Facebook FTW

October 3, 2010

Reading this TechCrunch article and largely agreeing.

In my mind, we’ve had two recent tech waves, following which, precious few companies emerged with huge, mega success.

And so the next few years feature Facebook (and maybe Twitter) strengthening its position.

Here’s what Facebook has going for it:

A few things could start a downward slide:

Overall, it’s pretty clear the positives dominate, and those negatives are pretty unlikely.

I think Facebook will pretty much follow that of Google ten years ago. Back then, I remember thinking Google was “just a search engine” and their IPO success was not a given – people were scratching their heads over their Dutch auction and then reluctance to split the stock. At the time, the .com collapse left many wary and expected the stock to fizzle out long-term. It also seemed entirely possible that search was merely a feature some larger company could duplicate.

Those worries proved pretty wrong. The other big companies weren’t able match Google search, and from that beachhead, Google monetized and started adding new products. It’s now seen as a direct competitor to and mentioned in the same sentences as the biggest tech companies – Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, eBay, etc.

So I’m putting a flag in the ground here – Facebook is next in line to be huge, huge, huge.

Note: this is all coming from someone who is no fan of Facebook by any means.

Comments

  1. Zilbernet says:

    A while back you predicted that Friendfeed could become the next Google… and you took a lot of heat for it.

    Well, fast-forward a couple of years and not only has Facebook become a lot more like Freindfeed, but they’ve actually acquired Friendfeed. And, not so coincidentally, Facebook has blown up over the same time frame. Now analysts are waking up to the idea that Facebook is on the verge of something huge.

    I’d say you owe yourself a pat on the back for seeing this coming back in 2008.

    • Gee… thanks. You do remind me that the same reasons why I was so bullish on FriendFeed (bringing all that info within, then adding search) now apply to Facebook – the FriendFeed team is presently working for Facebook.

  2. James Barnes says:

    Good points.

    Have you considered that another threat to Facebook is a new *small* social network coming from nowhere? Or even, fragmentation: many new small specialist social networks?

    By their very nature SNS are as fickle as fashion.

    • Well, a smaller, new social networking competitor doesn’t seem too likely in my mind, as Facebook could acquire that company or develop the same features in-house (as it’s doing to stave off Foursquare). Niche networks might be trumped by Facebook’s fan pages or the Facebook Connect feature, which every site feels increasing pressure to include.

      Facebook falling out of fashion seems more possible (as MySpace and Friendster did) but I really think the vast numbers of people plus how far it’s penetrated into the mainstream user base means any attrition will take a really long time. Meaning, it took years before grandma decided to start up a Facebook account. Say some fashionable folks leave Facebook today; well it could take years for grandma to catch up and leave also.