Part of the reason why I am here now is that this is where a lot of the future is going to get built, I think you have to hopefully have patience with us. Because I think we are not going to build it, you guys are. We want to do our part, we want to help invest in connectivity, help connects everyone here - Mark Zuckerberg
The thing that is striking is the entrepreneurial energy. I think when you are trying to build something, what ends up mattering the most is who wants it the most and who cares the most to build it and you feel that here, that passion and that entrepreneurial energy.
If you want to connect everyone in the world, then making sure that everyone has access to the internet is a really important thing. Across the world, more than half of the people don’t have access to the internet, and here in Nigeria, that is true too.
So, whether what you care about is connecting people with their friends and families or helping people start businesses, the Internet is one of the most fundamental parts of infrastructure that I think needs to exist. My trip here is mostly focused on entrepreneurship and developers, and I have met so many people who are building things. I went to the CCHub in Yaba yesterday, and I met this woman, Temi, who is building this company called Life bank, it organizes blood donations so that people can give blood and it gets blood to those who need them. You meet someone like that, and you are like, this is a thing that needs to exist. If everyone had the opportunity to build something like this, then the world would be a better place. If you had everyone on the internet, then you have more shots at getting it right.
The first part is ‘Building infrastructure’, so that no matter where you are, you can get access to a signal. We are launching Satellites to beam connectivity; Solar powered drones that are cell-phone towers in the sky, to make sure the network spread and reach everyone.
The Second part of the plan is to make the network affordable – by building cheaper infrastructures and getting app developers to use less data. In the last few years, we have made this big effort at Facebook to make it so that our apps now take one tenth of the amount of data they did a few years ago.
The third part is making sure people understand why the internet is valuable for them to use. So we are working on programs like Free basics which is now live. Programs like ExpressWifi, where the first two weeks of the internet are free.
I think those three steps: Spreading access, lowering the cost and spreading awareness are the key things. If we do that, then in the next 10 or 15 years we would get the other half of the world that is not on the Internet there.
So I am an engineer, like a lot of you guys. For me, Engineering comes down to 2 real principles. The first one for me is that you think of every problem as a system, and every system can be better, and that goes for whether you are writing code or building hardware, these things are all systems and can be improved.
The second is that you break down problems from the biggest stage down to smaller pieces that you can solve.
There is something fundamental to the engineering mindset that you guys share as developers, and if you keep your eye on that, you can solve a lot of problems that way.
What we’ve always found is that getting the people to use our product and enjoying it, and evangelizing it to their friends to use it, is by far the most effective way to market a product. We are probably a little lucky since it is easier than normal to take something like Facebook and give people the tools to spread it to their friends. We have tried a lot of things at Facebook, we used to have a traditional marketing team that did communications and thought about stuff like buying ads to help grow our community, we still have that for other things. But we used to do that for growing our community. What we found was we could make a bigger impact by having an engineering team that was focused on building products that empowered people in our community to spread Facebook to the people that they wanted to get on, that worked a lot better.
Our primary priority for Whatsapp is to continue growing the community and connecting more people around the world. There are a billion people who use Whatsapp every month, and there are 5 billion people in the world who have phones and we kinda think that everyone who uses phones does text messaging on their phones.
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