Why Facebook chooses speed over safety

Andrea Sophocleous

When you're in charge of consumer marketing at the company that has transformed the way humans socialise in the digital age, you have to be a little paranoid that someone, somewhere is working on the same idea as you.

That's what Rebecca Van Dyck, Facebook's Head of Consumer Marketing, admitted to the audience at the third annual CIRCUS Festival of Commercial Creativity, held in Sydney in March 2013. First, however, the woman who honed her marketing prowess at the likes of Apple, Nike and Levi's, outlined a compelling case for speed.

Speaking at a faster speed than the other speakers, Van Dyck told the assembled crowd that the theme of her presentation was "thoughtful creativity fast".

"Speed to innovation is our competitive advantage," she said. "As a creative person, it's such a curse. How can I be creative or innovative under crazy time pressure?" However, her experience in Silicon Valley taught her that it is possible – so she has embraced her "inner speed", she said.