That’s a very strong title, I know. But it’s not mine, and it’s not as bad as it sounds. It was written by Paul Scrivens, an FC Expert blogger, designer, and one of the founders of blogging community 9rules, on his own blog Wisdump.
“With the huge ad company acquisitions happening over the past couple of weeks it seems some talk has gone back to who is going to acquire Facebook. If you have read any of the articles by Mark Zuckerberg or the VCs they don’t seem to plan on cashing out through acquisition. Instead there are continued talks of bigger things for Facebook and I believe they plan on following the Amazon and eBay plan of becoming a platform.”
Zuckerberg’s answer is that he’s playing a different kind of game. “I’m here to build something for the long term,” he says. “Anything else is a distraction.” He and his compatriots at the helm of the company–cofounder and VP of engineering Dustin Moskovitz, 22, his roommate at Harvard, and chief technology officer Adam D’Angelo, 23, whom he met in prep school–are true believers. Their faith: that the openness, collaboration, and sharing of information epitomized by social networking can make the world work better. You might think they were naive, except that they’re so damn smart and have succeeded in a way most people never do. From a ragtag operation run out of sublet crash pads in Palo Alto, they now have two buildings (soon to be three) of cool gray offices and employ 200 people who enjoy competitive salaries and grown-up benefit packages–not to mention three catered meals a day with free laundry and dry cleaning thrown in. And they continue to crank out improvements to a Web site that is in every meaningful way a technological marvel.
As of April 2007, Facebook was number four in eBizMBA’s monthly survey of traffic data for the top 25 largest web 2.0 sites. The three top sites were MySpace, Wikipedia, and YouTube.
Is Facebook headed down that Friendster alley, a road in which it seems there’s no return? Is it just a flash in the pan? Or does Facebook have real potential for building a robust and vibrant Web company?