TIME privacy

Here’s How Much Access Facebook Employees Have to Your Account

Facebook Homepage
Nicholas Kamm—AFP/Getty Images

Answer by Joe Sullivan, Chief Security Officer at Facebook, on Quora.

I’m Facebook’s Chief Security Officer and I oversee data security at the company. Thanks for the question. We take our role as stewards of people’s information very seriously and have invested heavily in protecting the data trusted to us.

There is no “skeleton key.” In fact, we have advanced internal tools that restrict access to information to only those employees who need it to do their jobs (e.g., investigating user reports).

There is a cross-functional group of employees who work on these safeguards and appropriate access to these tools.

Most employees do not have access and, those who do, must sign an agreement and complete a training program before using our internal tools. Finally, we track the actions performed through internal tools.

Each use is logged and requires the employee to explain the purpose of his or her use, and we audit all of this regularly.

Neither Mark nor any other senior executive at the company has tool access granted, because they do not have roles in the company where access would be necessary.

This question originally appeared on Quora: Does Mark Zuckerberg or Facebook employees have a skeleton key granting them access to every member’s Facebook profile page and information?

TIME advice

How to Learn to Say ‘No’

Momentimages—Tetra Iimages/Getty Images

We routinely overestimate the cost of saying no

Answer by Eva Glasrud, on Quora.

A while back, I answered Do women have a harder time saying “no” than men? If so, why?

Basically what I wrote is that everyone in our culture has a hard time saying no. For a couple of reasons, including:

1. Hardly anyone “just says no.” We say, “I would, but…” “If it had been any day but today…” In other words, when people ask for something, you’re probably giving them an explanation as to why you must say no.

But this gives them a chance to try again. To find a little workaround. “Oh, you’re busy this week? How about next week?” “Oh, the drive is too far? Let’s meet half way!” (And, as I discuss below, saying no the first time makes you more likely to say yes out of guilt the second time.)

So if you want to say no better, JUST SAY NO. Practice different polite but assertive ways of doing it that contain no explanation/workaround, such as,

  • “I can’t this time.”
  • “Sorry — not today.”
  • “That won’t work for me right now — but I’ll get back to you if anything changes.”
  • “I really appreciate you thinking of me, but I’ve just got too much on my plate right now.”

2. In a way, saying no is a form of aggression. But people are generally cooperative and social, so we overestimate the cost of saying no. (Which is why, generally, if you ask for something, people say yes — even if the reason you give for the ask is complete gibberish, e.g., “Can I cut you in line to use the copier because I need to use the copier.”)


Keep this in mind next time someone asks you for something. Saying no isn’t as bad as you think.

3. Be mindful of persuasion techniques that people often use when making an ask. Common ones include

  • Reciprocity. People often give you something before making an ask. This is because they know about the psychological tendency to want to reciprocate.
  • Making two asks. When people ask for something and you say no, they increase the odds that when they ask for something else (usually something smaller), you’ll say yes. “Well, if you won’t donate $100, could you at least ____?”
  • Anchoring – “Most people donate $X,” “Most other parents volunteer Y hours,” etc.
  • Establishing similarity between asker and askee.
  • Physical attractiveness.

Pay attention to what people are asking you for and how. And don’t let them game you.

4. You have to be a little selfish. In general, I consider myself to be pretty good at saying no. This is because I’ve had to. When I play basketball, I’m usually the only girl. And the boys always try to tell me what to do, who to guard, etc. If I don’t say no, I’m wasting my time guarding worse opponents, playing positions I don’t like, getting fewer passes, etc.

I’ve also done a fair amount of hitchhiking. This is one situation where, if something doesn’t feel right, you HAVE to say no. You might hurt someone’s feelings if you do — but if you don’t, you could DIE.

So think about it that way. If you don’t say no, you could die. Saying yes adds extra stress to you life. It eats into your leisure time. It shortens your life. It increases your blood pressure and decreases our immune system. It could lead to less sleep, less exercise, and a less healthy diet.

There are some things you can never have back. Your time, your health, your virtue, your life. Don’t mess around with those things. It’s fine for people to ask — most likely, in their mind, they’re trying to help introduce you to a great person or opportunity or meaningful cause. And it’s just as fine for you to say no.

Also see Eric Pepke‘s answer. I love it.

This question originally appeared on Quora: How can a person learn to say “no”?

TIME advice

Common Mid-Life Regrets

Mid-life regrets
Allison Michael Orenstein—Getty Images

Answer by James Altucher on Quora.

Everyone wants to know what dead people say right before they die. Words maybe infused with speckles of a heaven. Beethoven supposedly said on his deathbed, “Friends applaud! the comedy is finished!” Lou Costello said, “This was the best ice cream soda I ever tasted.” Similar is, “What are common regrets of people in their 30s and 40s?” Can they be avoided if known?

Here are my regrets. And they can be summed up by the word “don’t.”

Don’t buy things
Buy experiences. A thing is a house. An experience is a trip. An experience is a visit to that girl or guy on the other side of the world who said, “maybe.” An experience is an invitation to meaning instead of material.

Don’t do anything you don’t want to do
You think you have time to get out of it. But you don’t. And then it happens. And then it’s too late. And then it’s something you did. You were the target and you got shot. A black ink stamp leaving its mark on your wrist. You went to the party and the next day, all blurry and inky, it shows and everyone can see.

Don’t try to please people
Nobody is more worthy of love in the entire universe than you. I wish I had reminded myself of that more. I could’ve saved all of that time where I was trying to please someone else. Money you lose you can always make back. But even five minutes of time lost is gone forever.

Don’t fall in love with someone who is in love with somebody else
These people are magnets of love. They’ve sucked all the love out of the room so when you walk in, it’s already too late, you’re past that zone in the black hole where nothing ever gets out and nobody ever knows what’s there. It’s lost in space and time. When I’ve fallen in love with someone who was in love with someone else, only pieces of me have ever survived. And even then I had to put those pieces back together into the Tinkertoy robot that became me for a long time.

Don’t make promises you can’t keep
And to that I can only say, I’m sorry to that one girl.

Run. Don’t walk
I don’t mean run to a goal or a destination. There are no goals and you realize this around the age of 30 or so. I mean just “run.” You build up your blood vessels. More oxygen gets to the brain. You get smarter. Life is better. And you’ll see more in life than the people who are walking. Who take their time failing. Who take their time falling for others. Who take their time while waiting for the right moment. Waiting for the right weather, the right coordinates, the right person, to drop anchor. There’s never a right moment. So just run to get there.

Don’t wait for them to say “yes”
Who is “them”? What are they saying “yes” to? What do you think will happen after the wait is over? Yes. That’s my point. All of the answers to these questions are lesser versions of what happens if you don’t wait so I’ll say it again. “Don’t wait for them to say yes.” Say yes to yourself first and everyone will say yes later.

Don’t steal paperclips from the office
It seems small. But a million paper clips in life add up to what you are, a mishmash of twisted metal. Be honest. Honesty compounds until your word becomes The Word. Try it and see.

Don’t eat bad food
And by “food” I mean McRibs. But also I mean the news. And dramas that kill lots of people. And coworkers who gossip in the hallway, everyone trying to pull everyone else down. And family who yells at you only because you have become the piano they play their own anguish on. And late nights with the girl who smiles but you know it will never work. At 20, life can either compound into beauty or into insanity. This is the “don’t” that forks into both.

Don’t regret
It may look like these are regrets. But they are just tattoos that live on me right now. The illustrated man at the circus. Don’t time travel into the past, roaming through the nuances as if they can change. Don’t bookmark pages you’ve already read. Today it starts all over again. Every tomorrow is determined by every today.

This question originally appeared on Quora: When people in their 30s and 40s and older look back on their life, what are some common regrets they have?

TIME career

How to Know When It’s Time to Leave Your Job

Career advice when to leave your job
Jose Luis Pelaez—Getty Images

Answer by Edmond Lau, engineer at Quip, on Quora.

A number of red flags should cause you to reconsider your position at your current company, including:

  • being compensated unfairly.
  • being mistreated, undervalued, or disrespected.
  • disagreeing with the fundamental strategy or practices of the company and not being in a position to change them.
  • failing to get along with your manager and your teammates.
  • failing to fit in with the company culture.

These types of reasons aren’t too hard to identify and provide concrete justifications for trying something new.

It’s also time to leave when your learning rate at your job tapers off and starts to plateau. This is a much more subtle reason for leaving that’s harder for people to recognize but likely affects a much larger group of people. Transitioning to another team or company provides an opportunity to switch to a different learning curve and to accelerate your learning.

Paying attention to your learning rate is important in general but particularly important for young professionals. Learning is an investment in yourself for the future. It also compounds — knowledge not only begets knowledge, but more knowledge gives you a foundation upon which to gain knowledge even faster. This is why most people learn more in college than they did in high school and more in high school than they did in earlier years. Ideally, out of college, you should set yourself up to learn even more than before.

Palantir co-founder Stephen Cohen captures the importance of the compounding effects of learning, in an argument for why college graduates ought to work at startups instead of established companies:

If you graduate Stanford at 22 and Google recruits you, you’ll work a 9-to-5. It’s probably more like an 11-to-3 in terms of hard work. They’ll pay well. It’s relaxing. But what they are actually doing is paying you to accept a much lower intellectual growth rate. When you recognize that intelligence is compounding, the cost of that missing long-term compounding is enormous. They’re not giving you the best opportunity of your life. Then a scary thing can happen: You might realize one day that you’ve lost your competitive edge. You won’t be the best anymore. You won’t be able to fall in love with new stuff. Things are cushy where you are. You get complacent and stall.

Startups might not be for everyone, but the message about not shortchanging your intellectual growth rate still applies.

What about a passion for what you’re working on? A strong passion and excitement in your company mission or in what you’re doing is critical to sustaining a steep learning curve. Passion and meaningful work supply the motivation for long-term learning and allow you to stay in a state of flow more often. Mihayli Csikszentmihalyi, one of the world’s leading researchers in positive psychology, developed the theory of “flow,” a state where you enjoy what you’re doing so much that you don’t even notice the passage of time, and found that more flow generally leads to more happiness. It’s hard to stay motivated to learn or to enter a state of flow in the long run unless you believe in and enjoy what you do, and it’s also hard not to be getting better if you love what you’re doing.

Assessing your learning rate first requires identifying the many different types of learning can happen on a job:

  • Technical learning specific to your job function. For a software engineering position, for example, this might include things like learning a new language, getting familiar with new tools, improving your ability to design new systems, etc. Getting better at these skills makes you more proficient as an individual contributor.
  • Prioritization skills. Oftentimes, there are tens or hundreds of things that you could be working on that might generate value. Figuring out the highest leverage activity that generates the most value for the least amount of work at any given point is hard, but it’s probably the single most valuable lesson you can learn professionally.
  • Execution. Learning how to or how not to build and deliver a great product or service and how to do it consistently and on time takes practice.
  • Mentorship / management skills. The faster an organization grows, the sooner you become a more senior member of the team. Seniority provides opportunities to mentor or manage other teammates, to shape the company culture and values that develop, and to influence the direction of the team.
  • Team leadership skills. The skills needed to make a team function effectively differ from those needed to be productively as an individual. How should milestones be organized? How do you coordinate effectively and minimize communication overhead? How do you make sure a team gels?

At various points in your career, you’ll value these skills differently and should seek out opportunities that develop the skills you value. All of these skills are mostly generalizable beyond your job at your current company. You take those skills and experiences with you to your next job.

There’s also a type of learning that’s important for career success but that is less transferable to other companies. And that’s institutional learning on how to function well within the specific processes defined at the company: how to get the approval of key gatekeepers for decisions, how to get projects you believe in prioritized on the roadmap, how to negotiate for more resources for your team given the company’s resource allocation process, etc. Some amount of this is necessary to do well, and some of the negotation and persuasion skills will help in the future, but to the extent that much of this learning deals with the particular bureacracy or process that you need to deal with, it’s significantly less valuable than other types of learning.

When you first join a company, the learning curve usually starts really steep (hopefully, if you’ve made a good choice). You’re immersed in new technologies, in a new product, and on a new team, and there are opportunities to learn along multiple dimensions. When I first joined Google right out of college, I learned a lot in my first six months there. Google’s done a great job with their GoogleEDU training materials. I soaked in all the codelabs that discussed why core abstractions existed and how they worked. I studied programming style guides to learn best industry practices. I read design docs about search indexing and other scalable engineering systems being built internally. I learned to build and ship something seen by tens to hundreds of millions of people per day on google.com.

Your learning rate might decrease due to organizational issues (maybe processes have become too bureaucratic and limit your ability to iterate and launch quickly) or due to maintenance issues where the team doesn’t grow quickly enough to scale with the complexity of the product. The second makes it hard for you to switch projects and work on new things.

Warning flags for me at Google started to appear when I realized that many projects either had no concrete launch paths or depended on non-transparent approval processes over which I had little visibility or control. Being able to launch products was important to the extent that I wanted to learn how to build great products, and quick, iterative feedback is a necessary foundation for learning. When I projected what I could accomplish and reasonably launch by staying an additional year, I didn’t feel satisfied, so I left. There was certainly more I could have learned by staying — I could have dug into the internals of more major systems — but my rate of learning no longer mirrored what I encountered when I first started.

I similarly left Ooyala when I felt that my own learning rate at the company began to plateau. While I was there, I learned about building and selling an enterprise product, the intricacies of flash video and analytics, project estimation and team organization, and more. I left when it became clear to me that I could learn much more on engineering and on building a product by joining a smaller and faster-growing team. A contributing factor that I only discovered after working at Ooyala for a while was that I wasn’t nearly as excited and motivated to work on an enterprise product as I was to work on a consumer product that I would actually use everyday.

Having worked at Quora for two years, I’m happy that I’m still continuously learning new things at a good rate, and it certainly helps that the product itself is also so learning-focused.

When I interned at Microsoft the summer of my junior year in college, I received a good piece of advice secondhand from a friend’s mentor: always re-examine and reflect on where you are in your career at least every two years. Even if you’re perfectly happy with your job, the exercise forces you to check that you are actually enjoying your work and learning on the job rather than just being comfortable.

This question originally appeared on Quora: How do you know when it’s time to leave your current company and move on?

TIME career

How to Excel in Your Career

Career advice
Dardespot—Vetta/Getty Images

Answer by Matt Wyndowe, Head of Product Partnerships at Uber, on Quora.

During two years of business school at Stanford, I wrote down the best advice from our professors and lecturers. This advice is from my favorite teachers and lecturers, including Andy Rachleff, Mark Leslie, Irv Grousbeck, Joel Peterson, Eric Schmidt, and many others.

Admittedly, a lot of this is focused on technology industry, but much is generally applicable. Thought it might be interesting to others.

  • Successful people listen. You have two ears and one mouth. Use them in that ratio. You learn more when you listen than when you talk.
  • Pareto principle: Always look for the 80/20. 80 percent of the value is delivered by 20 percent of the product/service. Focus on that 20 percent.
  • The importance of passion. When Warren Buffet finds people to run his business, his key criteria is to find somebody who would do the job whether they would get paid or not.
  • Be likable. People who are liked have the wind at their backs. So be liked.
  • Just when you think you’ve got it 100% right, you can be taken down.
  • People who are lucky make their own luck. And you only make your own luck by staying in the game.
  • Put on “the cloak” of leadership. A large part of your role is to inspire and motivate your employees, and people will look to you for confidence. If you were on a plane with engine problems, you don’t want the pilot to say “I am exploring a number of options and hope that…”, you want him to say, “I will do whatever it takes to land this plane.”
  • The outcome of a negotiation is largely a function of your alternatives. Know your next best option.
  • You will only be as good as the people you will recruit. Media & culture celebrate individuals, but teams succeed.
  • The best scientists can explain complex issues in simple terms.Pretty good scientists can explain complex issues in complex terms.
  • A’s hire A’s. B’s hire C’s. Always strive to hire people better than you are.
  • Be a clear, fair manager. For example, when speaking to a business unit leader that isn’t succeeding, say: “I want a strategy to win in 1-page and the objectives we need to hit each quarter to reach them.”
  • When considering a business opportunity, look for change. What inflection point are you taking advantage of? Without change, there is rarely opportunity.
  • When in doubt, just keep selling. Not a bad default strategy to communicate to your team.
  • Be humble. The markets are brutal to those who are arrogant.
  • Understand what you don’t do well. Surround yourself with people and resources that can do these things well.
  • Practice self-discipline. Set targets, have timetables, have clear unambiguous goals. Life passes quickly – days, weeks, months, years, a lifetime. “Regret for the things we did, can be tempered by time. It is regret for the things that we did not do that is inconsolable.”
  • Be yourself. In group settings, you usually serve the group best by thoughtfully expressing exactly what you are thinking. Not necessarily what the group wants to hear.
  • Learn to relax. Often overachievers are passionate about many things. Yet it’s important to learn not to always care so much. Try being indifferent to things that aren’t that important.
  • You’ve got to give trust to get trust. Treat people as you would want to be treated. Sometimes people take advantage of you. That’s fine, don’t do business with them again.
  • Shoot for the moon.To be successful, don’t follow the pack. If you want to win, don’t hedge.

And, here is some good final advice (from Joel Peterson):

“Appreciate the people you work with, take care of your investors, celebrate successes along the way, communicate lavishly – good news and bad news, tell the truth, don’t try to maximize everything, and stop to smell the roses. Life is pretty short and most of what really matters doesn’t happen at the office.”

This question originally appeared on Quora: What is some good general career advice?

TIME advice

The 3 Best Ways to Tackle Procrastination

Businessman sleeping at desk
Getty Images

Answer by John Chan, designer and founder of Dayboard, on Quora.

1) Write a daily to do list
Long to do lists don’t get done. They make us feel overwhelmed and even guilty if we know we’ve been putting them off.

So instead of staring at 30 or 40 items at a time, make your to do list super short but turning it into a daily to do list of 3-5 items.

Having only 3-5 items does a few mental tricks:

  1. It makes us prioritize based on what we feel we can accomplish in a day
  2. It’s much more likely to be achieved
  3. Makes us feel like we’re making a lot of progress every time we complete one item (you’re crossing off 20-33% of your list off at a time!)

2) Turn your to-do into a 2-minute task to get started
We often dread getting started on a task sounds when they sound daunting in our minds.

Here’s a few examples of stuff we would have a hard time getting started on:

  1. Get a job
  2. Write a book
  3. Write a 40-page paper
  4. Build a website
  5. Eat healthy
  6. Create a portfolio
  7. Go for an hour long run
  8. Go to the gym 4 times a week

It sounds like a lot of work because it is a lot of work. Yuck.

Instead, break it down to a two-minute task. Here’s the new list:

  1. Find one job opening on the web
  2. Write a chapter title
  3. Write one sentence
  4. Create a blank web page
  5. Drink a glass of water
  6. Take one photo
  7. Put your running shoes on and go outside
  8. Do 10 push ups

It’s not our final outcome but once we get started, we’re much more likely to keep going. This helps us break the pattern of stalling or dreading our work. See Zeigarnik Effect.

3) Interrupt your distractions before they occur
Often times, we don’t realize we’re procrastinating until it’s too late.

Distractions starts from one, seemingly harmless distraction, but quickly spiral out of control.

Say you’re working on something. Here’s a few scenarios for how things can go wrong:

  1. You go on Facebook/Reddit/Tumblr to quickly check what’s new. You open an interesting link in a new tab, or two, or three. You read something that leads you to Google more about it. You stumble upon a Wikipedia entry. Twenty tabs later, you realized you forgot what you were working on.
  2. Your phone buzzes. You check to see who’s looking for you. It’s a text message/email/reward for 20 gold coins. You drop what you’re doing and start responding/reading/collecting. Another notification comes in, so you switch apps. You’re toast.
  3. A song comes on and you forgot the lyrics so you go look it up. Then go on YouTube to look up the music video. Then come across related songs. Which prompts you to look up photos celebrities. Then you find out about their latest scandal/breakup/movie trailer. Next thing you know, two hours have gone by and you got nothing done.

We’ve all been there.

Instead of hoping to catch yourself in the moment (which rarely happens), it’s much more effective to prevent it from happening in the first place.

  1. Use a browser add ons like Dayboard or StayFocusd to interrupt unproductive web browser (bonus points: Dayboard also happens to be a daily to do list)
  2. Turn on Airplane mode, or Do Not Disturb, or disable notifications on your phone temporarily as you spend periods of time to focus.
  3. Listen to music without lyrics (e.g. classical, accoustics, meditative), or my personal favorite, musical podcasts that last an hour long. Or try ear plugs to tune out distracting sounds.

This question originally appeared on Quora: What are the best life hacks to tackle procrastination? More questions:

TIME advice

How to Judge Someone’s Character

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This question answered by Michael Baucom, George Cotsiki, Jill Uchiyama, Paul Denlinger and Sanjay Sabnani for Quora


Answer by Michael Baucom

The things they laugh at.

I had a coworker back in Sulphur who saved his laughter for things he genuinely thought were funny.

So if I said something funny and he laughed, I knew he was being real. If he didn’t think it was funny, he’d just look at me.

I liked that guy a lot.


Answer by Jill Uchiyama

I had a teacher who said it best.

You don’t know who someone is until you see them under pressure.

It is when we are under pressure that our true colors come out, when the ego’s ass is put to the fire and we become the gateway between our survival self and doing what is humane and expressing integrity.

If you think about it, it is really easy to be a nice person when there is no pressure in your life. It is easy to give money to those in need when you have it in your wallet. It is easy to smile when you’re already laughing. It is easy to dance when you are in love with someone or with life itself. You don’t mind donating money or doing extra favors when you have the time. Even arguing is ok when you are feeling fine otherwise.

But, put some pressure on the same person and you may be face to face with a demon.

It happens to all of us. And it’s humbling to see where we really are in relation to life.


Answer by George Cotsiki

There is a great Japanese proverb :

“When the character of a man is not clear to you, look at his friends.”

Apart from face to face interaction (to understand by their body language and eyes) this is an extremely revealing point about someone. People can hide very well their true character but they cannot escape the semiotics of their social circle.

In both my personal and business life this has been one rule that even though I have tried to ignore (due to my own biases), has come true time and time again.


Answer by Paul Denlinger

Their questions.

Questions reveal what they are focusing their attention on, and also what their blind spots are.


Answer by Sanjay Sabnani

Social media.

I learn more about people I have known my whole life long on Facebook than I have pieced together over the entire length of our relationship. When someone writes, it becomes relatively easy to see what their angle is. Are they an attention whore? Do they self promote? Do they reciprocate when people interact with them and their content? What are their photographs like? Are they all selfies? Do they hide their spouse and family from the world in order to appear ‘available’? Do they go out of their way to hide how they really look? Do they just play mindless games all day? Do they share popular content in order to get praised?

This does not work if they do not write online, or if they only use social media sparingly, but reading someone’s words is a way straight into their personality if you care to pay attention.

This question originally asked on Quora: What is the single most revealing thing about any person? See more:

TIME advice

The Fastest Way to Get People to Trust You

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This question answered by Mira Zaslove, Becky Lee and Roy Bauman on Quora


Answer by Mira Zaslove

Smile and look them in the eye.

Then give them a genuine compliment. People like and trust people who are nice to them, and like them.

Tell them that you dig their shoes, their favorite sports team, their neighborhood, whatever. Just be genuine. Most people will spot false praise, and it will backfire. Much better to honestly tell someone you like the color of their shirt, than to disingenuously tell them that they are the smartest person you know.

People also tend to trust people who are similar to them, so you also want to highlight your similarities, and again your great taste, by liking what they like.


Answer by Becky Lee

Be honest with people in your life, even when inconvenient.

Politely decline to participate in Gossip, even if everyone else is gossiping.

Keep people’s secrets.

Confide in the person whose trust you wish to gain.


Answer by Roy Bauman

This answer leans more toward business than personal but works for both.

If you are fair with other people and always looking for ways to help them, you will have no problem getting people to trust you. Don’t associate with liars, thieves, or people that have qualities you don’t want, or trust. I believe this bleeds through and most people can read it. Some things that are important when gaining trust quickly are:

  • Keep good eye contact at appropriate times. When I worked for a large, successful corporation, I asked the man who hired me (a 30 veteran in hiring) what was the most important quality he looked for in new hires. He told me that they could hold good eye contact. Usually people that can do this have nothing to hide.
  • Be selectively vulnerable. It’s not important to do constantly, but it shows you are human, a real person just like they are and is an indirect form of common ground, creating rapport.
  • Work very HARD. Most people that find out through your actions that you are a very hard worker, will trust you and even refer or recommend you to others in a business environment. People who go out and make a living through hard work are not generally seen as trying to “get over” on others. They are willing to put in the necessary effort to earn what they receive. Still work smart, but work your ass off.
  • Be unselfish and thoughtful of others’ position in your actions.
  • Don’t be deceitful. Basically, be the kind of person others should trust.
  • Expect, and have faith that they will trust you.
  • Be flexible, patient, and don’t pressure them. People immediately raise their guard when being pressured. If you release your concern about the outcome, ironically you are more likely to get what you’d rather have.

This question originally asked on Quora: What is the quickest way to get people to trust you? See more:

TIME Internet

Why Mark Zuckerberg Has a 99% Approval Rating From His Employees

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This question answered by Han Qin and Amir Memson on Quora

Answer by Han Qin:

I can not speak for the rest of the Facebook employees, but I can tell my stories to explain why I believe the 99% approval rating is pretty fair.

After I joined Facebook in 2010, I worked on a secret project “graph search”. Within a couple months, I attended two Zuck reviews to discuss the project. He absorbed our ideas and provided feedback and support. I am not sure how other CEOs work, but as an entry level engineer I was really impressed. In the later years, I attended more Zuck reviews and saw Zuck reviews happening every day (his office has glasses walls) with both VP/directors and eng/designer/PM.

In 2012, Facebook IPOed, so we had an in-campus celebration event at Hack Square. Everybody was drinking and laughing. I was trying to push my code out so I was a little late to the party. When I walked into Hack Square, Zuck was talking to someone else but he turned to me and said “congratulations”, I was so surprised that I said “thank you”. Looking back, I think he was actually the one we all should have congratulated but I am so touched by the congrats he gave me (again, an average engineer) first.

I can list more details that Zuck is so awesome but I think you can get some sense from my stories. He is a really unique CEO that I will forever love to work with. He keeps great relationship with most CEOs in the industry. He loves his wife and always mentions how much he owes her in front of the whole company.

If you still wonder why Mark Zuckerberg has the highest approval rating after reading all the answers, join Facebook and you will know for sure.

Answer by Amir Memson, iOS Software Engineer at Facebook:

Because he is just that awesome.

There are several reasons why we “approve” of him:

  • The story: He built this billion user and billion dollar company from his dorm room, overcame one obstacle after another, and assembled a company with some of the most talented employees in the world.
  • The principles: He is dead-focused on “making the world more open and connected.” The guy doesn’t waver; all the investments in R&D and acquisitions have been along these lines.
  • The heart: He was the biggest donor of 2013, and is generally a minimalist. He is clearly committed to Internet.org, even though that’s not necessarily where the short term revenue increases are. We really feel he wants to change the world for the better.
  • The guts: What other CEO has the… guts… to purchase a chat company for $19B??? It’s a very smart purchase for various reasons, but still, $19B! Even other Silicon Valley CEOs acknowledge Zuck’s fearlessness: http://read.bi/1n24ctW
  • The wisdom: When we hear him speak, he gives us brain wrinkles. He has this uncanny ability to make all the right strategic moves, and when he explains the reasons for making those moves, it simply makes sense. Sure, mistakes have been made, and hindsight is 20/20, but at decision time, it was for all the right reasons.
  • The trust: He doesn’t make all the decisions, in fact far from it. We feel entrusted and empowered to drive our features the way we feel is best for the people that use Facebook. This is drastically different from many top-down corporations. We’re happy with the balance between management-mandated and grass-roots-inspired decision making.
  • The character: He wears T-Shirts and jeans, talks with humility, and he just seems generally very approachable. We like that.
  • The business: Facebook is a rock solid business that is rapidly increasing in revenue as we speak. It makes more than 70% more in revenue than it was making just one year ago.
  • The free food and perks: Yes, this makes us like him and the company too. He has the ability to put an end to it at any time, but he keeps it coming. If somebody gives me free cookies, I like them, this part is not rocket science.

And, no, having a lower approval rating is not a good thing. People don’t “approve” because they agree with everything, rather they know that they have a say, and that their opinion matters. It’s a good thing to like your boss.

This question originally asked on Quora: Why does Mark Zuckerberg have a 99% approval rating from his employees? See more:


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This post, which first appeared on Quora, has been removed at Quora’s request.

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