Zuckerberg: “I Wouldn’t Build in the Silicon Valley Now”

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke in Utah at the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit. But what he had to say wasn’t what we expected to hear.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been in the spotlight often of late. Communicating openly about his company and personal life is something with which he is growing more comfortable—and in opening up his heart and personal stories he becoming more outspoken. 

This weekend at the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit, he showed why he is a great person to stand in that light.

In the conversation, he spoke about everything from the power of social media to connect people positively to why he chose to make product changes that cost the company $100B in market cap—but were in line with his beliefs.

Silicon Slopes executive director Clint Betts asked Zuckerberg if he felt he was taking the heat on behalf of the whole internet.

“That’s what leading is,” the Facebook CEO responded.

He also spoke to the reasons he would not build his company in the Silicon Valley now. When he moved to the Bay Area in 2004, he explained that choosing the Valley as a homebase was necessary — that’s where the infrastructure existed for the tech community. It was home to the VC and developer communities—and the infrastructure to support them.

Now, he points out, that infrastructure exists in many communities. Moreover, he says, technologies like AR and social media can bring people together in disparate cities/places, so entrepreneurs can stay connected—and still live and work in the communities where their families live. 

Zuckerberg wasn’t planning the Valley. He was pointing out a truth of the entrepreneurial world: startup communities are booming…everywhere.

That’s exactly what’s happening here in Utah.

The keynote was the closing address at Silicon Slopes, a 25,000 person tech summit in Salt Lake City. In its fourth year, the event is focused on bringing together and championing the tech community in Utah — which is both booming and is home to a new generation of startup unicorns like Domo, Weave, and Lucid

Facebook also recently announced expansion plans for their new $1.5B data center here in Eagle Mountain, Utah.

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When asked what he wants his legacy in the world to be, Zuckerberg said this: “I believe the pendulum is swinging and the pendulum will go back to giving people a voice and free expression. And I hope to play a part in that.”

Whether in Silicon Valley, Silicon Alley, Silicon Beach or Silicon Slopes, empowering everyone to have a voice, is a worthy goal.

You can watch the livestream of the whole video on Zuckerberg’s personal Facebook page:

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