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Facebook board member Marc Andreessen wants entrepreneurs to 'build' their way out of the pandemic. Mark Zuckerberg has taken this message to heart. (FB)

facebook ceo mark zuckerberg
  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is hard at work building the future.
  • His company is in a strong position despite the pandemic, and his rhetoric signals that it is continuing to be ambitious in its plans.
  • From shopping services in India to products that make working from home easier, the 35-year-old CEO wants to build tools and technology that make Facebook even more ubiquitous.
  • His comments align with a recent essay by famed Silicon Valley investor and Facebook board member Marc Andreessen.
  • Andreessen urged Americans to build aggressively to revitalize American society and the economy in the aftermath of coronavirus.
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Legendary Silicon Valley investor Marc Andreessen has a message for entrepreneurs amid the pandemic: Get building.
In a blog post published in mid-April, the Netscape cofounder-turned-venture capital investor and Facebook board member called on Americans to focus their efforts on building new companies and new initiatives to revitalize the America's economy and society in the aftermath of coronavirus.
It sounds like no-one has taken this message more to heart that Mark Zuckerberg.
On a call with analysts on Wednesday after announcing Facebook's first-quarter earnings, the Facebook CEO emphasised again and again and again how focused Facebook is on "building" right now.
  • "I've always believed that in times of economic downturn the right thing to do is keep investing in building the future," he said early on. "First, when the world changes quickly, people have new needs and that means there are more new things to build."
  • "We're planning to hire at least 10,000 more people in product and engineering roles this year so we can continue building and making progress," he added later.
  • He went on: "Our financial position has allowed us to continue investing in building products and making investments ... even when the underlying economic conditions are challenging"
  • And again: "I think it's important that rather than slamming on the brakes now, as I think a lot of companies may, that it's important to keep on building and keep on investing and building for the new needs that people have."
  • And once more: "I think you really want to maintain high margins so that way when we go through periods like this, you can make sure that we remain stable and healthy and able to keep on building the things that are important for the long term."
All told, the 35-year-old billionaire chief executive mentioned building 17 times during the space of the hour-long call.
Zuckerberg's rhetoric underscores just how strong a position Facebook is in right now. While most companies are focused on just trying to stay afloat — or actively laying off workers and cutting salaries — Facebook is is ably pivoting to the crisis. It is still making billions in profit, its revenues aren't shrinking, and its workforce can be productive remotely.
The focuses of Zuckerberg's drive to build are multitudinous: Ecommerce tools in Instagram, partnerships in India, tools for people stuck at home, video presence software, monetization features in WhatsApp, private social networks, group video chats, and more! Zuckerberg wants to build it all.
All this construction will cost money. And Zuckerberg warned that profit margins may decline in the short term, but stressed that Facebook is committed to maintaining high margins over the long term.
Over the coming years, the pandemic even looks likely to benefit Facebook's business — accelerating shifts to digital that benefit the company and helping revive its reputation after years of bruising scandals.
(And Zuckerberg's statements could also be read as a subtle show of unity for Andreessen, following an exhaustive investigation by The Wall Street Journal about upheaval in Facebook's board that reported that at one point Andreessen and Zuckerberg were "at each other's throats" about disagreements on the FTC settlement Facebook faced over privacy issues.)
"Our nation and our civilization were built on production, on building," Andreessen wrote in his essay earlier this month. "Our forefathers and foremothers built roads and trains, farms and factories, then the computer, the microchip, the smartphone, and uncounted thousands of other things that we now take for granted, that are all around us, that define our lives and provide for our well-being. There is only one way to honor their legacy and to create the future we want for our own children and grandchildren, and that's to build."
Zuckerberg is now hard at work trying to build the future he wants — and because of Facebook's strength, he's in a good position to succeed.
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* This article was originally published here

https://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-mark-zuckerberg-focused-building-pandemic-2020-4

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