Strong Opinions, Weakly Held: Lessons from Mark Zuckerberg & Steve Jobs

According to Walter Isaacson’s biography of Jobs, the tech guru was opposed to allowing third-party to run natively on iPhone — and when pressured to do so by developers and others, he had a simple answer: Develop your own web apps that will work on the new platform.

However, after the backlash from developers continued, it soon became clear that keeping native apps out was not tenable for long.

“Let me just say it: We want native third party applications on the iPhone, and we plan to have an SDK in developers’ hands in February,” Jobs wrote in a letter that October. “We are excited about creating a vibrant third party developer community around the iPhone and enabling hundreds of new applications for our users.”

We took a bad bet,” the Facebook CEO said during last week’s TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco. “Our legacy as a company was building this big website and focusing on being able to develop for the web. So naturally we tried to look at things and see if we could build an HTML5 system for across these different platforms and we just realized pretty quickly that we weren’t going to get the quality level that we needed.

When Facebook decided to revamp its mobile approach last summer, Zuckerberg refocused the company, giving each team mobile engineers and developers so that updates and new features could be built with the mobile experience in mind. “[Mark] said, ‘You know, we need to think about maybe putting mobile first and being a mobile-first company,’”

Facebook has since put hundreds of engineers through week-long iOS and Android classes on campus, Ondrejka said, and updates to the native apps come each month instead of three to four times a year.

We’re seeing the way people connect shifting to private messaging and Stories. We have great products here that people love, but it will take some time for our business to catch up to our community growth…Public sharing will always be very important, but people increasingly want to share privately too, and that includes both just smaller audiences with Messaging and ephemerally with Stories. People feel more comfortable being themselves when they know their content will only be seen by a smaller group and when their content won’t stick around forever. Messaging and Stories make up the vast majority of growth in the sharing that we are seeing.

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