At Mark Zuckerberg's Keynote Speech In Barcelona, Everybody Fell Asleep (Or Heckled, Or Left) — PHOTOS
By this point in his career, Mark Zuckerberg has given more than a few speeches, and I dare say a couple of them have been designated keynote speeches. Zuckerberg is a pretty interesting guy, and plenty of people want to hear what he has to say, whether it's out of interest in his super-wealth, his control over people's personal information, or his technical prowess. But Zuckerberg's latest keynote speech at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona didn't completely win over the audience — when he let carrier partners come on stage, people starting heckling, leaving, and even falling asleep.
On Monday at the Mobile World Congress, Zuckerberg's keynote was all about Internet.org with barely a mention of Facebook, but the focus on Internet.org waned when he had the site's carrier partners come on stage and start chatting — mostly to each other. And they didn't talk about what audiences wanted to hear — rather, they talked about technical details and financial things like bottom lines which sound like euphemisms but unfortunately are not. Observers called the whole affair an "operator love-in", where carriers mostly seemed to sing each other's praises and give little attention to what the audience wanted.
Zuckerberg started his speech by praising the mobile carrier industry, with whom he hopes to partner to bring the Internet to people in remote areas of the world. According to Business Insider, he said:
The folks here, part of industry, are leading charge to connect everyone in the world and have been for decades. They have a long legacy and history in the sense of mission in industry, that's why all these folks are doing all the work to lay all the fibre, and build all towers to get this done.
But even though people had been waiting in line for hours to see and hear the founder of Facebook, they were disappointed by the content of his talk and his comrades' contributions.
Zuckerberg came to the Mobile World Congress with high hopes for redeeming himself from a speech in 2014 that some carriers found offensive. But he accomplished just the opposite.
Oh, Zuck. Maybe next time you give a keynote talk to a global audience that people have been looking forward to for an entire year, you might consider discussing topics people are at least vaguely interested in and keeping the focus off the boring details and on the important work you're really doing.