Mark Zuckerberg, the 23 year old founder and CEO of Facebook, was interviewed for 60 minutes tonight by Leslie Stahl. Zuckerberg was quite defensive at times and clearly doesn’t feel very comfortable in front of the camera, although he did provide some interesting bits of information, especially when it came to Stahl’s privacy questions surrounding Beacon which is Facebook’s new, highly controversial advertising platform. Zuckerberg freely admits that Beacon needs more work but made it clear that Facebook won’t survive unless it works when he says,
“There has to be ads either way because we have to make money, I mean, we have 400 employees….and have to support all that and make a profit”.
My favorite quote of the interview came during one of the few light moments of the interview when Stahl asked Zuckerberg why his Facebook profile lists “Harvard alum” when he left school before graduating. Zuckerberg responds, “There’s no setting for drop out”.
As I watched the interview I couldn’t help but wonder how he compared to the young Bill Gates back when Bill was brash, inexperienced and obviously very bright. As Gates leaves Microsoft, could we be watching the next software mogul move into position?
It will be interesting to watch over the next few years. You can watch most of the interview here.