10 Years of Facebook – What Can We Learn From It?


10 Years of Facebook – What Can We Learn From It?

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Facebook just celebrated this week its 10th anniversary. The global social network giant reached a landmark and it’s hard to imagine what started in an university dorm room prank has today become a billion-user platform.

While there are many critics towards Facebook’s lack of positive impact in businesses, we can definitely guarantee that the social network changed the way we communicate. It opened enormous possibilities and opportunities for businesses to engage and communicate with their target audience as well bringing out more human and authentic picture of their values to the public.

So, after 10 years of Facebook, what can we learn from it that can be applied into our business strategy?

The first immediate insight we can capture from Facebook’s history is how much time they invested in design. Design was everything to Facebook. But don’t think of design as colors, buttons, squares or comments.

Design for Facebook was and still is today all about the user experience. They evolved their design always having in mind their users and how to provide a better experience in communicating and engaging with their friends and networks in all possible manners.

So, when thinking of your organization’s services or products, do think about the experience you want your users, customers, target audience want to have with it. Think about its usability, viral loop and scalability from the very beginning.

The second insight we have is the importance of seeking market fit. You can gain it by directly solving a problem people are having; by merging or acquiring products, companies or services that already have a market presence; or you can gain it by partnering with organizations. Facebook did all three of them.

They directly solved a problem people had in terms of communicating and engaging with their friends online in different manners. They partnered with Zynga in order to develop games that could engage people online with their peers, contributing in that way with a significant amount of their revenues. They also acquired Instagram as a way to enter the photography and mobile sector, via a 3rd party that was having a great success with their users.

So as a decision maker in your organizations always think what you are trying to solve, with whom can you partner with to gain additional market share, and which other players are out there that you can merge, acquire in order to speed up your market fit.

The final takeaway we can have from Facebook is that you need to have the best talent. From the very beginning Facebook consciously attracted the very best talent they could access and consciously promoted a company culture which shaped and reflected their core central beliefs and ideals. This of course attracts like-minded people to work with them and generates a high performance-driven organization.

So as a company with the ambition to grow and gain market fit, remember that you always need to strive to get the best talent you can access. It will make the difference when key decisions have to be made and results have to be brought.

Concluding, independently of your service or product, do focus on providing a great experience to your users/customers, gaining market fit and understanding what you are trying to solve, and attract and nurture top talent into your organization.