When David Fincher’s ‘The Social Network’ hit screens in October 2010, it was strongly praised by critics. However, some believed it was a greatly dramatized version of what truly transpired. ‘The Social Network’ is based on the creation and founding of Facebook by Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin. Say what you will about the films accuracy, it does make for an interesting story. Also, the titular ‘social network’ is currently the powerhouse of all social media with 1.59 billion users. It offers some interesting career advice, which we will outline below.
The Cost of Doing Business
In the film, Zuckerberg is depicted by Jesse Eisenberg as hyper intelligent and extremely cynical. It seems Zuckerberg goes out of his way to step on everyone he works with; all the way up to the top. It’s hard to be sympathetic to his portrayal. However, from an entrepreneurial perspective there are some great lessons to be learned. The first is the power of word of mouth. Facebook as a concept spreads throughout the campus like wildfire. All this buzz isn’t from Zuckerberg’s marketing, it is because his product is something people want to talk about. Coming up with a hot ‘it’ idea that will get talked about is huge.
Zuckerberg was successful because he focused on demand and delivered a product that met it directly. This mentality is true in many aspects of life. Being able to anticipate what your boss is expecting from you and delivering on that will also go a long way to get you in their good graces.
Dealing with Friends and Enemies
Another point made in the film is that ideas belong to those who carry them out and execute them the best. Although the Winklevoss twins had a very similar idea, Zuckerberg was the one who carried it out. This being said, if you are working on a project, own it. There are others who will try and take credit for your hard work in the workplace. There are certainly times to be humble, but when necessary it’s good to be able to claim your work as your own and champion your contribution. While Zuckerberg’s enemies certainly had valid claims, your honest work shouldn’t be discredited.
The majority of the film focuses on Zuckerberg’s negotiations with Eduardo Saverin regarding the devaluing of his shares in the company. Throughout the whole process of building Facebook their relationship changed drastically. They were friends in the beginning, but that shifted when they began working together. This is another important point to remember: working with friends may not always be the party you think it will be. After all you may not agree on important topics, or have very different work ethic. When considering hiring a friend or working with one, make sure you think it through.
That’s all we have today! We hope you enjoyed this breakdown of ‘The Social Network’ and the valuable advice it holds for entrepreneurs and job seekers. If you have a movie you think we should discuss, mention in it the comments and we’ll consider it for a future installment.