In 2004, Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook from his Harvard University dorm room, hoping to see what his classmates were up to on campus. The following eight years brought international fame, unimaginable wealth, a hit Hollywood movie, a disastrous initial public offering, a sagging stock price—and one unprecedented achievement. On Sept. 14, the company reached 1 billion active users. In an exclusive interview with Bloomberg Businessweek’s Brad Stone and Ashlee Vance, Zuckerberg reflected on the milestone and what’s next for his company as it resurfaces from a wave of negativity.
Bloomberg Businessweek: Congratulations on your first billion users. What does this mean for Facebook?
Mark Zuckerberg: The No. 1 value here is focus on impact. We’ve always been small in terms of number of employees. We have this stat that we throw out all the time here: There is on the order of 1,000 engineers and now on the order of a billion users, so each engineer is responsible for a million users. You just don’t get that anywhere else. I was talking to [Facebook board member] Marc Andreessen about this and he said the only two companies that he thought of that had a billion customers are Coca-Cola and McDonald’s.