26 July 2011

Move Fast and Break Things

'Move fast and break things' is a philosophy I've stolen from Facebook's work culture. Anyone who's seen The Social Network movie will know this ideology is at the core of everything they do, demonstrated by the regular Hackathon events they host where programmers stay up all night building for the purpose of building.

The outcome isn't necessarily important. It doesn't have to be perfect, nor necessarily functional. But by moving fast and breaking things, they approach problems in a different light that creates new solutions and new ideas. Many of Facebook's features have come out of these Hackathon events.

So why am I writing about it? Well, I think it lends itself to great advice for graduates looking to land themselves a gig in digital;

Build something.

Building something these days generally costs next to nothing. A lack of technical skills is no excuse either given Google is at your finger tips. And the only thing you'll need you should have plenty of as a student; time.

Time to move fast. Time to break things. Time to learn. Time to build something.

As an undergraduate I built this blog. Everyone's got one now (not to say you shouldn't build one too), but you could build a YouTube Channel. Or an online store that sells socks. Or a video that gets 1,000,000 views.

Throw yourself in the deep end. If it fails, pull the plug and build something else.

Six months ago I started a website called Angry Birds Blog. Like me, I realised people were searching for walkthroughs, Golden Egg locations and information about the game. The website now receives 95,000 hits and brings in $150 a month. But that's nothing compared to what I've learned over the past half year about SEO, SEM, AdSense, affiliate marketing, design, coding, ad placement and more.

And I reckon if you can build something, that's probably more impressive than talking about your empty resume in a job interview.

Edit: I sold Angry Birds Blog in September 2011 for a nice little sum.


  1. Good call. Particularly on web stuff.As a certified idiot, I can't believe how quickly I got on top of Wordpress when I first started on it, just by throwing myself into it...


    Tim - Mumbrella

  2. The best thing you've written in a long time Zac. Excellent advice for people of all ages and experience levels.

  3. Thanks for the post Zac, you are right, we just need to try things, better to have tried something and failed than to have tried nothing at all.

  4. You are right. In any interview it's usually better to show and not tell.

  5. Hi there!

    After reading your post, something is screaming inside my mind. I think his name is enthusiasm. It's like he's saying "Come on do it now! Now is the only time! Now is the live time!" And yeah, you did coaxed my enthusiasm out. Thanks for the post sir! I will use my time well from now on... Time to break things...

  6. Agree with Stan this was one of the best posts I have read in a long time!

  7. This is very helpful, i wouldnt mind a possible follow up post or just an answer on your thoughts on what possible employers look for in an interview and nice answers to questions like "what do you want to learn" and "what are you passionate about"? Also is it possible to dress too formally in an interview?

  8. Alex, unfortunately I can't provide much insight into the interview process as I've never really done one.

    As for dress, I'd say it depends on where it is and what gig, I met my CEO for the first time wearing jeans and a tee and got an internship.

  9. This post is very useful to my work now. Thanks for the encouragement. I need to keep working and finished everything on time. I do really believe that planning is the best step to do.

  10. Excellent, thought provoking piece

    Thanks Zac


  11. Only just discovered your blog, but from what I've seen I really respect what you've built here...and that wasn't meant to be a lame pun on this particular post, which, by the way, I really enjoyed. I mean, it made me feel like a massive under achiever, but in a good way...

  12. Absolutely brilliant and simple post.

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