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If you reach one person online you need to start thinking about yourself as a media company. This is just a snippet of the many insights American business women and former Facebook employee, Randi Zuckerberg shared during her Day 2 keynote at CeBIT Australia 2017.
And yes. The last name is familiar. You might have heard of her brother Mark.
Zuckerberg's presentation, Ten exciting trends impacting your business right now was so engaging at one point she even managed to break down how companies are trying to teach children code through a nursery rhyme - Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Mo, teach your toddler how to code.
Clever delivery techniques aside, let’s jump into some of the insights.
This may come as a shock to some - but Zuckerberg says if you’re not acting like a media company you’re going to fall behind the competition. She points out even General Electric, the company that builds our white goods, released a Podcast about Aliens. And Redbull, known for their energy drinks, pulled off the most live streamed event in history - and the world record for the world’s highest freefall jump.
As a business you need to be thinking of the content you’re putting out there and use the media platforms to your advantage.
Hiring the right people is essential and Zuckerberg suggests looking for applicants who think outside the box and apply their creative thinking, like Philippe Dubost, a Web Product Manager whose resume is an Amazon listing.
But she also suggests looking for people further than your local area or country, and encourages business to start embracing remote employees. “It’s a new exciting culture,” she says. “It empowers those who had to leave the workforce, for whatever reason, to step back in.” Power to Fly is a website connecting women with workplaces that value diversity. Websites like this make the workforce basically on demand.
And when you have your employees let them get creative. During her time with Facebook she attended a number of Hackathons where employees were encouraged to get wild with their ideas and nothing was off the table. “The inventions were silly but every year 1-2 ideas were so good that they were implemented on the site,” she says. And she noted, it wasn’t senior management who came up with the ideas, it was interns or people returning to the workforce from leave.
“Put your phone down for an hour or two and give yourself permission to be creative. It will blow your mind what people will come up with,” she says.
Being the only female in the room for almost a decade, Zuckerberg spent a lot of time thinking about how to get women interested in technology. Her research led her to children. And there’s company after company doing whatever they can to teach children about technology - from a programmable robot like Robotiky to a kid's money management website called Bankaroo.
Many more insights were shared which we’ll explore in a future blog. But a point Zuckerberg made abundantly clear is: when we create technology in this sharing economy, “it’s important to think about how to be responsible consumers in this new world”. She fears we might end up in a world like her favourite TV show Downton Abbey - where you either serve or get served.
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