About an hour later I got a call canceling the spot – apparently someone from Time Magazine agreed to appear. I was bummed at first, but I had already put some thought into what I was going to say tonight, , so I thought I’d share with you guys:
Time Magazine loves controversial selections for this coveted honor (think back to 2006 when they selected YOU). But this selection is, in my opinion a lay-up. Facebook wasn’t the first social network, they didn’t invent the idea – Mark Zuckerberg just perfected it. He’s done so with a few bumps along the way (Beacon) but let’s put this in perspective. In seven years he has taken a project he started in his dorm room, and effectively changed the way we interact with the Internet and our friends. He’s now worth more than Steve Jobs, and if effectively becoming his generations version of the iconic Apple skipper.
I’m not going to debate the virtues of Mark Zuckerberg’s personality, because I think that’s actually irrelevant here. However, in defense of the public perception that he is socially awkward, Time commented that his colleagues all love the guy, and often comment that it’s not just his impressive IQ that gets you, rather it’s his EQ. But I don’t think his personality has anything to do with the selection.
Here are the five reasons why I believe Time Magazine selected Mark Zuckerberg as Person of the Year 2010:
1. Facebook has effectively changed the manner in which we aggregate and disseminate information as a culture:
In less than seven years, Zuckerberg wired together a twelfth of humanity into a single network, thereby creating a social entity almost twice as large as the U.S. If Facebook were a country it would be the third largest, behind only China and India. It started out as a lark, a diversion, but it has turned into something real, something that has changed the way human beings relate to one another on a species-wide scale. We are now running our social lives through a for-profit network that, on paper at least, has made Zuckerberg a billionaire six times over.
Facebook has merged with the social fabric of American life, and not just American but human life: nearly half of all Americans have a Facebook account, but 70% of Facebook users live outside the U.S. It’s a permanent fact of our global social reality. We have entered the Facebook age, and Mark Zuckerberg is the man who brought us here. Read more:
2. He’s not motivated by money. I don’t believe that it’s so impressive when I hear that he rents a modest house only minutes from the office. What resonates for me is Zuckerbergs true intent behind his lifestyle. He is in a quest to “Eliminate Desire”…man, I love that. I also believe the guy. He could have walked away from Facebook many times and becoming a very very wealthy man, but he has a bigger vision for us as human beings, and he’s seeing that to fruition.
One of the interests Zuckerberg lists on his Facebook page is “Eliminating Desire.” “I just want to focus on what we’re doing,” Zuckerberg says. “When I put it in my profile, that’s what I was focused on. I think it’s probably Buddhist? To me it’s just — I don’t know, I think it would be very easy to get distracted and get caught up in short-term things or material things that don’t matter. The phrase is actually ‘Eliminating desire for all that doesn’t really matter.’ ”Read more:
3. He’s just getting started
Right now the Internet is like an empty wasteland: you wander from page to page, and no one is there but you. Except where you have the opposite problem: places like Amazon.com product pages and YouTube videos, where everyone’s there at once, reviewing and commenting at the top of their lungs, and it’s a howling mob of strangers.
Zuckerberg’s vision is that after the Facebookization of the Web, you’ll get something in between: wherever you go online, you’ll see your friends.Read more:
4. Facebook suits human beings better and is enhancing our relationships. In Zuckerberg’s words it makes the internet more “serendipitous
Imagine a slate of shows sorted by which of your friends likes them, instead of by network. Now put it on your phone. Take it mobile. “We have this concept of serendipity — humans do,” Zuckerberg says. (The clarification is vintage Zuckerberg.) “A lucky coincidence. It’s like you go to a restaurant and you bump into a friend that you haven’t seen for a while. That’s awesome. That’s serendipitous. Read more:
5. Facebook makes it difficult to hide behind a pseudonym, therefore strengthening our ties as human beings rather than creating an Internet that is a festering pit of spam, and pornography. Mark Zuckerberg and his site Facebook was the first to see this human element. Where the early iterations of the internet hailed the internet for freeing people from their daily lives, which inevitably resulting in creating a haven for spammer and pornographers, Zuckerberg saw things differently, and had the for-site to build his site around his idea that people wanted deeper relationships with friends rather than hiding behind pseudonyms.
The fact that people yearned not to be liberated from their daily lives but to be more deeply embedded in them is an extraordinary insight, as basic and era-defining in its way as Jobs’ realization that people prefer a graphical desktop to a command line or pretty computers to boring beige ones. Read more:
I’d love to hear from you if you think my list is off, or lacking of any further detail. Either way, I’d love for you to tune in tonight on Fox News at 5pm. I’m really interested in hearing what the Time Magazine commentator has to say!