I could think I have all the Cannes tricks I needed up my sleeve, after coming here for the last two years, but there will always be people who have come here for more and are five steps ahead. Welcome to my world. I’m outside the Debussy theatre on Wednesday afternoon one hour before the Facebook session so that I can manage a seat, and since I’m five minutes late, running from a previous meeting, the hall is already full because more than a dozen people had the same idea. I get in on the second floor. So yes, Mark Zuckerberg is a geek with world domination plans, and uses the term “engage in a dialogue” an awful lot.
Zuckerberg answered a few questions surrounding Facebook (Yes to continuing to stay CEO of the company and to relooking at privacy settings) and remained non committal on others (location based personalisation features, monetisation and Facebook going in for apublic issue).
The Facebook session and the TED@Cannes series were top of my Cannes do list. Enjoyed the second one enormously, got time to chat up Clay
Shirky. That conversation is available here.
Zuckerberg said some interesting things. When asked whether he saw Facebook as a media company, he said it was more of a technology
company and that, increasingly, what one was seeing was the incidence of a new wave of hybrid companies that had technology at the core but
then, over a period of time, based their business models on selling media. When asked whether he intended to hand over the reins of the
company to another CEO, to focus better on product, he was firm that most technology companies who were run by their founders had been
successful at running the company while managing to retain their focus on product and he saw no reason why that startegy should not work for
Facebook as well.
The ability of the locals here to answer any and every question of yours in French is truly extraordinary. I still haven’t figured out whether they genuinely think I’ve understood what they’ve said or if they believe it’s the fastest way to get rid of people who ask questions in unreasonable languages. Probably the latter. I decide to rely on my BlackBerry for help instead, to make my way to a lunch meeting at a fancy restaurant on the Croisette.