Gowalla/ Facebook deal: welcome to 2003, 1999 is over

Most of the chatter about the Gowalla and Facebook deal was about the investors and whether the founders screwed over the investors or not (to make a long story short, Arrington thinks they did but Jason Calacanis (an actual investor) think they didn’t. the End). In my humble opinion, it doesn’t matter. It’s nothing more than Silicon Valley gossip. What really matters is this deal impact on the future of the location base services space (LBS) and consumer apps in general: The number 2 player in the LBS space got picked up for what’s considered in the valley to be pocket money? What does it mean for the 100s of LBS/consumer apps that are competing over the limited consumer attention? Continue reading “Gowalla/ Facebook deal: welcome to 2003, 1999 is over”

Gowalla/ Facebook deal: welcome to 2003, 1999 is over

The Problem Facebook does solve

More than a year ago I spent time thinking about Facebook and the problem it solves. Back then, Facebook was growing in a staggering speed, adding 1 million users every week. This week, Facebook turned 5 and with 15% of the world internet users on Facebook, it is clear they are winning the game of user adoption. I made two claims about Facebook back then and I am happy to say I was very wrong about one and only somehow right about the other. Not much of a record…

I was wrong about the problem Facebook is solving. I thought it was a fun product that did not solve any real life problem. With 15 months of perspective I feel that I have a better idea: Facebook is so successful because we are all absolutely horrible in managing our social relations. Continue reading “The Problem Facebook does solve”

The Problem Facebook does solve

Facebook, Market Segmentation And a Discussion Mark Zuckerberg Never Had

I actually didn’t plan to write about Facebook any more. In my recent post I claimed that Facebook is not solving any real problem. My readers were kind enough to prove me wrong… Jason thought we were just too old, and Jose thought that the problem Facebook is solving is loneliness. This is a big one to solve and a very good point… I scratched my head trying to reconcile the disconnect: Facebook is obviously successful and some people think they cannot live without it (one of the commenters, Radha, tested his strength by not logging into the ‘book for few days—this is how addicting it is). So how come so many people love it and so many others cannot understand the buzz? Continue reading “Facebook, Market Segmentation And a Discussion Mark Zuckerberg Never Had”

Facebook, Market Segmentation And a Discussion Mark Zuckerberg Never Had

Which Problem Is Facebook Solving?

In a typical Silicon Valley speed, Facebook coverage moved from being all glamorous to more realistic coverage that focuses on the challenges ahead. It looks as if the company has matured in a matter of weeks and now needs to deal with the real world problems and not only with the hype.Seth Godin compared Facebook with good old Hotmail. He foresees similar monetization challenges for Facebook, since they never developed a permission asset and a real relationship with their customers. (It is amazing to see that the question of how to monetize a free service is still open, more than 10 years after Hotmail was launched.)

Alas, I am not going to discuss monetization today. I think Facebook has another big challenge for long-term sustainability (and they have $15B to sustain…): it does not solve any real problem for its customer base. Continue reading “Which Problem Is Facebook Solving?”

Which Problem Is Facebook Solving?

Electric Cars and the Whole Product Lesson

While everyone in the tech industry was busy with who was briefed about Google OpenSocial, Shai Agassi launched his ambitious automotive business model. To me, both stories belong in “Advanced Business Strategies” class and show how much the high-tech industry has advanced over the last 15 years and turned to be a driving force and a thought leader for the entire global economy. Continue reading “Electric Cars and the Whole Product Lesson”

Electric Cars and the Whole Product Lesson