Photo by Nathan Gross
Creator of Facebook Live, Randi Zuckerberg, successfully paved her way through the tech industry because she took chances.
Zuckerberg, who’s the CEO of Zuckerberg Media and older sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, opened the Roots of Knowledge Lecture Series in the Classroom Building auditorium, Aug. 31.
“It’s amazing what happens when you erase the fear of looking silly,” Zuckerberg said to a crowd of over 800 people.
At the age of, Zuckerberg moved to California after working for an advertising company in Manhattan as a post-Harvard graduate. She moved across the country because her younger brother needed help with digital marketing for his new social media platform.
She explained that three things made Facebook different than any other social media platform at that time. Facebook launched with exclusivity to only a few college campuses at a time, required users to go by their real name rather than screen names and focused on internal company culture. The culture within the company was simple, they wanted everyone to feel like an entrepreneur and be their most creative self, according to Zuckerberg.
The company hosted overnight “hack-a-thons” once a month that encouraged employees to work on projects they were passionate about but never had the time to work on. Through the night and into the morning, employees created. “There was no fear of failure,” Zuckerberg said.
During a “hack-a-thon” Zuckerberg happened to create something she described as a live TV show that would take place all the time on Facebook. This is what is now called Facebook Live.
This live stream concept took off on a massive scale but Zuckerberg soon left the company. “I spent 10 years being the only woman in the room,” she said. “I wanted to encourage more women, more girls to get into tech.”
“My best advice [for women going into tech] is to have a male name like, Randi,” Zuckerberg said. “I can’t even count on my hands how many times people asked me to get them a cup of coffee because they didn’t know I was running the meeting.”
Her dedication to helping women and girls lead her to write the children’s book, “Dot,” a story of a young, tech-savvy, imaginative girl. The story of the girl named Dot is now a TV show consisting of 52 episodes. Her adventures are aimed to get girls excited about tech, according to Zuckerberg.
“It was super empowering to hear an awesome woman who’s accomplished so much,” said Stormie Atkin, a communication student.“I thought it was really inspiring.”