Facebook Inc CEO – Mark Zuckerberg – isn’t afraid of admitting his mistakes. And recently, in an interview with Sam Altman – President of Y Combinator – he said he regrets buying Oculus for $2bn in 2014 for getting into the virtual reality space, and instead he should have had the foresight to build out a team in-house early on.
Oculus – expensive buy for Facebook
Mark said that these kinds of big moves are not only unavoidable, but necessary as well. “We bought the Oculus team for a lot of money. I actually view that as, you know, if we’d done a better job of building up some of the expertise to do some of that stuff internally, then maybe we wouldn’t have had to do that,” he said.
Another regret he has is the late realization that virtual reality was worth investing in. Facebook CEO said that after realizing that virtual reality technology was worth investing in, it was wiser to buy the leading company in the space rather than develop something in-house. He saw this as the only way to go.
A point worth noting is – Zuck does not think that he made a mistake by purchasing Oculus, rather he just believes that it is an expensive solution to Facebook’s desire to get into VR. “As a CEO, it’s your job to not get into a position where you need to be doing these crazy things,” he said.
Facebook Inc CEO does agree that it is something that can’t be avoided completely over a period of doing stuff. Therefore, it is always better to make big moves, instead of having pride and not doing that and never admitting even that you could have done something better in the past.
Facebook’s investment paying off
Zuck though noted that the most talented team working on that problem is by far the Oculus team, and hence, it made sense to go ahead and make this big move. And, it looks as if the $2bn bet that Facebook made on Oculus VR is paying off.
Oculus received help from Facebook in fast-tracking the development and consumer launch of its Oculus Rift virtual reality set. Samsung has become a major Oculus partner with its Gear VR headset. Also, Facebook is making efforts to bake the concept of VR into the future of its vast social network.
Zuck’s long-term strategy is making fewer of these multi-billion dollar bets, and instead develop the expertise in-house. Recently, it opened a new R&D Lab and continues work on Aquila – a giant, solar-powered, internet-delivering drone.
Facebook Inc CEO also talked about turning down the offer worth $1bn from Yahoo back in 2006, when Facebook was just 2 years old and had 10m users. Zuck and co-founder Dustin Moskovitz had faith in themselves and turned down the proposal despite many opposing their decision.