The heart of tech is coming to the heart of the Mediterranean. Join TNW in València this March 🇪🇸

This article was published on June 3, 2016

Mark Zuckerberg reportedly put Facebook on ‘lockdown’ the day Google+ launched

Mark Zuckerberg reportedly put Facebook on ‘lockdown’ the day Google+ launched

When Google+ launched in 2011, many saw it as a potential anti-Facebook – an alternative for someone who’s ready to try something different. We all know how that story played out.

But according to an excerpt from a new book from a former Facebook employee, the day Google+ launched, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called an emergency meeting and declared the company on “lockdown” for the first and only time.

From the excerpt, available via Vanity Fair, Antonio Garcia Martinez writes:

How, might you ask, was Lockdown officially announced? We received an e-mail at 1:45 P.M. the day Google Plus launched, instructing us to gather around the Aquarium, the glass-walled cube that was Zuck’s throne room. Actually, it technically instructed us to gather around the Lockdown sign. This was a neon sign bolted to the upper reaches of the Aquarium, above the cube of glass, almost like the NO VACANCY sign on a highway motel. By the time the company had gathered itself around, that sign was illuminated, tipping us off to what was coming.

Martinez also called Zuckerberg’s speech “aloof,” “geek-speak,” and “borderline psychopathic.”

But the “lockdown” would lead Facebook to think twice on code changes, rushing a product to market, and shape up overall to defend against its alleged war.

Martinez’s account is a fascinating look at the earlier days of Facebook, and it’s worth a read here. The full book, “Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley,” is expected to hit the bookshelves later this summer.