Facebook Strategy with Mike Vernal

Facebook’s strategy is shaped by long term goals, short term requirements, and the available resources of the company.

Long term goals are necessary for thinking through big decisions such as acquisitions, hardware product investments, and open source software ecosystems. To implement long term goals, Facebook needs to communicate the vision of the company and foster an internal culture that supports that vision.

Short term requirements can affect how the company is thinking on a more immediate time horizon.

When Facebook realized the importance of mobile computing, the mentality in the company quickly shifted from looking at mobile as a tax on engineering resources to a long-term source of business value. When Google started to work on Google+, Facebook engineers focused their resources on the potential competitive threat.

Facebook’s strategy is implemented by the engineers, product managers, and other employees of the company. Facebook is unique in its ability to allow those employees to self-assemble into work that is meaningful to the individuals as well as to the company.

As the long term goals and short term requirements of Facebook change over time, company resources are shifted to focus the company on the correct set of priorities. Some of those priorities might be speculative investments in new technologies. Other priorities might include doubling down on areas of the company that are showing promise.

Mike Vernal worked as a VP of product and engineering at Facebook for 8 years. He left the company in 2016 and joined Sequoia Capital, where he now works as a partner. In his time at Facebook, he helped architect and implement strategies relating to product direction and engineering.

Mike joins the show for a discussion about his time at Facebook and the strategic lessons that he learned from his time at the company.



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