Zuckerberg: ‘Your Map’s Wrong’

January 31, 2013 3:52 am

On stage with John Battelle and Tim O’Reilly at the 2010 Web2.0 Summit, Mark Zuckerberg stared at the Summit backdrop, that had a map with various consumer technology areas that have been ‘conquered’, charted out. “Your Map’s Wrong,” Zuckerberg said. “The biggest part of the map has to be uncharted territory — this map makes it seem like it’s zero-sum, but it’s not. We’re building value, not just taking it away from someone else.” (Source)

This perspective – “It is not a zero-sum game” is something we tend to forget, as we start competing in the marketplace. There is this beauty of economics – you don’t have to make anyone poorer in order for you to become richer. Wealth is not a fixed pie (PG).

‘Look for uncharted territory’ is not something you hear often – and there is a reason for that. Steve Jobs famously said that there is no point in asking the customer what they need because they wouldn’t know until it is given to them. That is classic uncharted territory. None of us knew we needed Steve’s devices until they were given to us.

Mark Zuckerberg was so right – that piece on the map that we tend to forget so often – the uncharted territory – is where all the effort should be directed towards. It breeds progress.

The next time you look at a map, look for the uncharted territory. That is how you move the needle.

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