Zuckerberg describes his mistakes in Facebook birthday post

The Facebook chief executive says he's made "almost every mistake you can imagine" as the social network puts 14 candles on its cake.

Andrew Morse Former executive editor
Andrew Morse is a veteran reporter and editor. Before joining CNET, he worked at The Wall Street Journal, Reuters and Bloomberg, among other publications.
Andrew Morse
2 min read
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Mark Zuckerberg used Facebook's 14th birthday to chronicle the social network's growth from dorm room project to globe-spanning communication platform. Sounds like making mistakes is a crucial element of success.

Almost half of the 245-word post on Sunday is about missteps Zuckerberg has made as Facebook's chief executive. The post doesn't offer specific examples, but describes relatively common problems at all organizations, such as "technical errors." However, Zuckerberg also said he's made "bad deals," "trusted the wrong people" and "missed important trends."

"Over the years I've made almost every mistake you can imagine. I've made dozens of technical errors and bad deals. I've trusted the wrong people and I've put talented people in the wrong roles," Zuckerberg said in the candid post. "I've missed important trends and I've been slow to others. I've launched product after product that failed."

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Somehow in spite of all that, Facebook has managed to become the dominant social network on the planet, with more than 2 billion users who stop by at least once a month. It pulled in nearly $13 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Facebook didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the issues Zuckerberg mentioned.

The acknowledgment comes as Facebook, as well as peers Google and Twitter, faces scrutiny about its influence and reach after the service was abused by Russian agents. Facebook has recently said it will prioritize posts from family and friends over posts from brands and media outlets. It will also push local stories in user news feeds.

Last month, Zuckerberg laid out his personal challenge for 2018, pledging to fix Facebook's assortment of problems over the course of "a serious year of self-improvement."

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