Category Archives: Purpose

Build an organization to make a difference, not to last forever

I was scrolling down my Facebook News Feed today and saw that Mark Zuckerberg was talking live, in a Town Hall Meeting. I went to check it out & was fortunate to watch the last few minutes of the talk because I found a few of his ideas very insightful.

An audience participant asked him the question, if he was scared of seeing Facebook die in the future because of other social media companies in the past not working out. I didn’t think that question mattered very much, because he was talking about how companies like MySpace failed before.  However, Mark put an interesting spin on his answer.

He said he doesn’t think much about that at all, the companying dying.  He thinks it’s actually quite strange that a lot of companies have the objective to live forever.  Facebook’s objective is to make the world more open & connected, and that’s all that matters to Mark. If they’re able to do that, they did their job and that’s what was important.  Not if they were able to last forever. Making a difference was what was most important, not longevity, he’s always asking himself if he’s doing the right things to make their mission become a reality.

I found that useful, because when I started Follow, I wanted to build an organization that would last long after I died. As I meet more missionary entrepreneurs that’s what I wanted to do, have a big enough mission & build an organization that stands the test of time. Which I still think I’d like to do.  However, after hearing Marks talk, I don’t think that’s really the point and I think he’s right.  The objective of the organization is to achieve it’s purpose, not to live forever. Obviously their purpose is huge and Facebook may be around for a long time in order to accomplish it, but lasting forever vs. achieving your purpose is an important distinction to understand, they’re both different objectives.  The later, achieving your purpose, is really the most important. That’s what your organization exists for.