Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Checkmate, Special Beacon Edition
0) It's a good thing that Zuck apologized. It takes a lot of courage and humility to step up to the plate - most CEOs, in fact, never do it.
1) Apologizing for being evil doesn't make you good. There's a big difference between the two.
2) When you're dealing with positive feedback systems, pure data (ie, Facebook usage didn't dip right away so Beacon-hate is irrelevant) is an incredibly unreliable path to thinking strategically. Strategy isn't spreadsheets - think economics, not just numbers.
3) Here's an example: I don't expect everyone to stop using Facebook right away. I'm making an economic argument. As the costs of interaction go up, so users benefit less, and growth slowly contracts, until an inflection point is reached.
But all that's kind of besides the point.
4) The real point: Facebook has learned...well...not much that's new - that the trust of connected consumers is the foundation of value creation in the edgeconomy; that connected consumers can trump you, rather than the other way around.
From a strategic pov, the problem isn't that Facebook hasn't learned much. It's that the costs of not learning much have been very, very steep.
This isn't strategically sustainable.
The real trick is to learn a great deal fast and cheap.
That's the opposite, unfortunately, of the outcome Facebook's realized.
Look. You can't fight deep economics: Facebook's outcomes were predictable a few months ago - our prediction was surprisngly accurate despite the skyscrapers of hype - and they remain equally predictable today (ie, not strategically sustainable).
So. I'm really glad that's over - I've been (mind-crushingly) bored writing about it for days now.
Let's talk about more interesting - and more meaningful - stuff for a few days.