Mark Zuckerberg reportedly put the Facebook headquarters on “Lockdown” the day Google unveiled its own social network, Google+. According to an excerpt of an upcoming book by former Facebook employee, Antonio garcia Martinez, Lockdown was a, “state of war that dated to Facebook’s earliest days, when no one could leave the building while the company confronted some threat, either competitive or technical.” He goes on to describe the situation within the company around the time Google+ launched and the “war” Zuckerberg declared on Google. The excerpt is posted in Vanity Fair and is taken from Matinez’s book, Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley.
As per his excerpt, when Google+ was launched in June 2011, Facebook employees were asked to gather together and Zuckerberg proceeded to give them a speech. Martinez describes Zuckerberg’s bearings during the speech as “aloof and disconnected,” but talks about his intense stare that “bordered on the psychopathic.” Zuckerberg ended his speech with the phrase, “Carthago delenda est,” which means, “Carthage must be destroyed.”
Martinez also talks about the internal groups that sprang up to take apart each part of Google+. Further, he mentions an Ads product manager called Paul Adams who he claims to previously be one of the product designers for Google+. As Adams was no longer held back by a non-disclosure agreement with Google, he was describing the public aspects of Google+ to Facebook’s leadership.
In the end though, Zuckerberg methods must have worked as Google+ didn’t turn out to be the behemoth that Google must have hoped for. Meanwhile, Facebook continues to be one of the most popular social networks in the world.