The limits of Twitter and Facebook, the bubble
Posted by dorian 8 years ago
by David Winer  
1. Twitter's mistake was building a product they didn't really use. I've never seen it work out well when the top guys at a company aren't passionate users of their own product. They can be quirky, that just comes out in the product. Gates and Windows. Jobs and the Mac. Marc Andreessen and Netscape. Etc etc. When the people who run Twitter get on stage and talk about their product, it's very different from the thing we're using. You can feel the discomfort. It's distant. It also comes through in the decisions they've made re business models. Permanent link to this item in the archive.  
2. Facebook can only rise so far because they're hiring from the same talent pool as all the other Silicon Valley companies. They all think they're going to be different, and for a while they are. Until they grow so big that everything that was different about them gets diluted. Eventually the singular Silicon Valley Company takes over. I remember when Apple was young, their execs were the most wonderful people in the world. Almost as if "wonderful" was a technical term. They were thinking about taking over and running third world countries after their Apple options vested. Seriously (and I'm not making fun of them). But they all fall to earth, and become the foundations and plaster for the next upstart. Permanent link to this item in the archive.  
Are we in a bubble? Yes, this is a bubble. All the frenzied startup activity and still the VCs raise more money to invest. Not enough inventory. We need more young people to play the role of entrepreneur. It's so analogous to the real estate bubble where the only bad bet was to own the actual real estate because that was so real. The money was being made off the lies. In this bubble the people who are going to get hurt are the legions of young people. Most of them aren't entrepreneurs. As a percentage of the population, the people who really have the drive and fortitude to stick it out is infinitesmal. But that isn't the myth -- it's also like the housing boom where everyone could be a home owner. In 2011 every young person can be an entrepreneur, esp if he or she knows how to code. That's the bubble, right there. Permanent link to this item in the archive.  
manGina: completely. Another thing here that he didn't touch on, but that follows from the mentality "every young person can be an entrepreneur, esp if he or she knows how to code" is that history has shown us that successful entrepreneurialshipismosis (however you say that) requires a real product. Something that people can use and see and benefit from and has a proper revenue stream--whether it be one-off sales or advertisement. The Product must be SOMETHING. I see all these websites popping up all over that aren't really anything. A site that lets you enter text of some random nature (and nothing else), and it gets a permenent page out in the sphere. And they're trying to sell it. Come on. Thats not a product. Love it or hate it, facebook is a product (though it will run its course).  
Its the late 90's all over again.
Dyskolos: If I didn't detest Facebook and all it represents, I'd "Like"® your brief and intriguing analysis of a marketplace comprised of both naive and ruthless speculators riding the crests into the troughs of wave after wave propelled by those trying to be "It" and filthy rich. It's mania. It's frenzy.  
Instead, I say to you --- right on.
FoolProof: Get a fake facebook already.
Dyskolos: Gee...I don't think Mark Schmuckerberg would appreciate it if I used a fake identity. It would kind of undermine what he's trying to accomplish --- ya know, with the aggregation of personal data for the purpose of processing and selling it to the marketing divisions of corporations and, possibly, government agencies.  
/me pauses and reflects  
Should I dood it?  
crataegus: *cough*