You have to watch ‘The Social Network’ more than once to completely understand it. There is so much to take from this movie that it is nearly impossible to absorb it all in one sitting.
The film ‘The Social Network’ is bound to inspire the entrepreneur within you. Here are seven things you learn about business from this film.
1: Some Things Are More Important In Life than School
Just to be clear, we are not criticising the importance of education here. But we are surely telling you to listen and believe in the big idea within you than just doing what society expects you to do.
Our only advice to you is to follow your dreams. Most people dream to have their own business venture. But instead of gaining the experience of having a business, people opt to settle for just being knowledgeable about business.
Try to learn business by having real life experiences about it instead of learning about it in school or college. Once you start following your dream of starting a business venture, and start surrounding yourself with smart and talented people, you will learn more about business than what any article or book could teach you.
This is not obviously true for all professions. For example, if you want to become a doctor, school is a must. However, dropping out from school has its own risks and not everyone can handle the aftermath.
Remember that you need to believe in yourself and have the determination and persistence of a warrior to choose this path in life. Also, you can always go back to education later in life after gaining enough life experience from the real world.
2: It Is Not About Who Has an Idea but Who Can Execute It
Many sages and saints believe that all humans are tapped within the “Universal Mind” and that everyone has access to the same ideas and inspirations. In the end, it is all about who listens and who has the courage to pull it off.
The writer of the film ‘The Social Network’ says that nobody knows what exactly happened between Zuckerberg, the Winklevai and Saverin. Whatsoever the truth may be, the result as we know is ‘Facebook’. This happened only because Mark Zuckerberg had the courage to put the idea of a ‘social network’ into execution.
So, if you believe you have a big idea, there are chances that you are not the only one. Your only motive should be towards turning the idea into reality. Did you watch how fast Mark Zuckerberg developed Facebook and published it online? It surely didn’t involve years of brainstorming, rather it was just a few weeks (admittedly the most important weeks of his life) of hard work to develop the first version of Facebook.
3: Change Can Happen Fast
It shouldn’t take you forever to go from the idea to the execution phase. Mark Zuckerberg is the living example that with clear vision, enough talent and a lot of hard work, you can change your life.
So, if you have an idea, stop putting it off. Once you start working on executing your idea, it has the ability to pull you out of your current situation and elevate you to new standards of living.
A part of us understands why Eduardo Saverin’s stakes in the company were reduced, while the other part of us feels that Mark betrayed him – as depicted in the movie. Saverin really did move to NYC and stayed in school as Facebook was blowing up. Mark then moved to Silicon Valley, dropped out and concentrated on his passion.
If you put yourself in Mark’s place, it is obvious to think that your partner has abandoned you despite of all his contributions in the start. Saverin did not show up, especially when Mark needed him the most.
The lesson you need to learn here is that in any relationship (be it business or personal), if you want to succeed together, put in equal amounts of effort. Put in your time, make your presence felt and give attention to essential things in the business.
4: Figure out How to Be Of Service
The rise of Facebook and its popularity has nothing to do with Zuckerberg’s genius programming tactics. He could have opted to program a million other sites the same way and earn money.
But the site he chose to program was his own, which provided value to its target audience. The product that he developed sold itself in the strongest way it possibly can: word of mouth.
Facebook unites millions of people across the globe. It lets people express themselves. It allows them to be in touch with their loved ones around the world.
This is what is called “being of service”. If you want to succeed in your business venture, you have to figure out a way your products can help solve problems and be of service. This is the key to success; everything else is just add-ons that lead you to success.
5: Content and Community First, Revenue Second
One of the best business lessons you learn from the film is that if you have something valuable and new, do not sell out too quickly. We agree that every entrepreneur wishes to earn a lot from their business venture, but Sean Parker’s equivalence of having all the little fish versus the big fish is right.
In your business venture, don’t lose sight of your initial vision. Always aim for the big fish. Publish the best content, build a large community around your brand and gain the trust of your customers and users.
By focusing on all this, your brand identity grows organically. Eventually, as your traffic increases, so will your revenue. Hence, put your content and community first. Revenue follows.
6: Focus on Your Product and Not Money
If the product that you have developed and launched in the market provides greater value and is of service to its users, they will tell their friends. Also, if you continue delivering the same value product and focus on improving the value further, money will find you.
We understand the importance of money in running a business. Having a positive cash flow is important. For businesses struggling to maintain a positive cash flow, cash flow finance may be just what they need. Cash flow finance is a funding solution that helps business in managing cash flow issues effectively.
But if you have an excellent product that is useful to its customers, money should not be your primary concern. In today’s era, due to the Internet and with relatively low costs involved in setting up a start-up, investors look for more than just an idea.
People do not buy ideas; they only buy the end products of those ideas. Hence, you should focus on developing a product that is excellent and which begins to sell itself. Never chase money; let money chase you.
7: Do Not Screw Over Your Friends
‘Money changes people’
That’s a universal truth, so there’s no point arguing over it. So don’t be that person. Ensure that you value your friendships more than money in life. You surely do not want be a person sitting on top of the money pile all alone. Thus, while you focus on making some money, focus on building relationships too. Remember: “Good friends and love are priceless.”