Facebook VP inspires business majors, owners

Local business owners and UMKC students gathered at Bloch Hall this Thursday to hear some words of wisdom from a high-profile speaker: Facebook Vice President Ime Archibong.

During the presentation, organized by Professor Marilyn Taylor, Archibong talked about ten lessons he’s learned for those looking to boost business, and encouraged attendees to be visionary.

“Every single good idea looked insane at some point,” stated Archibong.

Archibong said studying emergent behaviors should be important for any business. He shared that awareness of rising trends enabled Facebook to make key improvements to their website, such as photos and the news feature.

He also addressed that Facebook is trying to expand its global reach, and make changes to the site’s accessibility for users with lower internet access. He believes engineers should feel empathic to those experiencing these technological challenges so they are able to cater to their needs.

“So if someone in India wakes up every morning with 2G connection, and they flip on their Facebook app or any other website, often times there are people who will be waiting for 5 minutes before it actually starts to load,” said Archibong.

So we’ve gone and we’ve built products like Facebook Lite and Messenger Lite to address those localized issues.”

The speaker reflected on Facebook’s ever-increasing role in the global community, stating Facebook’s initial goal of connecting the world has adapted to fit its new responsibilities. He told stories of how Facebook has impacted the world even off the internet, including for a man named Oscar.

This man started a Facebook group to speak out against the South American rebel group the FARC, eventually inspiring people from around the world to protest against FARC’s actions.

Lecture attendees took note of Archibong’s lessons.

“So we had the lesson about entrepreneurship. I thought that was the most valuable, especially in how it pertains to Facebook was how they scaled the organization,” said student Skylar Cowdry. “Communication is pretty aligned throughout that process, so I thought that was really valuable to gain insight into a company that huge.”

Archibong added that it is still important to Facebook leaders to keep the company humble, even though it’s expanded from being solely for college students to having billions of users.

 

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