Learn about the entrepreneur characteristics and qualities of Mark Zuckerberg and the entrepreneurial traits that made him successful.
As I finished reading my copy of The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick, on the eve of Facebook’s IPO in May 2012, I learned a lot about Facebook’s CEO and gleaned many insights into what makes him the formidable business leader he has grown into.
With a better understanding of Mark Zuckerberg’s entrepreneurial characteristics and traits that made him successful, I thought I’d put down my observations of what makes Mark Zuckerberg an entrepreneur to be admired.
These skills and qualities of an entrepreneur like Mark Zuckerberg will help you understand what are the entrepreneur skills needed to run a business successfully and what success skills of a successful entrepreneur you must learn to start a business of your own.
- 10 Entrepreneur Characteristics & Qualities Of Mark Zuckerberg
- #1. His vision of a more open and connected world
- #2. His willingness to go beyond his comfort zone
- #3. His willingness to make mistakes and fail
- #4. His willingness to face criticism
- #5. His willingness to learn and adapt
- #6. His willingness to give up control
- #7. His laser focus on what matters
- #8. His ability to build relationships that mattered
- #9. His generosity and philanthropy
- #10. His ability to inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs
- Business & branding tips
10 Entrepreneur Characteristics & Qualities Of Mark Zuckerberg
Here are some of Mark Zuckerberg’s characteristics and personality traits that make him a successful entrepreneur and the qualities of Mark Zuckerberg that have impressed me the most over the years.
#1. His vision of a more open and connected world
Zuckerberg’s vision was that of a more open and connected world. And throughout the growth of Facebook, he stuck to his vision of a product that offers value, while connecting people and building a world with more empathy.
Right from the beginning, the frugal-living Zuckerberg was never in it for the money. He had a larger vision and not only thought ahead of where he wanted to take Facebook but pushed himself and his team to put all their creativity into their work.
“Helping a billion people connect is amazing, humbling, and by far the thing I am most proud of in my life.” ~ Mark Zuckerberg
#2. His willingness to go beyond his comfort zone
To be a good leader, to go places, you must be willing to go further than others have, and do things others are not willing to do. Although Zuckerberg is an introvert (INTJ type personality) by nature, he worked his butt off doing things he was uncomfortable with.
He traveled across continents to speak to audiences about his vision and did what had to be done to build his company. The way he spoke Mandarin at a forum at Tsinghua University in Beijing was most impressive, in my opinion.
#3. His willingness to make mistakes and fail
From the privacy scandal to the newsfeed fiasco, Zuckerberg was willing to take risks and often had to backtrack on changes that did not work.
But that did not dampen his appetite for innovation and part of Facebook’s philosophy is to innovate, so we can safely assume that he will continue to do things that don’t always go down well with some of its users.
“Done is better than Perfect.” ~ Mark Zuckerberg
#4. His willingness to face criticism
While most people would have withered in the face of the very public criticism he faced, including having a rather unflattering movie made about him (The Social Network), Mark Zuckerberg took it like a champ, even taking the staff for a screening of the movie.
After the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal, he was calm and collected as he testified before a joint hearing in Congress to address steps Facebook was taking in light of the scandal.
#5. His willingness to learn and adapt
When he faced growing criticism over privacy allegations, Zuckerberg caved into public opinion, giving users more control over their privacy. He learned quickly how much user experience mattered and adapted his decisions to be more inclusive of them.
Of course, every top entrepreneur today knows the importance of hiring business coaches for entrepreneurs, lawyers, and mentors to help them navigate the tricky world of entrepreneurship.
According to reports, Zuckerberg’s mentor was fellow Harvard graduate and legendary tech visionary Bill Gates, who learned from his own mistakes testifying in front of lawmakers over antitrust concerns in the 1990s.
#6. His willingness to give up control
A lot of innovation at Facebook happens with the interaction of the users, as in the translation application, which happened without Zuckerberg’s direct influence.
He knows when to guide policy and when to give up control and that is what has made Facebook a network created, in part, with the help of user interaction and feedback.
#7. His laser focus on what matters
Taking a page out of Steve Jobs’ book, Zuckerberg opted to wear the same outfit – a gray t-shirt with a hoodie – every day in order to reduce decision fatigue.
Besides being somewhat typical of his personality type it also tells us that he’s someone who focuses on what matters, and that looks and fashion don’t count.
This is something that many successful people do, even going so far as to create a signature style that comes to be associated with them.
#8. His ability to build relationships that mattered
From someone who had few friends (as portrayed in The Social Network) to hobnobbing with the likes of Peter Thiel (Paypal) and Sean Parker (Napster), Zuckerberg has, from the start, been building connections and relationships with the bigwigs of Silicon Valley.
In her book, Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg reveals how Zuckerberg “dated” her for months before inviting her to join Facebook as COO.
She brought her years of experience as vice president of global online sales and operations at Google, helping to increase Facebook’s ad revenue by 21% during 2020, to $84.2 billion.
If you believe that you are the sum of the people you are closest to, then Mark Zuckerberg is certainly in very good company.
#9. His generosity and philanthropy
During the pandemic, Zuckerberg donated at least $100 million to help halt the spread of COVID-19 and lessen its impact, becoming one of America’s most philanthropic billionaires.
Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have also contributed $400 million to election integrity and pro-democracy causes “to ensure voters could cast their ballots safely and securely” through their philanthropic and advocacy arm, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI).
Zuckerberg and his wife have also pledged to give away 99% of their Facebook stake over their lifetime.
#10. His ability to inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs
Love him or hate him, you cannot deny that these entrepreneurial traits of Mark Zuckerberg have inspired a new generation of entrepreneurs to believe in themselves, rewrite the rules of success, and make it on their own terms.
From starting Facebook in a Harvard dorm at the age of 19 to changing the way the world communicates and shares information, Mark Zuckerberg is truly a billionaire with a purpose and an inspiration to young people with entrepreneurial aspirations.
“Find that thing you’re super passionate about.” ~ Mark Zuckerberg
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