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Think Like Zuck: The Five Secrets of Mark Zuckerberg (Book Review)

Posted Mar 01 2013 10:13pm
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Let’s Talk Zuck.

When I was first presented with the opportunity to read and review Think Like Zuck: The Five Secrets of Facebook’s Improbably Brilliant CEO Mark Zuckerberg , preconceived notions got the best of me.

Through connections within FitFluential, I was able to receive this book directly from the author to read and review for both my Entrepreneurship course and my blog.

I was excited to delve into a business-minded book, but I was equally skeptical of how it could tell an inspirational story of finding success in business.

So many books in this format ready as fluffy and over-the-top how-to’s that inevitably to present anything new or insightful.

I can truly say that Ekaterina Walter, a social media innovator at Intel and a best-selling author, truly exceeded my expectations with this book.  It not only told a beautifully crafted story but also presented five business secrets in a simple and easy format.

I may have picked this book up with a bit of skepticism, but I put it down with a sincere sense of optimism.

The essence of our world is the way in which we connect with others.

We may text one of our close friends, have coffee with a neighbor, and eat dinner with family; but our social interaction does not stop there.

In reality, we are always connected and immersed in a large-scale and broad network of individuals throughout the world.

One word: Facebook. 

Facebook singlehandedly connects and intertwines over one billion people worldwide.  Through its creatively crafted introduction, Think Like Zuck brings to light the beauty and magnificence of one man’s innovative idea to connect the word in which we live.

From love stories to finding long lost family, Facebook has successfully built relationships, sustained friendships, and changed the way we interact on a day-to-day basis. 

Ekaterina Walter does an amazing job of crafting a story around something as well-known as Facebook; she has developed a book that reads much like a how-to on finding success both inside and outside business (while maintaining a personal voice along the way).

As I read through the introduction, I cannot help but feel the author’s genuine excitement for the secrets behind Facebook’s “improbably brilliant” CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Of all the amazing lessons we can learn from Zuck, she highlights the five key aspects of his business success as: passion, purpose, people, product, and partnerships.

Mark Zuckerberg was passionate about connecting the world, creating Facebook, and crafting a successful business.  He was perseverant in his efforts and found success despite the odds the odds.  When it comes to Entrepreneurship and establishing a successful business, passion is so important.  If you don’t love what you do, you cannot and will not find long-term success.

“Build what you believe in.  Align your business interests with your personal philosophy” (32).

The second chapter touches on another important topic: purpose. As the book states, “great companies don’t just create great products, they create movements” (43).  This chapter was exceptionally insightful because it engages the readers and encourages us to consider the essence of passion .

Many of us have a passion for our business ventures, but we can easily lose sight of the initial purpose.

Through extensive examination and examples, Ms. Walter shares how through thick and thin, Zuckerberg maintained a clear vision for Facebook.  She even shares the full text of his IPO letter; this was very interesting to read and digest.

When a company prides itself on maintaining its purpose in every aspect of business, it is destined to find success.

Kicking of the third chapter, Ms. Walter starts off with a quote from Mark Zuckerberg himself:

“I’ve always focused on a couple of things.  One is having a clear direction for the company and what we build.  And the other is just trying to build the best team possible toward that… I think as a company, if you can get those two things right—having a clear direction on what you are trying to do and bringing in great people who can execute on the stuff—then you can do pretty well” (77).

The book goes on to discuss the importance of the people within your organization.

In all honestly, it truly opened my mind to the power of a strong, creative, and happy workforce.  Over the course of this semester, I have been in a variety of classes that have demonstrated and reiterated the importance of hiring and retaining the right employees.

If you have people that love what they do and attain high levels of organizational commitment, they will in essence act as intrapreneurs within the company (this is a VERY, VERY good thing).

This in and of itself is what makes Facebook such a unique company.  It offers its employees such a plethora of opportunities and initiative to display their creativity.

The culture of a company is the essence on which it is built and sustained. 

By hiring people that align with the culture and share its values, success in inevitable:

“Hire for attitude.  Skills can be taught; passion cannot” (97).

As I read through this third chapter, I couldn’t help but want to give three cheers for all the happy people in the world.

Having a positive attitude, demonstrating it through your work, and being the best person you can be truly works wonders.  It all comes down to attitude and the passion you have for the purpose you sustain.

More than anything, Facebook is power.

This book takes it further than simply describing what Facebook does.  It truly demonstrates to the reader how we can craft our thoughts, ideas, and business ventures to emulate the success Zuckerberg has found.

Whether you are selling yourself through a blog, a product through a business, or something else entirely: You can learn from Think Like Zuck.

Quite simply put, “Facebook is fundamentally changing the way people communication, the way marketers sell their products, the way people receive and filter news, the way governments interact with their citizens, and, in some countries, it critically influences even political regimes” (127).

Touching on the final aspect of the five secrets to Zuckerberg’s success, I found the fifth chapter on Partnerships to be a bit of a continuation of the chapter on people.

In my honest opinion, this presents the material necessary to take your business idea to the next level. “Success is a team sport” and through creating and sustaining powerful partnerships, success is within grasp (161).

After reading Think Like Zuck, I feel inspired and invigorated from both a personal and business perspective.

While this book details the five secrets to Zuckerberg’s business secrets, it packs the punch of the essential elements of success.  To sum it up, I highly recommend this book to anybody that seeks to better themselves, their business, or their life.  It truly inspired my entrepreneurial mind.

Looking to the future, I find it to have been a valuable building block of knowledge.

Let’s be honest, we can all learn a thing or two from peeking into the mind of the man who successfully connects over one billion people!

I received this book free of charge for review purposes.  All opinions are my own.

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