Becoming Facebook: The 10 Challenges That Defined the Company That's Disrupting the World

Becoming Facebook: The 10 Challenges That Defined the Company That's Disrupting the World

Becoming Facebook: The 10 Challenges That Defined the Company That's Disrupting the World

Becoming Facebook: The 10 Challenges That Defined the Company That's Disrupting the World


Its success was far from accidental.

Facebook's founding is legend: In a Harvard dorm, wunderkind Mark Zuckerberg invented a new way to connect with friends...and the rest is history. But for the people who actually molded this great idea into a game-changing $300 billion company, the experience was far more tumultuous and uncertain than we might expect.

Mike Hoefflinger was one of those Facebook insiders. As a computer engineer turned marketing innovator who worked with COO Sheryl Sandberg, Hoefflinger had a front-row seat to the company's growing pains, stumbles, and reinventions.

Becoming Facebook tells the coming-of-age story of the now venerable giant. Filled with insights and anecdotes from crises averted and challenges solved, the book tracks the company's development, uncovering lessons learned on its way to greatness:

How Facebook recovered from its "disastrous" IPO • How the growth team achieved the impossible • Why Facebook's News Feed ads were the company's most important business decision ever • How Google+ attacked and lost • Why--and how --Instagram and WhatsApp were added to the mix • What the company does to win the talent wars • What makes Zuckerberg, Sandberg, Cox, and other A-teamers tick • Which products and technical advancements are on the horizon and why • And much more

Intimate, fast-paced, and deeply informative, Becoming Facebook shares the true story of how Zuckerberg joined the ranks of iconic CEOs like Steve Jobs, Larry Page, and Jeff Bezos--as Facebook grows up, overcomes setbacks, and works to connect the world.


In 2009, Mark Zuckerberg was immortalized in Ben Mezrich’s Accidental Billionaires—a book that starts with the sentence, “It was probably the third cocktail that did the trick” and served as Aaron Sorkin’s source material for the movie The Social Network—as a morally dubious, socially awkward coder mostly motivated by meeting girls. Facebook, with just 150 million users at the beginning of 2009 and coming off a year with only $270 million in revenue, was considered as uncertain a business as MySpace, which was still the largest social network in the United States.

By the end of 2015, Zuckerberg was feted as one of the greatest CEOs and philanthropists ever, Sheryl Sandberg as not only a model coo but a leading light and voice in equality, and Facebook as a company as respectable—and deserving of credit for changing the world—as Google and Apple. They had grown the number of people who used Facebook by 15 times, become the home to four of the world’s top six communication tools (three of which serve more than a billion users monthly), increased their market value by 30 times to over $300 billion and their revenue over 60 times to nearly $18 billion annually.

This book is the story of what happened in those seven years and what may happen in the next ten. From the inside. Facebook’s comingof-age as one of the world’s great companies.

As for me, I’m a builder. Have been since 1981 when I got my first Apple ][ computer. Maybe the only thing I love more than building is to observe great builders. So it’s no accident I’m on my second stint in Silicon Valley. the first one was back in 1978 when my dad was on a sabbatical at uc Berkeley and we’d drive around the pre-PC, pre-Internet, pre-iPhone valley and visit Texas Instruments to see their brand-new Speak ’n’ Spell toy in the lab. the second started in 1990. Twenty-five years later, I’m still here.

I had the good fortune to be at Intel to work on the first microprocessor to have a name and to see the pc take the world by storm in the early 1990s. To work for Andy Grove when the Internet emerged, and we would visit Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin and their ping-pong table boardroom in Palo Alto, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos in a converted hospital . . .

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