Mark Zuckerberg has revealed his year 2017 challenge will be to visit and interact with people in each of the 50 states in the US to better understand and address the social divisions that he believes has set in due to the impact of technology and globalization.

However, while that seems innocent enough, many have begun to cast doubt if that has to do with only pure business interest or to push ahead with his philanthropic ambitions. Instead, there already is a growing clamor as the Facebook CEO could be preparing the ground for a grand plunge into politics.

Earlier, challenges Zuckerberg had taken on include learning to play mandarin, reading 25 books or to run a mile each day throughout the year. Last year, Zuckerberg has devised an artificial intelligence enabled program named Jarvis to help him with his everyday tasks at home. In light of the above, this year’s challenge seems to be the most ambitious so far; one that might have wider ramifications than what is immediately perceptible.

With the new challenge, Zuckerberg also wishes to connect to the American citizens at large that he believes the big tech companies of Silicon Valley has lost connect with. While there has emerged a new group of technology-driven companies that is sitting on a pile of cash, increasing reliance on technology together with the emerging trends of automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence has also resulted in massive job cuts as well.

In fact, with the trend for tech firms to adopt artificial intelligence backed solutions for application in our daily lives likely to grow further in 2017, there will no doubt be more job cuts in the anvil. Interestingly, one of the biggest poll planks that the current US President-Elect, Donald Trump has based his entire poll campaign on was to bring back American jobs.

It has been just this Christmas that Zuckerberg has sent out wishes to all via a Facebook post. By doing so, he also claimed he is no longer an atheist. That again is a clear sign of his conforming to a prime requisite for being a future presidential candidate.

This also isn’t the first instance that Zuckerberg showcased his political ambitions. His earlier brush with politics came when he launched the lobby group That was in 2013 and campaigned for seeking expansion of the H1B visa program to ensure Silicon Valley companies are always able to hire the best talents from across the world.

In any case, Zuckerberg’s newest challenge will no doubt have a lot to do with business as well as an even better understanding of the different user groups that will only allow fine-tuning the Facebook experience as well.

Clearly, the Facebook CEO is onto something big this time, one that will reap business dividends, besides maybe creating the right atmosphere before entering politics full time.


  1. “…seeking expansion of the H1B visa program to ensure Silicon Valley companies are always able to hire the best talents from across the world…”

    When lobbying politicians to expand the H-1B visa, the workers are “the best talents”. Come payday, they’re entry-level workers.

    The GAO put out a report on the H-1B visa that discusses at some length the fact that the vast majority of H-1B workers are hired into entry-level positions. In fact, most are at “Level I”, which is officially defined by the Dept. of Labor as those who have a “basic understanding of duties and perform routine tasks requiring limited judgment”. Moreover, the GAO found that a mere 6% of H-1B workers are at “Level IV”, which is officially defined by the US Dept. of Labor as those who are “fully competent” [1]. This belies the industry lobbyists’ claims that H-1B workers are hired because they are experts that can’t be found among the U.S. workforce.

    So this means one of two things: either companies are looking for entry-level workers (in which case, their rhetoric about needing PhDs and “the best and brightest” is meaningless), or they’re looking for more experienced workers but only paying them at the Level I, entry-level pay scale. In my opinion, companies are using the H-1B visa to engage in legalized age discrimination, as the vast majority of H-1B workers are under the age of 35 [2], especially those at the Level I and Level II categories.

    Any way you slice it, it amounts to H-1B visa abuse, all facilitated and with the blessings of the US government.

    The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has never shown a sharp upward trend of Computer Science graduate starting salaries, which would indicate a labor shortage (remember – the vast majority of H-1B visas are granted for computer-related positions). In fact, according to their current survey for Fall 2015, starting salaries for CS grads went down by 4% from the prior year. This is particularly interesting in that salaries overall rose 5.2% [3].

    [1] GAO-11-26: H-1B VISA PROGRAM – Reforms Are Needed to Minimize the Risks and Costs of Current Program
    [2] Characteristics of H-1B Specialty Occupation Workers Fiscal Year 2014 Annual Report to Congress October 1, 2013 – September 30, 2014
    [3] NACE Fall 2015 Salary Survey, NACE Salary Survey – September 2014 Executive Summary

  2. There isn’t enough money in the world to get enough people to vote for this sap. He might have political ambitions, but he has absolutely ZERO personality, and ZERO credibility.


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