Mark Zuckerberg’s latest New Year’s resolution appears to be not to make any more New Year’s resolutions.
The Facebook CEO said in a message posted on his social networking platform on Thursday that while he’s been happy to set himself new challenges at the start of each year for the last decade — challenges that included learning Mandarin, coding an A.I. assistant for his home, and only eating meat that he killed himself — it was now time to do things a little differently.
“This decade I’m going to take a longer term focus,” the Zuck wrote in his 1,500-word post. “Rather than having year-to-year challenges, I’ve tried to think about what I hope the world and my life will look in 2030 so I can make sure I’m focusing on those things.
“By then, if things go well, my daughter Max will be in high school, we’ll have the technology to feel truly present with another person no matter where they are, and scientific research will have helped cure and prevent enough diseases to extend our average life expectancy by another 2.5 years.”
The Facebook boss went on to list things he wants to concentrate on in the next 10 years, things that he said will become evermore important as the decade progresses.
They include an intention to “focus more on funding and giving a platform to younger entrepreneurs, scientists, and leaders” as “many important institutions in our society still aren’t doing enough to address the issues younger generations face — from climate change to runaway costs of education, housing and healthcare.”
Zuckerberg said that one of the innovations he’s most excited about is the development of “a new private social platform” offering a “sense of intimacy” that he said is hard to find with global social networking services. He didn’t offer any more details, but hopefully he’ll elaborate on this particular idea soon.
He also wants to spend the next decade developing commerce and payments tools. While this may be music to the ears of shareholders, Zuckerberg said it was “so that every small business has easy access to the same technology that previously only big companies have had,” adding that it will “go a long way towards creating more opportunity around the world. At the end of the day, a strong and stable economy comes from people succeeding broadly, and the best way to do that is to make it so small businesses can effectively become technology companies.”
Zuckerberg also predicts that the 2020s will “get breakthrough augmented reality glasses that will redefine our relationship with technology.” He said the high-tech glasses will “help us address some of the biggest social issues of our day — like ballooning housing costs and inequality of opportunity by geography,” explaining that the device will give us “the ability to be ‘present’ anywhere,” so there’ll be less reason to move to work. “Imagine if you could live anywhere you chose and access any job anywhere else. If we deliver on what we’re building, this should be much closer to reality by 2030,” the Facebook CEO wrote in his post.
Finally, Zuckerberg said he wants to consider new ways for the governance of digital communities. “There are a number of areas where I believe governments establishing clearer rules would be helpful, including around elections, harmful content, privacy, and data portability,” he wrote, adding, “I’ve called for new regulation in these areas and over the next decade I hope we get clearer rules for the internet.”
To be fair, learning Mandarin, coding an A.I. assistant, and slaughtering animals for dinner is a lot of extra work for a guy running a gargantuan business that’s come under an incredible amount of scrutiny in recent years. With that in mind, it’s just as well that Zuckerberg has ditched his annual challenges in favor of long-term goals. So be sure to drop by in 2030 to see how he got on.