The power of Zuckerberg

Tuesday, 6 January, 2015

“Power is the ability to direct or prevent the current or future actions of other groups and individuals. Or, put differently, power is what we exercise over others that leads them to behave in ways they would not otherwise have behaved.” — Moisés Naím, The End of Power

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced at the weekend that his New Year’s resolution was to read a book every two weeks this year. He promises to read books that will “emphasise learning about new cultures, beliefs, histories and technologies.” His “Year of Books” Facebook group has attracted 179,000 likes so far and his first selection, The End of Power by Moisés Naím, sold out on within 24 hours.

According to the blurb, The End of Power examines the global tilt in influence “from West to East and North to South, from presidential palaces to public squares, from once formidable corporate behemoths to nimble start-ups and, slowly but surely, from men to women.” For Zuckerberg, the book “explores how the world is shifting to give individual people more power that was traditionally only held by large governments, militaries and other organisations. The trend towards giving people more power is one I believe in deeply, and I’m looking forward to reading this book and exploring this in more detail.” Facebook watchers will, no doubt, read a lot into the CEO’s picks.

The question on the tips of many tongues now is: Will Zuckerberg recreate the “Oprah Effect”? Oprah’s Book Club, which Oprah Winfrey hosted on her talk show from 1996 until 2011 turned many literary works into million-sellers.

“To put it simply, power no longer buys as much as it did in the past. In the twenty-first century, power is easier to get, harder to use — and easier to lose. From boardrooms and combat zones to cyberspace, battles for power are as intense as ever, but they are yielding diminishing returns. — Moisés Naím, The End of Power

The End of Power

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