Fortune's new in-depth look at Facebook confirms that Mark Zuckerberg has created the type of intense cult it takes to build a successful tech company, but it's a very different from the one created by the tech industry's other mega-successful cultish leader, Apple's Steve Jobs. As the social networks readies itself to go public, Jessi Hempel and Miguel Helft got to peek inside the Facebook offices, and came away with a sense that while Zuckerberg's firmly in control of the social network he built, he is also working to spread the "hacker way" that guides his army of coders to the growing business arm of the company, led by Sheryl Sandberg, that is making money off all of the technological wonders. On the coding side, "Facebook holds bootcamps to teach engineers to 'think like Zuck,' forces people to change projects midstream, and even mandates all-nighters," they write. "It is also the canon that Facebook is trying hardest to impose on its more traditional businesses and marketing operations." The biggest challenge Zuckerberg faces, they conclude, is figuring out a way to do that as the Facebook naturally becomes more corporate. "Executives are consciously working to codify its winning formula—essentially institutionalizing a sort of anarchic mentality—even as the company is about to be handed a very thick rule book from the SEC."
Jobs, too, faced a similar challenge at Apple. He actually lost at one point, when he was exiled from the computer company in favor of an executive with more corporate experience. But, taking what we learned from Hempel and Helft, it's clear that the Cult of Zuckerberg operates according to different principles than the Cult of Jobs that the Apple visionary managed to create.