Many promising tech companies place too much emphasis too soon on the business rather than the product. They worry too much about “making money.” This sounds nuts—aren’t companies supposed to make money?—and it sounds especially nuts in the wake of the dot-com bust. But that crash was a product of investors’ and analysts’ overexuberance (sorry!), not evidence of a fundamental flaw in the tech industry’s start-up ecosystem. In a market where speed is critical, venture-capital funding allows young companies to move faster than they could if they had to rely only on revenues to fund product development. Entrepreneurs who understand that tend to stick around to make plenty of money later.
Most entrepreneurs are creative and impatient, an often fatal combination—trying to do too many things, they spread their tiny companies too thin. This is one trap Zuckerberg almost fell into. After moving his small Facebook team to Palo Alto in the summer of 2004, he turned much of his attention to building a file-share product called Wirehog. Facebook was going gangbusters, but Zuckerberg wasn’t sure it would last; this was his hedge.
Wirehog evolved into one of Facebook’s first apps, but it never amounted to much. At the end of that summer, Facebook raised its first real outside capital, and Zuckerberg’s focus returned. Focus became so central to Facebook’s ethos that in the company’s old office, the word was stenciled over a urinal in the bathroom."
The Maturation of the Billionaire Boy-Man