Day 3 of TechCrunch Disrupt 2013, the world’s largest hackathon, was quite electrifying. After being here for three days, you could definitely feel the energy spike (and security too) as two influential speakers were set to appear. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg were the two special guests of the event.
Here are six things we learned from Mayer and Zuckerberg at TechCrunch Disrupt.
1. Yahoo Kept the Logo Redesign In-House
Michael Arrington, founder and former editor of TechCrunch, first question to Mayer was “What the f*** happened here?” referring to all the press feedback that was generated by the new logo, which was recently revealed. Mayer said she really liked the way the logo turned out.
Mayer said Yahoo prides itself as being the world’s largest startup. The attitude of the company is to be entrepreneurial, which is why they kept the redesign in-house and didn’t spend millions on the new design.
The reason for the change was due to the external and employee feedback the company was receiving. Mayer stated that the company would receive many emails and letters about the logo, requesting for a change.
She also mentioned that brands usually do small iterations of their logo over time and most are so minor that no one really notices. The company really wanted something that matched what they stand for, which is their great products and user experience.
When Zuckerberg was asked about the logo change, he quickly stated that while Yahoo’s logo had not changed much in 18 years, Facebook too has had the same logo for almost 10.
2. Zuckerberg and Mayer Want More Users
While Mayer made the announcement that Yahoo has officially passed 800 million users globally and also monthly active users are up 20 percent, it will take them three or more years to get where they want the company to be.
Zuckerberg stated that just because they have hit 1 billion users, they are far from done with the job they set out to do. His future hope is to get the 5 billion people without the Internet connected, which is the goal of his new project, Internet.org.
3. Yahoo is All About the Right People and the Right Product
Mayer was then asked of her time at Yahoo and the growth that has taken place, as the stock price has doubled in the 14 months since Mayer has been at the company. Arrington then asked, “How did you earn that?”
Mayer immediately stated “The smart investments I owe to my predecessors.” She also mentioned that the company has great people and the four things that create success. Those four things are:
- The right people
- The right product
4. Mobile is Where It’s Going…STILL!
In general, mobile was a huge theme throughout the conference and Mayer and Zuckerberg only solidified this more with their sessions. Zuckerberg, along with the six telecommunications and mobile companies are tasking themselves with building new technologies that will make it possible to get everyone in the world a smartphone, but make the data within those smartphones affordable, which would give other opportunities to create new business.
Mayer mentioned that mobile was one of Yahoo’s areas of growth, noting that 350 million monthly active users are on mobile, which increased since she became CEO in 2012.
5. PRISM Was a Sore Subject
Both Mayer and Zuckerberg were asked about the U.S. government in regards to the PRISM scandal. PRISM is a mass electronic data-mining program run by NSA (National Security Agency) since 2007.
When Mayer was asked “What are you doing to protect us from tyrannical governments?” she answered by saying that she was proud to be part of an organization that from the very beginning has been skeptical of and has been scrutinizing requests. She also mentioned that Yahoo has been pushing for more transparency.
Zuckerberg’s response to the same question was not as “friendly” as Mayer’s. He quickly stated that the government “blew it.” He mentioned that it’s the government’s job to protect our freedoms as well as the economy and companies, but they did a bad job at balancing those areas.
6. Mayer, Page and Zuckerberg all Have Superpowers
During Mayer’s interview, Arrington asked what her superpower was, in addition to other two other tech giants, Google CEO Larry Page and Zuckerberg.
At first, Mayer mentioned that she didn’t think she had one, but thought that while she didn’t know Zuckerberg very well, she thought his insight into people was his superpower and that Page’s was questioning the status quo.
Mayer later noted that if she was to have a superpower, she thought hers was the ability to empathize. She mentioned that when she came on board to Yahoo there was a lot of instability and Mayer had to immerse herself within the company in order to understand Yahoo’s employees and recognize where they were coming from.
Image Credits: Simon Heseltine