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What I would do different - by Facebook's Zuckerberg

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By Noel Young, Correspondent

November 1, 2011 | 3 min read

If he had it all to do over again, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says he would have stayed in Boston. In a a forum at Stanford University, he added, "You get this feeling when you are out here in the Silicon Valley that you have to be out here."

Mark Zuckerberg

There were a lot of great resources for beginners in Silicon Valley such as engineers, universities, and venture capitalists, he said, but "it's not the only place to be, I think. If I were starting now, I would have stayed in Boston.

"There are aspects of the culture out here where I think it still is a little short-term focused in a way that bothers me."

"People don't commit to doing things...I feel like a lot of companies that have built outside of Silicon Valley seem to be on a longer-term cadence than the ones in Silicon Valley, for some reason. You don't have to move out here to do this."

In a seeming contradiction, however, he admits that "Facebook would not have worked if I had stayed in Boston."

Zuckerberg says they "didn't expect it to be a company initially. It was not like in the movie (The Social Network). There was no drinking. We all just lived in a house."

The fact that Massachusetts saw the birth of the internet Goliath but lost it to California has been a sore point, said the Boston Globe.

“I was pleased to see that he’s acknowledging that Boston can hold its own,’’ said Michael Greeley, a general partner of Flybridge Capital Partners, a Boston venture capital firm. Boston has a "strong roster of companies" he said - but lacks brand-name consumer companies like Facebook, Google ,and Apple .

“If Facebook had stayed,’’ Greeley said, “we would have had a dozen other companies that would have been started by Facebook employees.’’

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