In the interview, Zuckerberg admired Amazon, Apple and Google.
WSJ: What companies do you admire?
Zuckerberg: Amazon is a great recent example of focusing on the long term and accepting shorter margins on the short term. [Amazon CEO] Jeff [Bezos] went through years of people thinking he’s crazy. Apple is amazing in terms of the quality of stuff that they do. And Google, too, for the same thing.
WSJ: Do you place Facebook in the same category as those businesses?
Mr. Zuckerberg: I hope one day we will be. We’re a lot younger than all of them and still quite a bit smaller in terms of size of employees. Because we focused so much over the past five or six years on building things that are going to have lasting value for people, I think we have a good shot at that.
Zuckerberg developed Facebook while he was in Harvard College in 2004. Facebook’s advertising revenue grew from $264 million in 2008 to $3.8 billion in 2011 as reported by estimates from research firm eMarketer and by the end of this year it would reach $6 billion.
WSJ: What’s the company’s first focus, business or product?
Mr. Zuckerberg: The thing to take away isn’t that we don’t care [about business]. People for years were asking me why aren’t we trying to make more money. I would say I’m trying to build a business for the long term and it was clearly the right strategy. I think the same is true now. Maybe there will come a time down the road when most of the industries we think should be social are already social and the primary thing we can do is optimize the amount of money we can make.