Former Facebook’s Kevin Colleran: Insider View Mixed with Humor


Kevin-calleran (6)Everyone knows Mark Zuckerberg’s name and and if you live in Silcon Valley, you likely know a handful of other senior level Facebook execs as well.

In Kentucky, that’s not the case, nor is it the case in other parts of the world.

I was surprised I had not run into Boston-based Kevin Calleran, Facebook’s 7th employee in my circles before now….now being this past week in of all places, Kentucky. That said, I met the CTO of the White House for the first time in Louisville at Idea Festival’s annual event – same time, same place a year ago.

Kevin did a l’il history of Facebook to a less social media savvy crowd than he may be accustomed to in Silicon Valley or Boston. Most people in the room were Facebook users however, which was a mix of high school and college students, academics, innovators, technologists, researchers, artists and local business owners.

Kevin’s a natural sales guy and no surprise that its his background and raison d’etre. He’s a great storyteller and adds a lot of humor throughout his talk, all done in a very informal style.

In the early days, he ran the East Coast office out of his New York City apartment for months before meeting Zuckerberg for the first time. He laughed as he shared stories of the first two years, most of which captured humorous early stage moments.

Kevin-calleran (10)

He moved onto memories….you know, the Facebook kind. Showing a video of a Facebook employee who captured every moment of his life in his timeline (from birth and graduation to marriage, his child being born and beyond, Kevin notes that his only recollection of his grandparents is the four black and white photos in his house.

While he’s no longer officially at Facebook, he’s certain still a positive spokesperson for the company. He says of Mark’s vision: “Mark never wants ‘that to ever happen again. Mark feels that every piece of our life should be chronicled.”

He then went deeper into the company’s history, what Facebook was and where it is today. A few of the latest stats according to Kevin’s data:

  • There are now 955 million active users
  • Instagram just passed 100 million users
  • 552 million daily active users on average
  • 543 million monthly active users who used Facebook mobile products in June 2012
  • Facebook is now translated into over 85 languages and has nearly 4,000 employees.

He showed the game that was created over a forty hour period and how Facebook was thereafter translated into 85+ languages. When they launched the translation app, 95% of the site got translated into French in less than 24 hours.

He also heavily encouraged hackathons and believes every company should do them. He says that some of the best products they have ever shipped have come from an all nighter coding event. In other words, “academics meet coder types all night long and great ideas have come out of it.”

In addition to a trend of people moving to more of an ‘asset-free life,’ he shared some of the Emerging Themes are in technology:


  • Rent or lease only: rather than own something, almost everthing is available to lease or rent, so there’s a trend away from owning material things.
  • The world is moving mobile. 31.5% of U.S. households are mobile only and users log on an average of 77 minutes per day using apps on their smartphone.
  • 40% of Facebook’s traffic is mobile-specific.

Transportation Reinvented:

  • Uber (see my review on Uber when it launched in Paris)
  • Parking Panda (shows nearby parking garages and space availability)
  • Lyft (ride-share program)

Rental Culture:

  • Zip car (rent by the hour for when you need it)
  • Airbnb (is doing a million room nights, people are renting out their homes while they’re on the road)
  • Spotify (there’s no reason to own music anymore when you can pay $10 a month to have access to any music you want)

Distributed Workforce: (technology enabled entrepreneurship/self employment & task entrepreneurs)

  • Task Rabbit (you can outsource work to people who can do a task for you within your zip code)
  • Cherry (a new request a car wash app. The idea is that you park your car at work or home and you put up the address where your car is parked and someone will come and wash your car for you)
  • Instacart (you can get people to your shopping for you)
Renee Blodgett
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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