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.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Industry Note: More Evil Than Evil

Facebook is apparently too evil even for Coke.

lol - that's not just deeply ironic. It's also deeply telling.

It speaks volumes when an ultra massconomy player like Coke is more concerned about the welfare of consumers than a so-called revolutionary.

In case it's not apparent - Facebook's problems are beginning to spin (way) out of control.

Unless you think consumers are morons - brainless meat for the grinder - you might even expect to see a hit to Facebook's growth in the near term.

Like I've been pointing out - the real strategic problem is that Facebook is a faux revolutionary. There's little but evil in its DNA. It's not concerned with making things better, exploding yesterday's orthodoxies, etc - it's just concerned with domination, control, subordination and other obsolete massconomy games.

So it's as surprising as you it is to me that this particular domination game is too extreme even for Coke.

Think about that for a second. A business built on a century of domination games refuses to play Facebook's game.

Good for them - that's where new DNA (and real revolution) begins.

There's another side to this story as well. I'm not sure how much pressure Facebook is getting from investors to "monetize". I'd wager that it's a great deal indeed.

But remember - that's exactly how LinkedIn died, why the music industry is dying a slow, agonizing death, why your favorite TV shows aren't being made, etc.

The point is: in the edgeconomy, business models happen. The days of business model fascism are over.

Business models can no longer be planned in an ivory-tower boardrooms, announced by grand decree, pushed through the value chain by inert market power, shoved down helpless, hapless consumers' throats, and left inert for the next century.

That approach to commerce is as obsolete as a mainframe or a Model T Ford. And the venture guys, CEOs, etc who don't get it are great at killing their companies dead.

That's why I keep making the fundamental point - Facebook's DNA was built for the massconomy. Unfortunately, Facebook is at the forefront of the edgeconomy. This fundamental strategic mismatch is why Facebook's problems are growing - and will continue to accelerate.

-- umair // 2:51 PM // 9 comments


My two teenagers, 16 and 14, are bright consumers. They are beginning to get the idea of the "evil" of Facebook. They haven't unplugged yet but are giving it very serious thought. When kids like this finally develop the conviction and leave, the flood will start and it will be very hard to reverse. It won't take much of a counteroffer from another service for them to say "see ya" to Mark Z. and crew...."P.S. we won't be back!!"
// Anonymous weg3 // 3:49 PM

I am telling my friends for some time already that Facebook is "constipated"... Now I know what's causing the constipation - the "fundamental strategic mismatch"... :)

Thank you Umair!
// Blogger Emil Sotirov // 7:09 PM

What you're pointing to is only one of Facebook's upcoming problems. The other is outlined in this post.
The Turks may be coming indeed.
// Blogger Cem Sertoglu // 8:09 AM

Trust is so easily lost. I'm not surprised Coke gets that to the bone. They've been at it for years. Zuckerbooger may need to seek some better oustide counsel on building brands. He just doesn't have the chops in that realm. And it's showing.
// Blogger Scott Crawford // 4:19 PM

bold, very bold.
// Anonymous Anonymous // 6:12 PM

Zuckerberg is a pimple-face 23 year old punk who is full of himself. Like the subprime meltdown, I sense the start of facebook meltdown given it's absolute intent on treating facebook users as their bitches.
// Anonymous Anonymous // 6:26 PM

"Unless you think consumers are morons"

See: Apple
// Anonymous Charlie ( // 6:47 PM

>>Unless you think consumers are morons - >>brainless meat for the grinder

Facebook evidently does (from NyTimes):
“Facebook executives say they do not want to add a universal opt-out button because then users would not be able to try out Beacon on different sites to see what it can offer. One Facebook executive predicts that consumers may “fall in love” with Beacon once they understand it.”
// Blogger spinchange // 7:54 PM

Wait - "LinkedIn died"? As a slightly post-hip techie, I see much more LinkedIn activity among my peers than Facebook wankery.
// Blogger ToddZ // 2:30 AM
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