Here's Facebook's Little Red Book: A Guide to Zuckerbergian Truth

Illustration for article titled Here's Facebook's Little Red Book: A Guide to Zuckerbergian Truth

Facebook, like many Silicon Valley giants, has a mythology that’s used to indoctrinate workers. To help spread this ancestral origin story, Facebook enlisted its in-house print shop to publish a book of cultish aphorisms to guide inductees towards the light.

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Illustration for article titled Here's Facebook's Little Red Book: A Guide to Zuckerbergian Truth

Several photographs of the book are published on the portfolio website of Ben Barry. Barry is a designer who used to run Facebook’s Analog Research Laboratory, a hip studio that hopes to encourage some non-digital thinking at the world’s most powerful social media company. According to Barry’s writeup:

As the company of Facebook grew, we faced a lot of challenges. One of them was explaining our company’s mission, history, and culture to new employees. Over the years, a lot of formative company discussions and debates had happened in Facebook Groups, over email, or in person. Those who had been present at the time had context, but for new employees that information was difficult to find, even if you knew what you were looking for. We wanted to try to package a lot of those stories and ideas in one place to give to all employees.

The Little Red Book takes its name from the nickname of a tract of quotations by Chinese communist dictator Mao Zedong. That pamphlet used to be carried around and quoted by party members. Now it’s a cutesy title for a tech company’s Welcome Aboard manual.

Illustration for article titled Here's Facebook's Little Red Book: A Guide to Zuckerbergian Truth

The teachings of Mark Zukerberg range from hollow to insightful. And though the book’s concept has the tinge of delusional self-importance, a lot of it rings true. You’re right Facebook, I don’t like you and your horrible privacy policies, but I use you because all my friends are on Facebook and I like them.

Illustration for article titled Here's Facebook's Little Red Book: A Guide to Zuckerbergian Truth
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Illustration for article titled Here's Facebook's Little Red Book: A Guide to Zuckerbergian Truth

Like other design-forward manuals we’ve seen before, Facebook’s Little Red Book is beautiful. It looks hand-bound and artisanal, so it’s the kind of thing you keep on the shelf right next to your desk at all times. It’s meant to be a cherished memento that welcomes new employees to the group, and reminds them that goshdarnit, we’re making the world more open and connected, how cool is that?

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Illustration for article titled Here's Facebook's Little Red Book: A Guide to Zuckerbergian Truth
Illustration for article titled Here's Facebook's Little Red Book: A Guide to Zuckerbergian Truth
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Illustration for article titled Here's Facebook's Little Red Book: A Guide to Zuckerbergian Truth

[The Office of Ben Barry via TNW]

Correction: This post originally misspelled Barry’s name. Also, it mistakenly said the book was hand bound. Barry was very gracious in correcting these mistakes. Gizmodo regrets the errors.

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DISCUSSION

the50
The Real Five 0

I interviewed for their data analysis group nearly two years ago and removed my name from consideration after the on-site interview (only time I have ever done that).

I nearly walked away after every phone interview (three) but the recruiter talked be into continuing forward each time and I was really burnt out at my current gig (I was working 80-100 hour weeks at my current job and had a kid on the way).

My onsite interviewers included brogrammers (never really understood the term until I met them), an academic who did not understand business at all (he managed a business intelligence group somehow), and some finance burnouts; none of whom I would have wanted to work with on a daily basis. Only talked to one really smart people during the process, a brilliant guy who was acquired along with his start-up (not part of the group) who was very clearly making his own path.

Benefits are great, but I want to work with people who are smarter than me and/or do work that is beyond my knowledge, otherwise I get bored. After seeing this, don’t regret walking away one bit.