Saturday, March 06, 2010

The next Facebook

Randall Stross offers some useful insights on Facebook and on the phenomena of the "network effect" in his latest NY Times article, "Getting older without getting old." But he misses the easy one when he writes
Industry watchers constantly scan the horizon for a challenger that could displace Facebook...

The most interesting thing which we should all reflect on in our businesses is the rapid emergence of Facebook from nothing to 50 million users in 2007 to over 400 million in early 2010... and how a bunch of kids have rapidly transformed the business landscape with an idea backed by a little bit of software and the Internet. And how this is happening over and over again in every industry.

The "next facebook" is the wrong question to ask. We should be asking, what is the idea that is going to blow up all of our own preconceived notions of the way our market/industry works and how can the "network effect" be used to create the next amazing transformation? What should you be doing right this minute to change the way your company is connecting with customers, creating value in the marketplace, and changing the way business gets done?

The "next facebook" will almost certainly not be anything like facebook - it will be a new insight into the way in which the Internet removes barriers to our collaborating and co-creating meaning in our world.