July 30, 2020

Business Mark Zuckerberg wrote to his top lieutenants about the benefits of ‘cloning’ rivals after meeting with Chinese entrepreneurs in 2012 — read the full memo (FB)


  • Note Zuckerberg wrote warmly about how Chinese language apps copied opponents and urged his team to acquire ways to “transfer plenty sooner” in 2012.
  • The Facebook CEO made the comments in an inner memo that became once made public on Wednesday by the US Home Judiciary Committee.
  • The tale offers a window into the tech exec’s influences, and how he has historically considered product approach.
  • Facebook has prolonged had a repute for blatantly copying opponents if it would no longer accomplish them, and is now going through intense antitrust scrutiny.

Facebook CEO Note Zuckerberg had a message for his high lieutenants: Shamelessly copying opponents gets outcomes.

In March 2012, the technology govt sent an emailed message to some of his closest confidantes at the social network, relaying some takeaways from conversations he had had with Chinese language entrepreneurs about their products. Zuckerberg spoke warmly regarding the outcomes of China’s “solid culture of cloning issues rapidly” — highlighting how it in the kill produces “tidy and polished” apps with a plethora of parts — and implored his team to recall to mind ways to “transfer plenty sooner.”

The tale became once made public on Wednesday by the US Home Judiciary Committee as segment of its year-prolonged investigation into Facebook and other big tech companies over antitrust concerns. It offers a particular window staunch into a couple of of the slightly early influences on Zuckerberg’s thinking spherical product produce, and how he communicated product device to key executives at his firm in an unguarded device. 

Facebook is infamous for shamelessly copying opponents if it would no longer outright accomplish them, adopting parts pioneered by other companies love Snapchat’s Tales structure — veritably to very big success. The firm now faces mounting antitrust scrutiny over whether or no longer it has acted anti-competitively, and some critics are calling for it to be broken up and for its acquisitions — including Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus — to be undone.

The electronic mail became once sent to Chris Cox, a key product exec, and Mike Schroepfer, a prolonged-time tech leader who is right now the firm’s chief technology officer, and later forwarded to COO Sheryl Sandberg. It major facets meetings between Zuckerberg and Robin Li, a cofounder of Chinese language search engine Baidu, moreover to with the founders of Renren, a Chinese language social network the same to Facebook.

“In China there could be that this solid culture of cloning issues rapidly and building hundreds assorted products as a change of right focusing on one thing at a time. This enables them to plant hundreds seeds, and despite the indisputable truth that it yields decrease quality products in the short length of time as they’re cloning and the markets are rising rapidly, as markets veteran there appears to be much less of a gap between the clones and the originals,” Zuckerberg wrote.

He detailed an array of parts Renren had built that Facebook lacked, writing that it “now appears nearly as tidy and polished as our fill [social network].”

Zuckerberg concluded: “Total, seeing all this and the saunter that contemporary mobile apps appear to be popping out from other companies makes me assume we’re spirited very slowly. If we had been spirited sooner, then we shall be ready to construct out more of the social protest circumstances ourselves and forestall our opponents from getting footholds.

“Perchance it be right plenty more uncomplicated for these guys to transfer rapidly since they’re right copying other of us, but many of the stuff that we’re doing spherical messages, photos, etc doesn’t enjoy a paunchy quantity of current concerns both.”

He added: “I ponder what we could well perhaps perhaps design to transfer plenty sooner.” 

Schroepfer enforced the memo, responding that “rapidly-note is something I’m a fan of,” despite the indisputable truth that warning that the firm desires to make certain that “the engineers/[product managers] on the project are angry/motivated by what they are doing.” 

And Sandberg wrote that “it is miles laborious no longer to agree that it is miles better to design more and transfer sooner, especially if which manner you build no longer enjoy opponents construct products that takes a couple of of our users.”

Business Here is the plump memo from Zuckerberg:

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