I saw Zuck’s post on pivoting to private interactions from public posts yesterday and I had a flashback to Bill Gates’s Internet Tidal Wave memo to his company almost twenty-five years ago.
I have always seen a lot of Gates in Zuck. They both have this incredible ability to see someone else’s product and realize that they need to build their own version of it.
But copying someone else’s product is a lot easier than copying someone else’s business model, particularly when you already have a fucking great one that makes you and your shareholders billions of dollars a year.
It will be interesting to watch Zuck do what Gates was ultimately unable to do – completely reboot the company’s business model to position itself to win the next wave in tech.
In the case of Gates, it was the pivot from paid software to free advertising supported software (aka
the attention economy that we are now paying for).
In the case of Zuck, it will be the pivot from monetizing attention to monetizing the protocol. The good thing is he is headed in the right direction, and surrounded some of the smartest people I know in crypto. The bad news is when you have this anchor called a legacy business model, it means making the right moves and making them quickly a lot harder.
Here is an example of one of those choices Facebook will need to make and make correctly:
— Chris Burniske (@cburniske) March 4, 2019
In any case, it is game on. Being on the verge of 60 years old means I have seen this game play out at least once before and so I have a frame of reference to observe it. That’s really great. It is an exciting time again in tech.