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Lessons on technology entrepreneurship from Mark Zuckerberg

If you’re beginning an IT startup, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg can give you some great insights into what it takes to be a success.

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Mark Zuckerberg is one of the world’s most well known entrepreneurs, and for good reason. At just 19 he created Facebook with the help of some of his fellow Harvard students, and the social media platform would grow to become a phenomenon that redefined the meaning of online relationships. His journey is an inspiration for people in IT careers and entrepreneurs alike.

Here are some of the most important things we can can learn from Zuckerberg to become successful IT entrepreneurs.

1. Do it for you

With any career move or new business idea, there is no guarantee that it’s going to work out. Chances are, you will see very few results at the beginning, and you may working on and believing in your vision alone for a long time. Because of this, Mark Zuckerberg advises that you should find and idea you’re passionate about and launch the project for yourself.

“The most important thing that entrepreneurs should do is pick something they care about, work on it, but don’t actually commit to turning it into a company until it actually works,” he said in an interview with Sam Altman, president of startup acceleration company Y Combinator.

2. Make innovation your focus

Your motivation is a big part of the success of your idea. If you are creating an IT startup with the intention of just making money or being important, you are not going to be fully committed to the project and are probably doing it for the wrong reasons. Instead, Zuckerberg says you should focus on coming up with a new solution to a particular problem, and it will evolve from there.

“I always think that you should start with the problem that you’re trying to solve in the world and not start with deciding that you want to build a company,” he said to Altman.

“And the best companies that get built are things that are trying to drive some kind of social change even if it’s just local in one place more than starting out because you want to make a bunch of money or have a lot of people working for you or build some company in some way.”

3. Work to make new connections

Digital connectivity has changed not only the social landscape, but the business one as well. The world has been made smaller by technology and it’s easier for companies to reach international markets, leading to a rise in digital recruitment as businesses seek the personnel they need to cross online borders. In a panel with Zuckerberg at the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit, US President Barack Obama said a significant factor of innovation is find new ways to expand on these connections.

“You’re going to be what helps this process of global integration work in a way that works for everyone and not just some,” he said. “I believe we are better off in a world where we are trading and networking and communicating and sharing ideas. That also means that cultures are colliding and sometimes that’s disruptive and people get worried. You’re the bridge. You’re the glue.”

4. Think long term

When you’re developing your startup, it’s easy to get caught up with short term goals. But jumping prematurely on an opportunity could cause you to miss out on something better later down the track. This was the challenge for Zuckerberg when Yahoo offered him $1 billion for Facebook. He turned it down, and was able to become the multi-billion dollar company we know today.

“One of the hardest parts for me was actually when Yahoo offered to buy the company for a lot of money. That was a turning point in the company,” he told Altman. “It was the first time we had to look at the future and say, ‘Wow, is what we’re going to build be actually more meaningful than this?'”

5. Surround yourself with the right people

Finally, Mark Zuckerberg is well known for his leadership ability, and a big part of this is hiring the right team to help the business reach its goals. No one can do everything on their own, and once your tech startup has become established, you need to know when it’s time to bring on more staff to enable it to expand further. Whether you are looking to fill app developer roles or someone to code your new software, you should surround yourself with the highest quality talent that is going to be committed to achieving your vision for the future.

When you’re ready to grow your startup, working with an IT recruiter is a great way to ensure you find the right candidates. Contact Talent International to find out how we can give you the support you need to achieve your entrepreneurial goals.