Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, 23, has developed a reputation, deserved or not, for being aloof and arrogant. And who can blame him? The Harvard dropout has created one of the fastest-growing and arguably most innovative Internet companies since Google (GOOG). An investment from Microsoft (MSFT) gave it a $15 billion valuation last year.
But at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, Tex., Zuckerberg presented a humbler side of himself in his most public confession to date. In a Mar. 9 keynote Q&A session with BusinessWeek columnist Sarah Lacy, Zuckerberg admitted to a series of missteps. In a wide-ranging interview that lasted an hour, Zuckerberg also announced the launch of a French-language version of his social networking site aimed at the 100 million-plus Francophones worldwide.
In the span of four years, Facebook has become the second-largest social networking site after News Corp.'s (NWS) MySpace. The company's top challenge now is figuring out a way to make money from its 60 million-plus members worldwide. But Zuckerberg admitted that Facebook's first attempts to turn the site into a financial powerhouse have not turned out as planned.
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