Like all the digital economy’s most respected entrepreneurs, Zuckerberg never had much time for questions about his motivations or intentions. From the beginning he cultivated a rules-don’t-apply-to-us culture. Whether it was the sudden, unannounced changes to the site’s layout or the frequent sneaky tweaks to your privacy settings, Facebook seemed to have a policy of ignoring all criticism and ploughing ahead. Their motto said it all: Move fast and break things.
The Facebook crew was smarter than the crowd. They were more productive and could see further. They could imagine a future that most people weren’t creative enough to conjure or sharp enough to engineer. Speed was an invaluable asset and destruction the price of progress. Whether the public bought into their particular vision of the future was of no concern.
Facebook is far from the only tech company with delusions of grandeur. “We don’t believe in limits,” Apple CEO Tim Cook is fond of saying. “Apple has made products for years that people didn’t know they wanted and now they can’t live without.” That’s certainly true, and impressive, but you don’t need an MBA to see how an industry with that attitude could end up a little too convinced of its own invulnerability.