Facebook won because its culture was voyeuristic

  • Zuckerberg’s indifference to user privacy became core to Facebook’s early culture and helped them build a more engaging products
  • FaceMash foreshadowed an important theme to Facebook: Voyeurism into other’s lives outweighs demands for personal privacy

Seeking taboo for the greater good

  • What does the future hold?
  • Why are certain startups growing? Where are they heading?
  • For the wildly successful companies, what were the key insights and decisions?

Doublethink at the core of social networks

Zuckerberg’s darker personality traits helped Facebook succeed

  • The average startup founder
  • A more experienced startup founder who also viewed user privacy as an important ethical tradeoff
  • A less arrogant version of Zuckerberg who would have viewed FaceMash as crossing the line
  • Should users know when someone views their profile or photos?
  • Should the default privacy settings allow friends-of-friends to view your photos? In other words, should men be able to view the photos of women they don’t know by default?
  • Should Facebook employees have full access to “Facebook Stalker”, the god mode internal tool that lets employees view anyone’s profile regardless of whether their friends, along with other privileged information like who viewed someone’s pictures and for how long? Should that tool exist at all?
  • Every user who previewed the news feed feature freaked out. “I shouldn’t be seeing this.” Should the team launch the product anyways? Should it be launched gradually or all at once?
  1. Feel private enough that users supply their real name, connect to real friends, and upload pictures of themselves
  2. Be powerful enough for the end user that they can indulge in voyeuristically peering in friends’ (and friends-of-friends’) lives without them knowing
  • Fine-grained control over their own privacy so they can manage their image and who sees it
  • The ability to peer into their friends lives and know a bit more than they would be comfortable admitting



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