Mark Zuckerberg Arnold Schwarzenegger
Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Facebook Inc., speaks during the Facebook F8 Developers Conference in San Francisco, Calif., on March 25, 2015.  David Paul Morris—Bloomberg Finance LP

This Story About Marshmallows Explains How Mark Zuckerberg Gets Stuff Done

Nov 16, 2015

Between building drones that can beam Internet signals from the sky and investing in the future of virtual reality, it's fair to say that Facebook has grown way beyond a simple social network. So how does CEO Mark Zuckerberg manage it all?

With patience and diligence, according to those who have worked closely with him. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, shared this story about a family gathering with Fast Company when describing Zuckerberg's approach to productivity:

Mark said, ‘I’m going to make a marshmallow. I looked at my friend and said, ‘He’s going to make the perfect marshmallow.’ Because he’s going to be the one out of all of us who is going to have the patience. In order to make the right marshmallow, you can’t do it right in the fire, because then it gets burnt. You can’t walk away. You actually have to sit there for five to 10 minutes with the marshmallow above the flame, but not too close, so that it gets completely heated but doesn’t burn. And the only person who’s actually willing to do that is Mark. Because he is that focused and that determined. I’ve never met anyone with more perseverance than Mark Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg built Facebook while attending Harvard in 2004. Back then, it was just a social network for students attending the university. 11 years later, the company is worth more than Walmart.

"He's learned everything he knows about business in the last 10 years," Marc Andreessen, a prominent Silicon Valley investor and Facebook board member, told Fast Company. "And now he's one of the best CEOs in the world."

Read the rest of Fast Company's Zuckerberg profile here.

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