Zuckerberg on the tech ‘war’ with Amazon, Apple and Google

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Charlie Rose

Mark Zuckerberg is more of a lover, than a fighter.

After all, he doesn’t want to engage in an all-out war with the likes of Amazon.com, Apple or Google. Instead, the Facebook co-founder sees ways to work together with the tech titans — well, maybe, everyone except for Google.

Zuckerberg, appearing tonight on The Charlie Rose Show (11 p.m. on KBTC in Seattle), covers a wide range of topics in the interview from China to education to when the social networking powerhouse might go public.

But it was Zuckerberg’s remarks about Google which really provided an interesting insight into the competitive landscape.

Rose pressed Zuckerberg about the rivavly, which prompted this fascinating exchange. (You can watch this in the video below as well).

Charlie Rose: There are many people who look to the Silicon Valley and they say there are four platforms out here. It’s Amazon, it’s Apple, it’s Google, it’s Facebook. And what we’re going to witness over the next 10 years is a flat-out war between the four of you for the future. How do you see that?

Mark Zuckerberg: I mean, people like to talk about war. You know, there are a lot of ways in which the companies actually work together. There are real competitions in there. But I don’t think that this is going to be the type of situation where there’s one company that wins all of this stuff.

Charlie Rose: But you’re already getting in each other’s businesses.

Mark Zuckerberg: You know, Google, I think, in some ways, is more competitive and certainly is trying to build their own little version of Facebook. But you know, when I look at Amazon and Apple and I see companies who are extremely aligned with us, right. And we have a lot of conversations with people at both companies just trying to figure out ways that we can do more together, and there is just a lot of reception there.

Sheryl Sandberg: There are no borders for us, certainly, right, because we want everything to be social, and we want — prefer everything to be social with Facebook. And so, for us, our goal is really to work across. We want to work on every tablet.

Mark Zuckerberg: So, if you’re Amazon, and one of the big strategies is sell Kindles so you can sell more things, right. If you’re Apple, a big part of your strategy is sell devices because that’s how you make money. If you’re Google, they want to get Android as widely adopted as possible, and our goal … is not to build a platform, it is to be across all of them, because our mission is to help people connect and stay connected, no matter what devices they are on.

Sheryl Sandberg: There’s one thing that I think is most important that’s true of Facebook, which is that we are focused on doing one thing incredibly well. I think if you look at other companies, all of these companies are doing lots of different things, but we are still, as we grow, doing exactly one thing.”

Charlie Rose: But here’s the thing. There’s nothing you think you can’t do.

Mark Zuckerberg: It is true, there’s a corollary to what you just said, right. So, it is true we are focused on this one thing, but because there’s all this other stuff out there, that means that Facebook has evolved as a partnership company.

Sheryl Sandberg: That’s right.

Mark Zuckerberg: – which is very different from the way that Apple or Google or Amazon or Microsoft or any of these folks are, right. I mean, if Apple or Google want to build a product, they typically go build it, right. Whereas if Facebook wants to make it so that, you know, we want to help rethink the way that people listen to music or watch movies. What do we do? We build a platform on top of which people connect, and we enable all these different companies, dozens of companies to plug in, companies that are big companies, companies that are small companies, things that don’t even exist. It’s a really different approach than what all these other companies have.

Here’s the video with Zuckerberg and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg discussing competition:

Meanwhile, here’s the above exchange which comes from a preview of tonight’s episode.


For more, All Things D has a full transcript of the discussion.

  • Guest

    It’s easy to partner when you have no real competitors. Once FB does, then like everyone else they’ll start to focus on platform over partnership.