Main image of article Facebook's Four Principles for Success

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There are a lot of stereotypes of millennials. Many perceive them as high maintenance and needy, and companies are struggling with how to manage this generation as it enters entering the workforce. Not so with Facebook. It has millennial DNA, and as the company's Molly Graham points out, "We see the qualities that make up those stereotypes as a good thing." They are all in line with Facebook's values:
  • Build trust
  • Focus on impact
  • Move fast
  • Be bold
  • Be open
They're all critical values for fulfilling the four core principles of Facebook, Graham told me.

Principle #1: You Can Make Anything Better

At Facebook, they don't believe that problems ever get "solved." A good example of this was Facebook's launch of their photo product. They launched it in an incredibly competitive environment among products that seemed to have every conceivable feature. But they felt they could improve the photo viewing experience, which they did, through the tagging of people. As a result, Facebook photos is the most popular photo application around, according to Graham.

Principle #2: Fast Failure Leads to Fast Learning

"You have to try something in order to learn from it," says Graham. "Most great things are the result of several previous failures." Facebook employees are hungry for feedback. They always want to know how they can get better. That means fast learning is essential. It may be high maintenance, but that results in a drastic rate of change. The model is simple:
  • Try it
  • Collect feedback
  • Make it better
  • Repeat

Principle #3: Ownership is Essential

The company will be better if people feel a sense of ownership of the outcome. Everyone should feel like it’s their company. But commitment doesn't just come through stock,  Graham points out. It comes through openness. Openness is prevalent throughout the company. There are no cubicles and even Mark Zuckerberg's office is just glass walls. With openness, people feel that they're part of the conversation. It's in Facebook's DNA to share information.

Principle #4: Work is Personal

Millennials are looking for work that has meaning. They want work they can to devote their life to. That has become very obvious as employees happily work on weekends and participate in hackathons that start at 8 p.m. and don't finish until 8 the next morning. Staying up all night working is a Facebook employee's idea of fun. Iif you like the people you work with, work goes faster and makes you happier. And the sheer nature of Facebook--which shares personal information--allows people to avoid the formal introduction process.