Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) CEO and wunderkind Mark Zuckerberg created a lot of chatter at the TechCrunch Disrupt Conference in San Francisco Tuesday, as he not only made an appearance, but grabbed a microphone and addressed a group in a question-and-answer session revolving around – yep, his company, and his growth as the chief executive of a multi-billion-dollar publicly traded company.
Coming across as pretty candid, modest but optimistic, Zuckerberg admitted some mistakes in the early days of running Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) – prior to the May IPO – which included the decision to use a programming language that delayed the development progress of applications for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android phones. He says his company is getting caught up in the mobile area, and is “halfway” through a period where it is looking to “retool” itself as a company, and while he acknowledged disappointment in the low stock price, he maintained optimism that the market will soon appreciate the potential that Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) has in mobile and in search – something that had been mentioned much.
However, Zuckerberg did say that he had a team working on ways to develop a search platform – perhaps as a direct competitor to Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), which in itself has been trying to compete with Facebook with its Google+ social network. In regards to developing a search concept, Zuckerberg said, “Facebook is uniquely positioned to answer a lot of questions people have … We have a team working on search.”
In addition to search, Zuckerberg maintained that Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) is committing a lot of resources to its smartphone application for mobile, but he also put down some rumors that the company’s struggles in mobile would mean that Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) was going to develop its own smartphone. “[That would be] clearly the wrong strategy for us,” he said.
As he spoke in the early afternoon in California, Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) shares rose about 3 percent on the day, and moved another 3 percent after hours, at one point passing $20 a share. It ended the trading day at $19.43, a 3.3-percent jump. Based on the information that came out of the Q-and-A session, investors seemed to be calmed down, which is good news for people like hedge-fund manager George Soros of Soros Fund Management.