The Inevitability of Facebook, and other Fairy Tales

I don't believe in the "inevitability" of Facebook or Jack in the BeanStalk, although they're both great stories. To me Facebook is simply AOL circa 1998 dressed up in new Web 2.0 clothes. Don't get me wrong, I do think they'll end up being a very profitable company - just not as profitable and all-encompassing as many believe. Here's why....

What's happening now is the money-making limitations of being a Social Graph hub are being exposed, and Facebook has been forced to bastardize it's privacy policy and perform emergency business model surgery because of it. The hockey stick expectations of Facebook's future revenues need to be adjusted to reflect these limitations. In fact, if it were possible to arb Twitter against Facebook (Long Twitter at $1.5B and Short Facebook at $15B) I would do it immediately. Long 10 units of Twitter against short 1 unit of Facebook at current valuations to make $15B against $15B. It's the ultimate bet that the Interest Graph oriented platform monetizes better than the Social Graph oriented platform over the long term - and that Twitter's management is superior to that of Facebook's.

And therein lies the irony of Personal Graph monetization (I'm defining the Personal Graph as the combination of one's Social and Interest Graphs): People wont pay to communicate with people they already know, but they will pay (in one form or another) to connect and interact with people and content they're interested in but not currently unaware of, or are hard to find. You see, Facebook's decision to initially orient around a user's social graph is what will ultimately constrain it's ability to monetize at scale. At a certain point your symmetric "friends and family" Social Graph constrains your expression and exploration in a way that asymmetric, distributed Interest Graphs do not.

With that as a backdrop I wanted to pass along Loren Feldman's post on his decision to quit Facebook. I know a lot of people feel like Loren does - that Facebook is redundant and/or of little use outside of  keeping in touch with friends and relatives. BTW, there's nothing wrong with keeping in touch. It just doesn't make Facebook the $100 billion dollar company that many predict it will inevitably be.

Anyway, I'll have much more to say on this going forward. For now, here's Loren's post:

1938 Media / Report #17

I Quit Facebook

So I quit Facebook. I did it for a few reasons. None of them particularly "heavy".  I spoke about them on my site. I'll explain a little more here.

I never used it. I really never did. It was just too much. I have time to spit out bullshit to twitter in between other shit. It's easier.

It was impossible to figure out how to use whenever I did try and use it. Simply the worst interface ever. All the different fucking settings and walls and pages and profiles. Is it all cross posting? What's the difference with all this shit anyway? It was impossible to figure out.

I don't trust them. It's well documented how umm maybe less than honorable with people's data and privacy Mark Zuckerberg really is. Do a quick search on the matter if you are unfamiliar. His sister Randi is Julia Allison's best friend, need I say more?

It's not going to hurt my business one bit. It's not. I'm bigger than Facebook. I don't mean that arrogantly I'm just saying that I think my brand is established and I have a really cool site that I control. It's where my AUDIENCE and COMMUNITY is. I am Loren Feldman of I am not
So that's basically it. No big deal really. What is a big deal though is this newsletter. I've been enjoying writing lately and I'm going to do more of it here. 
As always thanks for the support.
Best Regards,