AOL 94 vs. Facebook 07 While at Sony in 1994, I was sent to Virginia to learn how to build a Sony "app" on AOL (the #3 online service, behind Compuserve & Prodigy at the time) using AOL's proprietary "rainman" platform.
As it happens, we already have a platform on which anyone can communicate and collaborate with anyone else, individuals and companies can develop applications which can interoperate with one another through open and freely available tools, protocols, and interfaces. It's called the internet and it's more compelling than AOL was in 1994 and Facebook in 2007.
(Thanks Michael for the link.)
And of course I awoke to these great comments from Marc Andreessen, offering some "backlash against the [Facebook] backlash." Here's some great insight in his conclusion:
We're now in the summer slump, when all the kids are outside playing and going to the movies (well, at least watching movies of questionable provenance on their laptops), and necking in the bushes.
We'll see three months of experimentation and development of new apps on Facebook, including many false starts and many duds, but also a whole series of innovative new apps that we haven't even thought of yet.
But what' my response to that? Here's what you can find in the comment section of his post:
I agree on many of your points, but here's where I have "blah" about Facebook's new platform.
- As a CEO of a start-up, all I hear about is how I MUST develop for Facebook. I've been told by peers several times, "Drop everything, and develop your app for Facebook." Well, what if I want to continue developing my app? Exactly as you say, these folks don't have a long-term view of things, and so they frantically predict doomsday for me if my app isn't on Facebook NOW.
- As a Facebook user, I'm really experiencing "blah" about all the new invites. For me, the difference between Facebook and MySpace was always the amount of time I spend pruning back unwanted invites. Well, I've since abandoned MySpace for that reason, and Facebook app invites fly at me faster than ever. The problem here is that taking a long-term view makes this a long-term problem.
Maybe they're all right. I think they are. In the end, my strategy is this: develop the BBX platform to be all it can be -- meaning as valuable to "users" as possible. If Facebook members could benefit from that value (therefore allowing us to benefit from that value) then we'll enter that market and provide our service.
But in the meantime, we'll maintain our own strategy and not jump into a beautiful garden just because the cool kids are there.