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Facebook VP talks at summit on startup strategy

By Han Shasha (People's Daily Online)

09:58, January 14, 2013

Jeff Rothschild, VP of Technology at Facebook made a speech at the North America Chinese Startup and Talent on Jan.12.(People's Daily Online/ Han Shasha)

The third North America Chinese Startup and Talent Summit kicked off on Saturday in Santa Clara. Jeff Rothschild, VP of Technology at Facebook made a speech at the summit talking about the strategy of starting a business in Silicon Valley.

He suggested that the first step for starting a business is moving fast. Since the market is changing, one should stop talking but doing fast once he has an idea. However, not every idea worth starting a business he said. People should not confuse features and products. He also said “You should be learning all the time, and then you are getting smarter. Do what you know and you have.”

Having an idea is not enough. To build a team is really critical. If a business leader hires someone who has great skills but doesn’t care the company, it may create bad experience for all other workers. Jeff gave a definite answer “Don’t hire them no matter how good they are”. He said that if the person doesn’t care the business, he will just do what is told to do. And if he needs to be told what to do, it’s a burden of management.

Besides, an entrepreneur should understand the product or service well rather than just have a superficial impression about the product. He said that in 2005, when he started the Facebook, people said it’s just a social network and how about another competitive social network. He usually told them that think about what the product did. It makes people’s life richer by increasing their communication with people who matter to them and creating a wireless environment where their friends engage in their life. He explained this with a specific example: Christmas letter. He said that this is a letter people write once a year to tell all their friends everything happens in their family. And the very detail letter he finds painful to read. “ If we did our job right, people will find it’s awkward to write a letter because they know that their friends know what happened in their family” he said, “So you know your products, know your competitions”.

He also suggested that the entrepreneurs should not fear failure. Silicon Valley is the center of innovation. Hundreds of ideas become products everyday and thousands of companies close up each week. What’s import is that one could learn from the failure.

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