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10 takeaways from Mark Zuckerberg’s talk at Silicon Slopes

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke at the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit Friday. Here are 10 takeaways form his speech

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke at the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke at the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020.
Herb Scribner, Deseret News

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke in Utah at the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit on Friday, opening up about his mistakes, failures and goals for the social network.

Here are 10 takeaways on Zuckerberg’s talk. You can read more about his speech from Art Raymond.

1. Zuckerberg is still a draw: A crowd amassed outside the conference hall about an hour before his speech. Attendees were asked to not save seats. Spillover trickled into other conference halls at the convention.

2. Community is still an important part of Facebook: Zuckerberg said his company is meant to build community and bring people together. He doesn’t want to do anything that would rip people apart and turn people away.

3. Facebook is a town square: Zuckerberg said Instagram and Facebook have become the digital version of a “town square.” You can meet with friends, family, dates and more.

4. A text-less future is coming: Zuckerberg said most social platforms now still rely on text and texting. They’re all basically the same. But he said the future is focused on groups, locations, businesses, etc., in a private way where you can just hang out and use video chat or immerse yourself in tech. Things to make you feel more present.

  • Zuckerberg said you should be able to live in a place that matches your community values and has your family, friends and what you want.

5. Facebook wouldn’t start in Silicon Valley if it were launching today: Zuckerberg said he would not start a company in Silicon Valley.

  • Zuckerberg called Utah a beautiful state after the moderator said Zuckerberg should move to Eagle Mountain.
  • Zuckerberg said it would be stronger to start your company somewhere other than Silicon Valley.

6. Zuckerberg is a leader of the internet: Zuckerberg was asked if he’s taking heat on behalf on the entire internet.

  • His response: “That’s what leadership is.”

7. Workplace culture is important: Zuckerberg said having a strong team that believed in the Facebook mission helped the company grow. Internal team cohesion is a big deal, he said.

  • Zuckerberg: “If you can be clear about the principles ... you can perform miracles.”
  • Zuckerberg said there’s a tendency to write down platitudes like “be honest,” something that no one can disagree with. “It should be a given.”
  • Zuckerberg said being honest and open creates a better culture.
  • Zuckerberg said you need to have discipline to react to problems when you can but also set aside time to move the ball forward. Draw boundaries.

8. Zuckerberg has found faith: When asked about who he goes to for advice, Zuckerberg said: “I’ve become more religious.”

  • Zuckerberg: “You have to believe in things that are bigger than yourself, whatever form that takes.”
  • Zuckerberg: “The key to staying grounded is you need to understand the context you operate in.”
  • Zuckerberg: “At the end of the day, we’re all people.”

9. Facebook is still figuring things out: Zuckerberg admitted Facebook is still making changes.

  • Zuckerberg: “I want our products to be good for people.”
  • Zuckerberg said Facebook made a change to cut out viral videos in order to help people connect more on the platform.
  • Zuckerberg said Facebook used to have a reactive stance.
  • Zuckerberg said Facebook’s system takes down 99% of terrorist propaganda on the platform before anyone can even see it.
  • Zuckerberg said he wished Facebook had a system that could have helped identify companies that sold data to Cambridge Analytica before it happened.

10. Zuckerberg has a plan for the future of Facebook: Zuckerberg said he didn’t start Facebook to sell ads and start a business. “This was never about that side of things.”

  • Zuckerberg said the powerful always think things should be censored since they have major platforms to speak. Those without power don’t want to be censored, he said.
  • Zuckerberg said a pendulum is swinging and he sees it going back toward freedom and freedom of expression. He says he wants to play a part in that.
  • Zuckerberg: “More voice, more connection between people, you build strong communities” is how society progresses. He hopes to do that across the world.