Mark Zuckerberg vs. Eckhart Tolle

What does the most popular social network on the internet and a spiritual movement have in common?

Yesterday I went to see The Social Network, the movie about the ambition, friendships and betrayal that went in to creating Facebook. This is an absolutely amazing piece of cinema - based on the book “The Accidental Billionaires” by Ben Mezrich - that tells the story of how Mark Zuckerberg became the youngest billiionaire on the planet. I followed the film by attending a talk by Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now and A New Earth - two must-reads that explore how a shift in human consciousness is possible through awareness of the ego that drives our behaviour.

I was struck by two things:

Its not good enough to just have a great idea
Everyone has great ideas. We are all full of them. And rarely are they original - we combine, mashup and steal from others all the time. Zuckerberg did not invent the first ever social network site - we had Friends Reunited and MySpace long before Facebook. Eckhart Tolle is not the first to explain the ego or champion awareness - the Buddha and many other spirutual thinkers got there centuries before him.

What both of these leaders have done is take great ideas, enhance them and make them relevant. Chris Cox - Facebook's VP of product - stated in The New Yorker that "Getting there first is not what its all about. What matters always is execution." I couldn't agree more - its not what you do, its how and why you do it.

The best executed ideas spread and connect communities
Facebook took very little marketing to make its way across the planet. Eckhart Tolle has sold millions of books without masses of PR and advertising.

A New Earth became a best seller with a bit of help from Oprah Winfrey, but this was simply as a result of her recommendation of the book. Facebook attracts new users via recommendation between friends. In both examples, community is at the heart of the concept. Marketing is based on inspiration, rather than mass manipulation by shouting at a target audience.

Both of these gurus have created change in our world through the way they have developed and delivered their big ideas to us. Something for every artist to consider.

The image is a Friend Wheel of my own inner circle Facebook connections.


CarDogg said...

Great movie. Great principals. I got most out of it that it is more important to create a product of value than to monetize on your product right away. Build value, and people will consume.


Melnyk said...

Yes - this is also key; however, both Zuckerberg and Tolle have taken this principle even further. Their intentions are not focussed around money at all. Instead they strive to do what they love, and the money flows.