckerberg said that it’s better for a startup to have more than one founder.
“What great founders do is seek the networks that will be essential to their task…Usually it’s best to have two or three people on a team, rather than a solo founder,” Hoffman said.
For more Zuckerberg, watch his first town hall Q&A here.