Imagine sitting in a movie theater, and when the lights dim and credits roll, you see your life unfold on the screen.
I recently had this opportunity as I watched, with amazement and humility, my life and experiences appear before my eyes in the recently-released film “The Social Network.”
As a co-founder of Facebook, I have wondered how Hollywood would depict its creation and development on the big screen. Would it be accurate? Would it showcase our failures, as well as our successes?
What I gleaned from viewing “The Social Network” was bigger and more important than whether the scenes and details included in the script were accurate. After all, the movie was clearly intended to be entertainment and not a fact-based documentary. What struck me most was not what happened – and what did not – and who said what to whom and why. The true takeaway for me was that entrepreneurship and creativity, however complicated, difficult or tortured to execute, are perhaps the most important drivers of business today and the growth of our economy.
America, and its strength in technological innovation, has benefited for decades from a society that encourages entrepreneurship and creativity.
One way to measure the value of entrepreneurship is to look at the impact of venture-backed companies in the context of the over-all public stock market.
Relatively young companies such as Microsoft , Apple and Google are huge drivers within our economy and each rank in the top ten of all public companies in terms of market value, according to the 2010 Fortune 500. Remarkably, none of these companies even existed a mere thirty years ago. These are the types of companies that result in the creation of thousands upon thousands of new jobs. Just as importantly, they affect our lives in a way that enables us all to conduct our daily business in a more efficient and productive manner.