Note from Pat: Great article over at Time entitled Facebook: Movement or Business?.? The reason I like it is simple – it raises an important question about the mission and vision of a company.? And it questions the way the leadership of an organization goes about pursuing that mission and vision.? How can you change the world and make a profit without selling out?? Don’t get me wrong – profit is a good thing because it helps keep people employed which typically means they can buy food, clothing, shelter and (hopefully) more.? But when a mission statement becomes a little too lofty and the product/service can’t really come close to achieving it, you have something that smell a little funny.
That became part of the new mission statement for Facebook: “Giving people the power to share, in order to make the world more open and connected.”
At Fortune’s Brainstorm Conference earlier this week, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said the privately held company isn’t feeling any pressure from its investors to produce profits yet, but she pointed out the obvious: that Facebook’s real potential was in the “unusual and extraordinary opportunity” afforded by advertising. What she’s talking about is inserting brand advertising into the shared experiences of Facebook’s users. And the only kind of movement that is, is the movement of money.