In his first public talk since Facebook’s IPO in May, Mark Zuckerberg said the stock’s decline was “obviously disappointing,” and admitted the company had “burned two years” by focusing on the wrong mobile technology, reports the Financial Times.
But he came across as upbeat and confident at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference, arguing that investors are underestimating Facebook’s potential on smartphones. Using web-based mobile technology instead of building on Apple and Google platforms was a mistake, he said, but “we are a mobile company now,” and a new Android app will be out soon.
Zuckerberg said that despite the rumors, Facebook has no plans to build its own mobile phone, but a search engine is in the works, Bloomberg reports. At the moment, “we do one billion queries a day, and we’re not even trying,” he said.
The falling share price isn’t helping employee morale, he said, but the company is focusing on the long term, and it’s “a great time for people to stay and double down,” he said. “I would rather be in the cycle where people underestimate us,” he said. “It gives us good latitude to go out and take big bets and do things that are exciting.” After his talk, Facebook shares jumped 3% in after-hours trading.