Bill Gates VS. Mark Zuckerberg: Hiring a Lazy Person VS. Getting Rid of Employees Who Can’t Fulfill Performance Goals

Bill Gates have famously said, “Choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it“.
While Mark Zuckerberg said during a meeting he’s planning on “turning up the heat” on performance goals as the company’s growth slows, according to Reuters.

Two different approaches to employees by two founders of big tech companies. What differentiate these two companies, and why would they have two approaches?

Microsoft a software company that have secured it’s market position.

Microsoft have many products, but have a secured market position in each.
– It has it’s operating system business : With small competition from Apple / Google Chrome and Linux.
– It has the Office bundle : With competition from Google’s Apps and Apple’s productivity apps, in addition to open office and few other smaller competition.
– It has the Xbox gaming system: With competition from Sony PlayStation, Nintendo wii family, and some other micro competitors.
– It has the windows phone, which is a total flop, but retains a tiny market share.
– It has Bing, a search engine with a small market-share …

Meta / Facebook is … social media company … a media company ? portal ? website ?

Meta/ Facebook up untill now, is just a social network and associated apps (with 2 spinoffs if you wish: Whatsapp & Instagram)
There are no physical successful products. There is no successful paid services. Only a platform making money off ads and user data.

Mark Zuckerberg wants employees that work hard, not lazy employees that find solutions to the problem, this can be clearly understood from his latest statement during a company meeting:
“Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here,”
“Part of my hope by raising expectations and having more aggressive goals, and just kind of turning up the heat a little bit, is that I think some of you might decide that this place isn’t for you, and that self-selection is OK with me,”
Zuckerberg also told Meta staff the company had reduced its hiring target for engineers for this year from 10,000 to 6,000 or 7,000.

What’s the reason there is a different approach between Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates?

I would assume that Meta have more pressure to perform, as the company rely solely on advertising revenue for now. Revenue from advertising means being subject to seeing sharp drops in revenue. And as the company grows slows down, performance should be optimized.
Bill Gates, never had this issue, Microsoft knew how to diversify it’s revenue, knew how to have a monopoly on certain products, something the Facebook never was able to accomplish.
Furthermore, Microsoft can be considered as a software first company, their products need intense software development. Facebook is not in the same boat, because a big portion of the 50000 employees, work on non-technical positions (business, marketing, moderation ).

There are even reports that facebook have up to 30 000 content moderator, Microsoft don’t need that.

Bottom line, a lazy programmer can write a shorter code or a simpler code to avoid working too much, and that is actually good. But, a lazy content moderator will moderate less, or be slack, hence this is bad for the company.

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Abdallah Alaili

I'm a serial entrepreneur (mostly tech) and micro-investor (tiny), this is a blog to learn from other entrepreneurs and spread the wisdom to many more. You can find me on: Instagram - Twitter - Linkedin - more about me