Mark Zuckerberg has, in his own way, become a veritable social butterfly. The Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) CEO has recently raised his public profile -- first through a series of town hall-style meetings, and now with an expansive question-and-answer session on the social-media platform.
The second most famous hoodie devotee (as a Patriots fan, I still give the nod to Bill Belichick) was downright forthcoming during the session. He answered everything from questions on the future of his company to answering an individual query from someone looking for a job.
Of course, the format allows the CEO to pick which question he responds to, so it's not quite as loose, informal, or open as it seems, but it was still a deep dive into how Zuckerberg thinks.
He doesn't work as much as you think he does
While most people probably picture Zuckerberg as being chained to his desk and coding at all hours of the night, he answered a question about how much he works by saying that "if you count the time I'm in the office, it's probably no more than 50 to 60 hours a week."
But when you examine it in a broader sense, it's hard for the CEO to determine when he's working and when he isn't.
"I spend most of my time thinking about how to connect the world and serve our community better, but a lot of that time isn't in our office, or meeting with people, or doing what you'd call real work," he wrote. "I take a lot of time just to read and think about things by myself. ... But if you count all the time I'm focused on our mission, that's basically my whole life."
He believes in net neutrality
Zuckerbeg believes in the idea of an open Internet, but he also thinks that having access to basic Internet services is of prime importance.
"I think net neutrality is important to make sure network operators don't discriminate and limit access to services people want to use, especially in countries where most people are online," he wrote. "For people who are not on the Internet, though, having some connectivity and some ability to share is always much better than having no ability to connect and share at all."
That's why, he explained, Facebook supports programs such as Internet.org, which he believes "can co-exist with net neutrality regulations."
He sees the power of virtual reality
Since buying Oculus, Facebook has done and said very little about it. Zuckerberg laid out his vision for the technology in response to a question.
"Our mission is to give people the power to experience anything," he wrote. "Even if you don't have the ability to travel somewhere, or to be with someone in person, or even if something is physically impossible to build in our analog world, the goal is to help build a medium that will give you the ability to do all of these things you might not otherwise be able to do. "
Connecting the world is important
The Q&A wasn't limited to non-famous Facebook users. Billionaire Richard Branson crashed the party and asked what Zuckerberg thought was the benefit of trying to connect the world to the Internet. His answer:
When we talk about connecting the world, most people talk about the clear benefits to all of the people who will get Internet access and don't have it today. Those benefits are many: access to education, health information, jobs and so on. Many people estimate that for every billion people we connect, we'll raise more than 100 million out of poverty.
The CEO then explained that connecting more people won't just help them; it will also help people who are already online:
Think about how many brilliant entrepreneurs there are out there who have great ideas and the will to change the world, but just lack basic tools to do so today. If you go by the population, almost two-thirds of these entrepreneurs don't have Internet access today. Once they get connected, we may have three times as many good ideas and amazing new services built that will benefit everyone around the world.
That's a uniquely capitalistic explanation of an altruistic motive and it's a level of honesty that CEOs rarely express.
Daniel Kline owns shares of Facebook. He has never asked Mark Zuckerberg a question, but would like to know if he ever just spends the day watching TV and eating cookie dough from the tube. The Motley Fool recommends Facebook. The Motley Fool owns shares of Facebook. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.