The team responsible of trailing Facebook’s (FB) growth works on the second floor of Building seventeen. Most days, the offices
square measure like anyplace else at Facebook: whiteboards, toys on desks, shorts and flip-flops, pretty low-keyed. Around noontide on Sept. 14, the second floor was packed. In one in all the common areas, an enormous screen showed the amount of active Facebook users worldwide. regarding one hundred individuals, together with Mark Zuckerberg and his prime lieutenants, watched the numbers run up by a couple of thousand users per minute: 999,980,000 … 999,990,000 … 1,000,000,000. The counter paused for an instant once it rounded ten digits, as if to emphasise the point: one billion users.

The celebration was less exuberant than one may think as long as Facebook had simply formally registered seventh of earth’s population. Zuckerberg had considered doing the entire balloons-and-visit-from-Ryan-Seacrest factor after they placed lucky user No. 1,000,000,000. the matter, though, was that the occasion was extremely a lot of of a notional event, like once the world organisation announces the world’s population. Facebook’s immense array of computers handles such a large amount of users doing such a large amount of things, the most effective they will do is create a applied math calculation. when some minutes of hoots, high-fives, and sensible cheer, Zuckerberg and his staff did what they typically do when major achievements: They went back to figure.

“I don’t even recognize if we tend to knew WHO the billionth person was,” Zuckerberg says regarding period of time later. He’s sitting outside at the company’s sprawling Menlo Park (Calif.) campus, resting his arms on a small café table. In his usual rapid-fire delivery, Facebook’s 28-year-old chief military officer explains that his aversion to visible jubilancy goes back to the earliest days of his company, once it absolutely was still a sleeping room operation at Harvard. “We have this attribute wherever we would like to be a culture of builders, right? we tend to don’t wish to too celebrate any explicit milestone,” he says. He knew even in faculty that a corporation would presently unite an enormous portion of humanity via one work, he simply wasn’t certain it might be his. “We were simply these faculty students, and WHO we tend tore we to make this huge thing?” he says. “Clearly, there have been different firms wont to building package at scale, and one in all them would roll in the hay.”

Facebook got there 1st for lots of reasons, several of them acquainted to anyone WHO saw the motion picture The Social Network: Zuckerberg’s ambition, endowment for addictive  widgets, and what some would decision supreme ruthlessness. The a lot of spectacular reasons, though, have to be compelled to do with the culture he established, that is expressed within the psychological feature posters round the company’s offices: “Move quick and Break Things.”

Facebook absorbed chemical element Valley’s hacker attribute and amplified it. technical school firms ordinarily do controlled beta versions of their technologies; Facebook doesn’t beta something. It runs as AN never-ending series of fast, on-the-fly tests with actual customers. Engineers race to place up new options, see if they work, and create tweaks to repair them if they don’t. Even trainees WHO haven’t finished their six-week instruction program square measure asked to figure on the live website. The live website, by the way, runs on custom-designed hardware and package housed in Facebook’s superefficient, and experimental, information centers. each currently and once more the entire website crashes, however Zuckerberg will tolerate that. “The quicker we tend to learn, the higher we’re getting to get to the model of wherever we must always be,” he says.

The learn-on-the-go philosophy frequently blows up in Zuckerberg’s face. He and his team sporadically revamp Facebook’s privacy policy, triggering a foreseeable chain reaction: client outrage, company walkback, adjusted policy, re-release, lessened outrage, and then forth till the furor dies down. not like with pc algorithms that quickly crash the system, however, these iterations square measure apt to depart lasting harm to Facebook’s name.

Then there’s the initial public providing, maybe Facebook’s biggest face plant. the corporate taken off to maximise its providing worth and succeeded, raising $16 billion once it went public last could. Then it watched the stock sink from $38 a share all the thanks to but $20, slicing its value in 0.5. The going under stock worth has hardened doubts regarding the strength of its business model, and should create it troublesome for Facebook to retain talent. Regulators square measure watching whether or not the banks underwriting the providing by selection shared info with prime shoppers. Multiple complainant teams have filed suits in federal and state courts, alleging that Zuckerberg, Facebook, and its investment banks misled investors regarding the social network’s revenue outlook. Facebook says the suits lack benefit.

“The performance has clearly been dissatisfactory. I mean, we tend to care regarding all the investors, and that’s extremely necessary,” Zuckerberg says. “I suppose there {could be|might be|can be|may be|may we tend toll be} short-run things that we may do, however we’re not getting to specialize in those; we’re getting to specialize in the semipermanent stuff.”
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