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Monday, November 26, 2007

Edge Principles: Love > Indifference

So, in a convergence of the Facebook is evil and the blogosphere is lame threads, we have [email protected] telling us "no one" cares what Facebook does with their data.

Hmmm. That's interesting - because it's so willfully obtuse.

Here are some people we can lump into the nobody category: Doc, Dave Winer, Jason Calacanis, I seem to recall Fred chiming in as well, little old me, tons of others.

The point: when you sell out, you stop looking at - or even caring about - real innovation.

Of course people care about Facebook's value proposition.

How do we know? Well, there's an existence proof the size of Jupiter. Microsoft didn't succeed online at all, despite Facebook's market power^5 billion. Cooler players offered radically better value props - and consumers defected.

As a matter of fact, getting people to care is a massively powerful source of advantage in the edgeconomy. And so Facebook's approach - "ah, they won't care" - is totally obsolete. Getting people not to care is easy - anyone can do it; there's no advantage in it.

It's shades of General Motors or Wal-Mart or other massconomy players. They should be doing exactly the opposite. But that's another story.

More important is the converse - what [email protected] is totally blind and oblivious to.

When people like Doc, Dave, Jason (etc) also care, the probbility that even better services are actively nurtured goes up a billionfold. That's what the old TechCrunch would have talked about. But, as it is for Facebook, money is the root of all evil.

-- umair // 2:56 PM //


"...money is the root of all evil."

Allow me a slight correction.

"The LOVE of money is the root of all evil." In a word, Greed.
// Dean Fragnito // 4:33 PM

On this week's TWiT podcast Robert Scoble made the (erroneous) point that privacy is dead. I doubt most Americans would agree. Facebook has made the classic overreach in this case in this case. I suppose this is what happens when a well-meaning man-child is coopted by powerful financiers.

The people aren't yet as shallow or foolish as Scoble just yet.
// jproffitt // 7:21 PM

Hi Umair,

Just one question - you stick to calling the new economic form as 'edge economy' - how is it different from the 'peer economy' heralded by people like Yochai Benkler? My tentative understanding is that 'edge economy' is the old capitalism economy that happens at the edge of 'peer economy' - is that what you mean?
// zby // 11:40 AM

Haha... Duncan at TechCrunch should go get a job at Microsoft or Facebook. He'd really fit in there.

Apparently he's not aware of the plethora of laws that have been placed on the books for the explicit purpose of protecting a person's privacy. Or maybe he just thinks people have changed their mind about wanting privacy. He should check out this article that includes a new poll by the WSJ:

If Facebook could tell your friends what you do on other sites -- buying movie tickets, clothes, etc. -- when would you want to share that information? Of the 200 respondents, 1.5% chose always, 30.5% chose often, sometimes or rarely and 68% chose never.
// Marc // 10:24 PM
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