Entrepreneurs

Billionaire Mark Zuckerberg: Success like mine only happens with luck, and that's a huge problem we need to fix

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook
Photo by Bloomberg
Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg is 33 years old, worth almost $70 billion, according to Forbes, and is running one of the largest, most influential tech companies in the world.

Why and how is he so successful? Luck has a lot to do with it, he says.

"You don't get to be successful like this just by being hard working or having a good idea," admits Zuckerberg during a Facebook Live on Sunday, which he filmed while smoking meat in his Palo Alto, Calif. backyard.

"You have to get lucky in today's society in order for that to happen. And that, I think, is a huge issue."

Zuckerberg wants everyone to have the opportunity to be entrepreneurial. "One of the things that I do feel strongly about, and I know a lot of people in my generation agree with, is that we really want to give everyone the opportunity to go pursue what matters to them and to go make a big difference," he says during the Facebook live.

He acknowledges that one of the reasons he was able to do so is because he was raised with a certain amount of privilege and financial security.

"If I had to support my family growing up instead of having time to code, if I didn't know I'd be fine if Facebook didn't work out, I wouldn't be standing here today," says Zuckerberg during a Harvard Commencement address in May.

Zuckerberg advocates that a social safety net would give everyone the freedom to try new things. One way to do that, he says, is to give cash handouts to every person in the U.S., regardless of employment status. The idea is known as universal basic income (UBI).

Billionaire tech titan Elon Musk also says that government cash handouts are a virtual inevitability in the U.S., because robots will rapidly replace low-skilled jobs.

Zuckerberg espoused the benefits of free money when he visited Alaska recently as well. The state has a program that distributes excess oil revenues to every citizen as a cash dividend.

Though a national universal basic income may require an increase in taxes, it's worth it says Zuckerberg on Sunday's Facebook Live.

"Right now, when there are all these people who don't have the opportunity to go pursue their dreams or go build a new business, we all lose," he says via Facebook live.

"If you who are watching this had more opportunity to go build something that would be a historic business or enterprise that could serve people all around the world, that would improve the economy and give services to all of us that we could all benefit from."

See also:

Alaska gives residents free cash handouts—here's what Mark Zuckerberg thinks everyone can learn from it

Elon Musk: Robots will take your jobs, government will have to pay your wage

Elon Musk says robots will push us to a universal basic income—here's how it would work