A study published today looking at worker personality traits across the tech sector has some bad news for Facebook. Its employees were found to rank dead last in "curiosity and adventurousness" — qualities which study authors say are key for innovation — among the five most prominent tech companies studied. Picked up by the Chronicle, the report casts new light on why some tech giants may be disrupting while others are merely imitating.
Looking at data from 4,364 people over a two-year span, the study's authors came to a pretty straightforward conclusion: “Looking for a workplace that prioritizes a creative culture? Avoid Facebook.”
"When we compared the character traits of managers at IBM, Facebook, Apple, Google, and Microsoft, we discovered that Facebook's culture is demonstrably lacking when it comes to hiring for aspects of 'openness to experience,' such as intellectual curiosity and adventurousness — two traits vital for fostering a culture of creativity," the study reads.
The data was compiled by Good&Co, a job search site that, according to its website, bills itself as "the job-hunting lovechild of e-Harmony and LinkedIn” (whatever that means). People interested in getting a job through the site first fill out a survey that determines various personality traits and then are matched with potential professional opportunities based on those results. It is from these surveys that the data is drawn.
"[Our] data suggests that Facebook's culture was never quite as focused on innovation as we originally thought and perceived," the study continues, "towing the line and staying 'in the box' might be the key to success after all."
Huh, that might explain why Facebook ditched its famous "move fast and break things" motto two years ago in favor of the more prosaic “move fast with stable infra(structure).” Or maybe the Zuck's goal of making the world a more open and connected place just doesn't translate to intellectual openness.