Working Hard To Not Fail Or Working Hard To Succeed?

February 8, 2012

Facebook has five core values (see below). The one that I like is “move fast and break things”. While this isn’t for everyone, it keeps you innovating and keeps you from becoming stagnant. There’s so many sayings that are similar to this:

  • If you don’t fall down you’re not learning.
  • Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.
  • If you’re doing your best, you won’t have any time to worry about failure.
  • You don’t drown by falling in water, you only drown if you stay there.
  • Ask forgiveness, not permission.
  • I’d rather you go too far than do too little.


Working hard to not fail? Or working hard to succeed?

In your company do you move fast and break things? I was having a conversation today with Ben Liu, founder of Vinasource and he made a comment about corporate America how lots of people working hard to not fail… where startup people are working hard to succeed. Not to bash corporate America because there are lots of good things, but, I don’t miss the CYA (cover your ass) mentality of some people.

Facebook’s Core Values

Focus on Impact

If we want to have the biggest impact, the best way to do this is to make sure we always focus on solving the most important problems. It sounds simple, but we think most companies do this poorly and waste a lot of time. We expect everyone at Facebook to be good at finding the biggest problems to work on.
Move Fast
Moving fast enables us to build more things and learn faster. However, as most companies grow, they slow down too much because they’re more afraid of making mistakes than they are of losing opportunities by moving too slowly. We have a saying: “Move fast and break things.” The idea is that if you never break anything, you’re probably not moving fast enough.
Be Bold
Building great things means taking risks. This can be scary and prevents most companies from doing the bold things they should. However, in a world that’s changing so quickly, you’re guaranteed to fail if you don’t take any risks. We have another saying: “The riskiest thing is to take no risks.” We encourage everyone to make bold decisions, even if that means being wrong some of the time.
Be Open
We believe that a more open world is a better world because people with more information can make better decisions and have a greater impact. That goes for running our company as well. We work hard to make sure everyone at Facebook has access to as much information as possible about every part of the company so they can make the best decisions and have the greatest impact.
Build Social Value
Once again, Facebook exists to make the world more open and connected, and not just to build a company. We expect everyone at Facebook to focus every day on how to build real value for the world in everything they do.