Randi Zuckerberg – Power Forward

Randi Zuckerberg, founder of Zuckerberg Media Group gave an inspiring talk at Ruby Diamond auditorium this Wednesday.

Digital media innovator, angel investor, entrepreneur, author, broadway singer, mother –Randi Zuckerberg wears many hats. In her talk on FSU’s campus Wednesday she spoke about trends in technology and business, overcoming stereotypes, and being able to unplug and disconnect. She also demonstrated that she is so much more than the big sister of the social media giant with the same last name.

After graduating from Harvard, Randi Zuckerberg started out working in an ad agency in NYC before taking some time to work pro-bono for her brother’s “cute little company” in California. Now, she is the founder of a media empire, and one of the biggest influencers in marketing and digital media.

As the driving force behind Facebook’s initial marketing strategy, Randi is one of the foremost experts on advertising in the 21st century. She talked briefly about the rise of Facebook, commenting on the small cluttered office where Mark and the rest of the team worked round the clock to code the social media platform that now has over a billion daily users.

“I had never seen passion like that in my life… I think there was a three day span where no one in that office consumed anything other than Red Bull and Twinkies.” she said about the incubating environment of Facebook that would come to define the company culture.

Like so many in the intersections of technology and business, she talked about the importance of company culture.

“It’s the little things, like how you recognize an employee’s 1 year anniversary with the company, and the Intangibles like having fun and being able to share ideas.”

But Randi’s talk was not about Facebook, it was about her observations of the world of tech and tech marketing. She laid out ten trends that she sees as important in the coming years.

  1. Blending of Employee/Entrepreneur roles
  2. Think like a Media Company
  3. Reinventing Retail
  4. Start ‘em Early
  5. The Maker Movement
  6. Virtual Reality
  7. Life Logging
  8. Disruption of Healthcare and Education
  9. Gamification for Motivation
  10. Unplug to Refresh

During the Q&A portion that followed, Randi fielded questions about overcoming female stereotypes in the tech world.

“People like to put you in a box…” she said, describing how friends and coworkers want to peg her as “a mom,” or “an author” while in reality she fills so many unique roles.

“When you do so many different things like I do, people don’t know what to do with that.”

She criticized the “all in all the time” culture adopted by many startups and tech businesses, citing a need to detach and disconnect from the work environment that many of us reside in.

“In Silicon Valley, if you weren’t all in all the time, you were seen as frivolous, not a serious entrepreneur.  We’re 3 dimensional people, that’s what makes it so exciting to be human.”

And she even ended on a song, belting out a parody version of Part of Your World from the Little Mermaid, the lyrics altered to be about “unplugging” from modern technology to avoid “tech-cocooning.”

Overall, she inspired the audience of students, local entrepreneurs, and businesses owners to keep moving forward without a fear of failure. To the students, she talked about how the things she helped create just a decade ago (social media) are what some students are dedicating their college career to.

“You can create the thing now that students will be studying in ten years.”

To find out more about Randi Zuckerberg, visit her online at zuckerbergmedia.com.

For more on apps and startups checkout Cuttlesoft.com.