Facebook Lessons for Intrapreneurs


Disclosure: I am proud to serve on the WOMMA Board of Directors with Ekaterina Walter and received a preview copy of Think Like Zuck to review.

As expected, Ekaterina Walter"™s Think Like Zuck is entertaining and provides some additional insight into Zuckerberg"™s entrepreneurial drive and Facebook as a company.  What I did not expect was the remarkable relevance and resonance of the principles with which Zuckerberg has built Facebook to mere mortals like myself.   The benefits of "thinking like Zuck" are not just for entrepreneurs, but for anyone looking to improve their own managerial effectiveness in companies large and small.

Think Like Zuck breaks down the Facebook CEO"™s founding and leadership of the company into 5 key principles: Passion, Purpose, People, Product and Partnerships.  Walter explains the relevance of these to Facebook and then provides stories of how other successful businesses have put these to work (with some fun explanatory graphics from Xplane along the way).  Here are a few of the lessons that I found specifically valuable to intrapreneurs:

  • Clarifying your passion and purpose is not just for the CEO.  It is important for anyone in a leadership capacity to make sure that those around them are aware of why they"™re there and to explicitly articulate your collective beliefs.  This is a key to creating empowered teams that will do the right thing with minimal management involvement.
  • Product is not the first P.  Examples throughout the book illustrate how passion, purpose, and people yield the right product instead of the product dictating the rest.  It could take a few products before the "right" one comes out of the combination (or many thousand in the cited case of Dyson vacuums) and that"™s OK.
  • Transparency about your shortcomings will lead to growth and could, in the case of Zuckerberg and Sandberg, lead to a really productive complimentary partnership.


Even if you have followed the rise of Facebook closely, taken the nickel tour in Menlo Park, held your own hackathon, and heard all the Facebook mottos, Think Like Zuck will still be a wonderful, quick read with some immediately practical takeaways.

Virginia Miracle's picture

Virginia Miracle

Virginia is focused on Spredfast customer success at every stage of the partnership journey. She leads the team dedicated to the customer experience including account management, strategic services, training, and enablement. Prior to Spredfast, Virginia was EVP of Digital Strategy at Ogilvy PR Worldwide where she led the North American arm of their social media and word of mouth marketing (WOMM) practice (now Social@Ogilvy). She has over a decade of experience in providing social media and marketing strategy to leading enterprise brands. She has held positions in corporate strategy, consumer marketing and WOMM at Dell, Inc., Brains on Fire, and Trilogy Software. Virginia is a TechStars mentor and is on the Steering Committee for Women@Austin. She holds a B.A. in English from Princeton University.