David Kirkpatrick, author of “The Facebook Effect” took the stage at TechCrunch Disrupt in NYC with Sean Parker, who is a partner at the Founder’s Fund (and the former president of Facebook), about 90 minutes after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced their updated privacy settings. Here are some highlights from their talk with TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington:
The Facebook Effect took Kirkpatrick three years to research and write, and has been widely considered a well-written.
Asked why people would want to read the book: “If they want to understand Facebook and know who Mark Zuckerberg is,” said Kirkpatrick.
“Sean was the only one old enough to buy the booze,” joked Kirkpatrick about Parker.
Asked by Michael Arrington if Facebook is “just a bunch of kids and that’s why they’re having all o
“He’s of torn, he’s of two minds” between privacy and increased sharing. “The changes that he announced two hours ago…pretty much satisfies privacy advocates,” said Kirkpatrick.
Parker said, “Should Facebook [Connect] be the platform that people use to connect to other websites know?”
“I think those teenage emails/IMs aren’t relevant – do you want to be judged at what you did at 19 in how you [Arrington] run Techcrunch today?”
“He was a mischief making young kid,” said Parker about Kirkpatrick. “He’s not a malicious person.”
Sean Parker was also one of many sources for Kirkpatrick’s book, said, “Mark [Zuckerberg] had the idea for a platform long before the Facebook Platform.” Parker was 23 when he joined Facebook after having been at Napster.
Kirkpatrick to Parker: “Do you think those IMs came from him [Zuckerberg]?” Parker: “He didn’t use that kind of tone.”
“He’s not as concerned about everyone being able to control everything,” said Kirkpatrick about Zuckerberg.
Arrington: “Is Facebook the most important service on the Internet?” Kirkpatrick: “I don’t think it’s more important than Google.”
Kirkpatrick thinks that Zuckerberg is in the class of Bill Gates as a creator and leader of a major company. “Mark has absolute, dictatorial control of Facebook – nothing can happen at Facebook unless Mark Zuckerberg agrees,” said Kirkpatrick.
“I’m critical of a lot of things they [Facebook] do,” said Kirkpatrick. “Does Mark Zuckerberg make mistakes? All the f*cking time!”
“If you look at the role that Facebook is playing in modern society…you really have to ask if Facebook should be a private company?” said Kirkpatrick, which, while the audience didn’t seem to get, but to us seemed to mean should Facebook be like Wikipedia?
Kirkpatrick concluded he doesn’t believe that revenue is the main driver of Facebook at present, though he believes that their revenue will possibly top $1 billion this year.