Mark Zuckerberg reportedly came unglued on the day that Google launched its competing social network, Google Plus in June 2011, according to ousted former Facebook manager Antonio Garcia Martinez.
In a piece for Vanity Fair, an adapted excerpt from his new book, Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley, Martinez writes:
He declared “Lockdown,” the first and only one during my time there. As was duly explained to the more recent employees, Lockdown was a state of war that dated to Facebook’s earliest days, when no one could leave the building while the company confronted some threat, either competitive or technical.
Martinez, a former Facebook manager and CEO of AdGrok, explains, “that Facebook employees received an e-mail the day Google Plus launched, instructing employees to meet up for an announcement where Zuckerberg explained to Facebook’s employees that they were engaged in a zero-sum contest and challenged his team to ensure victory.”
Martinez called Zuckerberg’s speech “aloof,” “geek-speak,” and “borderline psychopathic.” Facebook reportedly printed posters with CARTHAGO DELENDA EST and a Roman centurion’s helmet. The poster was distributed throughout the office akin to a state propaganda campaign.
A Google search tool, YouTube, and Gmail that is integrated seamlessly with Google Plus had the potential to threaten Facebook and its very livelihood. Numerous factors hindered Google Plus from ever legitimately competing with Facebook, ranging from their efforts to be too much like Facebook to being late to both the social media market and being slow to move into the mobile market.
It’s not all bad for Zuck in Martinez’ eyes though, the first sentence of the excerpt states unequivocally, “Mark Zuckerberg is a genius.” The full book is expected to release on June 28.
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