SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 19: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg laughs before the start of a town hall style meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama at Facebook headquarters on April 20, 2011 in Palo Alto, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg told an audience that if he could do it all over again, he would have stayed in Boston.
"If I were starting now I would do things very differently," Zuckerberg said in front of a crowd at the Y Combinator Startup School on Saturday. "I didn't know anything. In Silicon Valley, you get this feeling that you have to be out here. But it's not the only place to be. If I were starting now, I would have stayed in Boston. [Silicon Valley] is a little short-term focused and that bothers me."
Zuckerberg goes on to say that he talked it over with Amazon.com chief Jeff Bezos, who told him it was the reason why Bezos stayed in Seattle, according to Forbes.
Zuckerberg wasn't competely negative about Silicon Valley, he did say, "I think one of the coolest things about Silicon Valley and all the technology that's been built up is that you can just try all this stuff . . . Everyone can just go try out their ideas."
Were Zuckerberg's less-than-positive statements about Silicon Valley based on his personal experience of the fast-paced tech hub, or solely based on keeping employees? It seems his talk with Bezos was also based on Bezos telling him that Amazon.com's employees stayed at the company twice as long. "There's a culture here where people don't commit to doing things," Zuckerberg said.
We think there's some truth to that part of Silicon Valley. We know of a few people in the tech mecca who have told us that staying at a company for more than two years can be a sign that a job hunter isn't smart enough to go elsewhere or lacks ambition. It's not surprising that some employers don't like this kind of mentality, especially when they are trying to keep retain good workers.