He's the leader of the free world.
Only problem is, he's also a little preoccupied.
Mark Zuckerberg already presides over a nation-state called Facebook. There are 1.79 billion of us, all linked by a common bond. We like baby photos and making fun of political figures. We're kind of annoying. We tend to post too often. There are no filters, unless you count the ones that block out people from your news feed.
When rumors about him running for office -- based solely on his 2017 goal to visit people from every state -- circulated, I had to chuckle a bit. I hope it never happens.
Here's my problem with the idea of Mark Zuckerberg running for the highest office.
Though he's denied he has any intentions to run, that could change at some point, but I won't be a supporter because, to be honest, he's really good at running the digital version of a country. He seems to be a perfect match for his current role. By now, after so many years of Facebook dominating popular culture (many people I know don't bother visiting any other sites), dictating the news, providing a photo archive for our digital existence, making chat seem worthwhile, and even helping us find a sofa, it's clear that Zuckerberg should have, would have, and could have screwed up by now.
Maybe he has and we don't know about it, but I'd rather he stay at the reins (and keep reigning) at the most popular company ever invented (sorry, Apple and Google). He seems to be doing a pretty good job so far. At times, I wonder how this all happened. President Zuckerberg could unify a diverse population in the real world, but in some ways, he has already helped create a vast public discourse. I may not agree with your sarcastic one-liner about my beloved Golden State Warriors, but at least we have a forum to make our opinions known. On Facebook, I've been able to have rambling, thought-provoking discussions about world relief efforts, child adoption, pet care in the age of work obsession, and why Pop Tarts are so bad for you. And that was in one day.
Let's take a quick look at Facebook success over the years. And I mean quick.
If you look at Google Finance and click the one year icon, the stock price looks like the Swiss Alps in a good way -- slight moguls here and there, a few ups and downs, but otherwise a steady climb up the horizon. It almost hurts your neck.
What that means is that Zuckerberg is an excellent match for the company he created, and unlike many founders, he has been able to usher the company through the early startup phase into mid-level growth and then reach incredible enterprise-grade domination. Also surprising: He has done this with around 15,000 employees. Compare that to Cisco, which has about half the market capitalization and around five times as many employees. Facebook is about to open their eighth data center. The company appears to be rock solid. Any hint of MySpace-like troubles dissipated long ago.
In terms of power, Zuckerberg can pull pretty big levers. Facebook already controls the flow of news, whether they tweak their algorithm or not. More importantly, it is now the primary place for public discussion, one of the most gargantuan ad platforms ever invented, and it quite possibly influenced the last election more than any single entity in existence. The truth? In many ways, Mark Zuckerberg already is the President, at least in terms of running a digital platform that we all use everyday.
I won't vote him out of his current gig.