Umair Haque / Bubblegeneration
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Design principles for 21st century companies, markets, and economies. Foreword by Gary Hamel. Coming January 4th. Pre-order at Amazon.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Can Facebook Survive F8?

Why does it feel more and more like Facebook is about to hit an inflection point - of the wrong kind, where growth flatlines, and then usage decays?

Simple. The reason, ultimately, is F8, which will be seen as a major error in the near future: because it's killing the value of the network.

There's an interesting discussion at VentureBeat about exactlythat; we discussed this ad nauseum quite some time ago.

The logic at VentureBeat is that F8 fragments the larger network into app-specific networks, kills networks effects, and destroys value.

That's exactly the converse of what we discussed: that F8 is a pseudo-platform, because there's no real hard lock-in present, because staying closed actually destroys value. So what we should see - and what do see - is endless numbers of apps competing for network effects, but failing to realize them; because the iron curtain of f8 minimizes the value of said network effects.

That's a tricky set of dynamics to really understand - just read this and it should be very intuitive.

If it ain't, leave a comment and we can discuss :)

-- umair // 2:35 PM // 3 comments


it is not easy to measure the why or how, but facebook always has made me feel like a sucker if i use it.

to me its "tone" reeks of selfishness, it is totally about them, and only incidentally about me the user

so i don't bother, (but i am probably too sensitive)

the platform discussion on venture beat is interesting, but beside the point for me. the intention of the site just doesn't feel good, and i won't use it.

i don't like many hollywood movies or broadcast television either, so i am not their demographic
// Blogger gregory // 12:34 PM


i did my usual dose of blabbing on this here (WAI Facebook?).

in summary, though, i don't think f8 is the real value-killer. the real value-killers are the stupid apps on f8, and the lack of desire/initiative from Facebook to set some criteria for what apps. could actually show up on the platform.

to say nothing of the fact that we(Facebook users), being confronted with 19 minutes(avg time spent/day on FB/user), spend some of it communicating, some of it being vampires, & some of it doing other really stupid things.

i guess i'm saying that all other economics aside, there is a level of dumb-conomics going on, and it seems to be running the engine aright, so far.

as with most other modern day stories you've talked about, there just hasn't been any effort at creating and harnessing value within the walls of facebook.

and jumping over walls has always been easy- you just need a good platform. ;)
// Blogger preetam // 8:29 PM

hi Umair,

i found another social network that might be "evil", and it is healthcare focused. What do you think of this model:

Investors pay to read the MD's thoughts which they write anonymously. Right or wrong?

Would be interested to hear your take.
// Anonymous jcob // 4:14 PM

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