Tavis McGinn came to a job interview at Facebook to do the kind of work he'd done at Google, using analytics to help advertisers refine their campaigns; instead he was offered a job as Zuck's personal pollster, tracking the CEO's approval rating in fine-grained detail as he toured America and the world.
But after six months, he quit the "very, very expensive" project because "I didn't feel great about the product. I didn't feel proud to tell people I worked at Facebook. I didn't feel I was helping the world."
Mark Zuckerberg owns 60% of Facebook's voting shares, making him the unilateral decision-maker in the media diets and social rounds of 2 billion+ people.
"I joined Facebook hoping to have an impact from the inside," he says. "I thought, here's this huge machine that has a tremendous influence on society, and there's nothing I can do as an outsider. But if I join the company, and I'm regularly taking the pulse of Americans to Mark, maybe, just maybe that could change the way the company does business. I worked there for six months and I realized that even on the inside, I was not going to be able to change the way that the company does business. I couldn't change the values. I couldn't change the culture. I was probably far too optimistic."
Facebook hired a full-time pollster to monitor Zuckerberg's approval ratings [Casey Newton/The Verge]
(Image: Brian Solis, CC-BY)