Taking the stage yesterday afternoon for a Q&A with John Battelle, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s co-founder and CEO, admitted that the fact you can’t “export” data out of Facebook is a “flaw in the system”. Facebook has been much criticized in the last few months about that portion of their f8 “open” platform.
Battelle was in great shape asking many interesting questions to the 23 year-old web entrepreneur. We learned that Zuckerberg spends a lot of his time on hiring and recruiting, but none on a rumored Facebook IPO. He said the IPO was “years out”. Facebook currently has 300+ employees and are aiming at having 700 in one year. He also admitted they don’t spend much time worrying about optimizing their revenues as they’re busy working on product development (he partially revealed that they’re building their own ad network but he did say Facebook is not a media company). They are currently running at breakeven and have been since the launch of the site.
When asked to define social graph, he said Facebook does not aim to create a social graph. They want to take the existing social graph of the real world (your contacts, friends, etc.), map it out and then expose that social graph to applications, to share information more effectively.
Next question was: “is the Facebook social graph the heir to Pagerank (Google’s famous algorithm)? Zuckerberg answered that a great way to get information was via your contacts as opposed to media, obliquely referring to what people call the Facebook “secret sauce”
Battelle concluded with a tough question. When asked “are you thinking of bringing a grown-up to run the company”, there was a awkward pause and then Zuckerberg said there was really nothing to comment on, that they are focused on developing a really good team and he was not sure there’s was another CEO candidate out there that would be better at building Facebook.