A Look at The Social Network Movie from the Mindset of An Entrepreneur
To all of those social network fans out there, the movie, The Social Network, (aka #SocialNetwork for the Tweeples) about facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s rise to billionaire status, has been the buzz for several weeks now. On opening day, my facebook news feed was filled with post after post from people buzzing about the movie. OK, I get it. Facebook is a complete social phenomenon and a ton of people, entrepreneur’s included, use the massive social networking site to develop relationships with new “friends” from around the globe.
As an entrepreneur, I actually practice and teach social media marketing principles, so I admit I was a little bit interested to see how this movie was going to play out and what entrepreneurial elements I may be able to take away from it.
In this review of The Social Network, I want to share a few focus points that entrepreneur’s can take away from the film and apply to their own business for growth and success.
Be Laser Focused
The movie version of Zuckerberg was intense and laser focused. When he “wired in” working on the facebook code he was completely oblivious to the things going on around him. Headphones on, focus targeted to the project at hand. At several points in the movie, it was very apparent that regardless of where he was or what he was doing, his thoughts were focused on the project at hand.
The movie portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of facebook, is said to be fictional by in large and Zuckerberg is reported to have told Oprah, that he is actually much more hard working than the movie version of him. If that is true, then I am impressed because the movie version of Zuckerberg was intensely and almost obsessively focused on his work.
Take Fast Action
There is one scene in the movie where Zuckerberg’s character was speaking with a friend about the relationship status of one of the students when the idea hit him to add relationship status’ to the facebook profile specs. Zuckerberg, stopped mid-sentence, with a look of epiphany plastered across his face, gathered his belongings and raced to his dorm room where he furiously enters the code to add relationship status. This reminds me of the importance of taking fast action on not only your ideas as an entrepreneur, but on implementing the new information you learn.
Know How to Recognize the Right Timing
As the popularity of “the facebook” (as it was called in the beginning), grows, the movie demonstrates that Zuckerberg’s friend and business associate Eduardo Saverin began to press him to monetize the site. Zuckerberg was not comfortable with that and wanted to wait for it to spread more and gain popularity.
He wasn’t willing to compromise the “coolness” of the facebook in order to make a quick buck. Zuckerberg recognized, it was far more important to wait for the right time, grow the audience, and fan base before monetizing. This turned out to lead to facebook being a multi-billion dollar corporation rather than a multi-million dollar corporation.
Millions are good, but billions are better.
I see a lot of on-line entrepreneurs make the same mistake, they come out of the gate eager (or desperate…haven’t really decided which it is yet) to make money fast on-line. What many fail to realize is that before you can generate a business partner or a customer, you must first have earned their trust and respect. People are generally skeptical about on-line opportunities because of the massive amount of “scams” out there. So building the relationship with others should definitely come first. Sometimes waiting for the right time to “pitch your opportunity” to someone can make the difference between a “yes” and a “no”. You must carefully monitor and understand timing.
Keep Your Priorities In Line
This lesson from the movie comes, not from what the fictional Zuckerberg did correctly, but what he did wrong. Now I can’t speak to the character or the personality of the real Zuckerberg because I have never met him, nor have I done much research on him. He could totally be a super nice guy in “real life”. Only he and those closest to him know that. All I know is I’m glad he invented facebook.
The fictional Zuckerberg, however, was a complete sell out when it came to relationships and well….frankly, he screwed over just about everybody who crossed his path. The movie portrays him as a guy with no “real friends” left at the end of the day. (that’s not a spoiler either). So, this leads me to my last and final take away from the movie – keep your priorities in line.
Your friends, your family, your relationships with those who love and care about you should always, always, always, take precedence over your ambitions.
You can have billions upon billions of dollars but if you don’t have the peace, joy, and satisfaction that comes from doing the right thing and keeping relationships first, then it’s all in vain.
So keep it real my friends.
Go see the movie and ask yourself what elements you can take away to help you be successful in your business. Your comments, retweets and facebook (yes I said facebook ….) shares are always appreciated. Oh…and on those “re-tweets” please use the hashtag code #SocialNetwork (that’s be extra awesome of you!) Thanks!