• Enchanting Lawyer’s Review of Ekaterina Walter’s Think Like Zuck: The Five Business Secrets of Facebook’s Improbably Brilliant CEO Mark Zuckerberg


    A Facebook die-hard fan like myself would not pass on the opportunity to accompany a friend of mine to visit the Facebook Headquarters in Menlo Park, California, in December, 2013. This is a place I somehow feel indebted to because of all the success and business-changing experience it has brought upon my life.

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    Its interior design truly aligns with its consistent mission statements over the years, centering around the concept “connectivity”. It also screams creativity and teamwork. The Facebook campus is one long ‘street’ with shops, free restaurants, and entertainment facilities. The main courtyard hosts the infamous ‘Hackathons’. There is a cool printing press room where employees can design and create motivational posters and other decorations to use where they please.


    A few things really struck me. First of all, Mark Zuckerburg doesn’t have an office. He sits right in the middle of everyone – openness and connectedness. “Move Fast and Break Something” is one of the many mantras posted on the walls in different places. You can feel the youth and the energy here like nowhere else; more importantly, the level of talent brewing here is second to none. It feels like a different country where the rules are set from within, like a self-sufficient mini empire. Maybe I am too sucked into facebookization but the atmosphere sends out a compelling and dominant vibe like saying it will change the world as we know it. I feel invigorated and emboldened.

    While reading Ekaterina Walter’s “Think Like Zuck: The Five Business Secrets of Facebook’s Improbably Brilliant CEO Mark Zuckerberg”, I relived the galvanizing experience in my head again.


    There are a lot of mixed reviews about Mark Zuckerberg, mostly about how he is a college dropout for misconduct or how he allegedly stole the idea of Facebook. But everyone has to admit as the “third-largest public offering in the U.S. History”, no other social network “has ever commanded a greater global share of Internet users, their attention, or their shared media.” Facebook has grown into something that’s larger and deeper than just a network, a website, or a channel. It does carry the mission to reform the dimensionality of communication, internally and externally. Like Zuckerberg or not, he is a history-making legend.

    In the introduction part, Walter has already captured my attention with the numbers and examples of how Facebook connects the world, the astounding breakthroughs it has made. What is so precious about the book is that it’s beyond social marketing education – it’s a business model every business, every entrepreneurship can assimilate and integrate.

    Ekaterina Walter reviews Facebook’s leadership, vision, and how it’s able to captivate the best of the best talent to forge the social supremacy it holds over everything else today. Facebook’s preeminence originates from five key principles: passion, purpose, people, product, and partnerships.


    “Passion ignites us, motivates us, and helps us persevere through many challenges.”

    –        Ekaterina Walter

    It is very interesting to follow Walter’s chronology to go back to Zuckerberg’s college time where he put his passion to test. He created “social coding experiments” like Zuckner, Synapse Media Player, CourseMatch, and Facemash. An authentic entrepreneur never gives up; he is not afraid to upgrade an existing idea and make it a triumphant prosperity. That’s how you equate passion with success.


    “[Zuckerberg] says he isn’t building [Facebook] to sell, so he doesn’t think about it. He builds to last.”

    –        Ekaterina Walter

    It is life-or-death to maintain a consistency, meaning it doesn’t matter how often your company’s direction shifts, you have to stand by your initial vision, mission, and purpose. Purpose is what keeps you in check and sane through ups and downs.


    “For any endeavor to be successful, you need a team of people who share your company’s vision, its purpose. Everyone within your company should have the mantra ‘One team, one dream.’”

    –        Ekaterina Walter

    Does your company have a culture? As leaders, it is your job to define this culture that will help you invite and retain the best talent. This chapter will encourage you to rethink your hiring process, team structure, and management and leadership style. Perhaps from today, you will begin the formation of your culture by allowing your people to contribute to the company blog or Twitter account. That’s always a good start.


    “Driving innovation and creating extraordinary products or services is our way to leave a memorable footprint on earth, to make an impact, even if small.”

    –        Ekaterina Walter

    In this chapter, Walter illustrates how Mark Zuckerberg constructed Facebook, perfected it, and made it impossible to compete with. Walter’s thorough analysis and breakdown of Zuckerberg’s actions, mentality, psychology, and policies put you in mind of the greatest to understand what kind of courage and thought process it would take to change the world.


    “The combination of passions, skill sets, and motivations may differ widely, but the fact remains that the most successful businesses tend to have a leadership team whose members complement each other in capabilities and experiences.”

    –        Ekaterina Walter

    This scintillating passage says it all. The Zuckerberg-Sandberg duo is inarguable a match made in heaven. When one lacks in experience or execution, the other makes up in abundance. Walter typifies plenty of collaboration instances, including Walt Disney, Johnson & Johnson, and Warner Bros..


    “Deliver wow through service”

    –        One of Zappos’s Family Core Values

    I really liked how Walter named numerous examples, including Apple, CollegeHumor.com, TOMS, Threadless, Zappos, on top of Facebook, to showcase what it is that these organizational leaders have adapted to in order to make their brands unprecedented and phenomenal.

    Not long ago, rapper Kanye West slammed the CEO of Zappos for selling “sh-t product”. In response, Zapppos’s CEO Tony Hsieh literally launched a page to sell “Zappos.com Gear Sh-t Product” priced at $100,000. Its product description consisted of Kanye West’s own lyrics.


    That day, Zappos was the headline on every single news outlet’s website. Tony Hsieh’s style and humor reflect their other core values: “embrace and drive change” and “create fun and a little weirdness”. He stays true to his purpose.

    What I learned: Infuse character into your company’s culture.

    One of my favorite lines in “Think Like Zuck” to describe the spirit of entrepreneurship, Ekaterina Walter nails it perfectly: “I believe every single one of us can be a trailblazer if we are passionate enough and determined enough to stick to our vision and truly desire to change the world (even if in a small way).”

    Please stay tuned for our podcast interview with Ekaterina Walter this Wednesday on our blog. If you can’t wait to hear what THE marketing expert has to say about social media and this book, wait no more and go here to listen to the interview!

    Thank you for reading and subscribing. What are your thoughts?

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