Saturday, April 30, 2011

Why Fred Wilson and the Huffington Post Poll is wrong about Facebook

First off I LOVE Fred Wilson. His Blog has been listed on my blog forever. Even my old blog. He is genuine and he cares about Entreprenuers succeeding. If you visit his blog you know. He seriously responds to so many comments and his MBA Mondays is incredible for anyone without a Business Degree who wants to get into Business it is a must read. He will even respond to your emails directly very kind man.

Last year I wrote him this was Pre-Facebook Places, Deals, Open Graph but during the heyday of Facebook is not trustworthy and the start of polluting our network feeds and the mission to exploit us. But I wrote him because I love Twitter and I think we should pay for it. And he said Ad Support is the only way. I have a Finance Degree and 17 years of Business experience of all sorts. I realized based on comments Eric Schmidt made * when Google purchased Ad Mob and Fred's response to my email that having managerial experience and investing experience does not mean you definitely know business models, markets or human beings. You just know how to manage a business, pay for stuff, finance stuff etc.Fred is a visionary for investing. But it doesn't mean all his investments will be winners or last the test of time.

*please note the post on Ad Mob and Twitter trying to expose our location did not come to fruition. Twitter allowed me to turn it off and Ad Mob has never served me a relevant ad since getting my Droid2 last August.

So today Huffington Post asks would we pay to use Facebook. Well guess what over 95% said no. But why did they say no? Because we don't see value in Facebook anymore. It's why network usage per person per day is down over 30%. It is a dying network. But we have no replacement yet so it is hanging on. 

I wrote how these networks are platforms/operating systems not media: LINK 

I wrote that in OCTOBER! Now lets look at this argument about paying for Facebook. Today's Facebook SUCKS! It has a horrible user interface. It's clunky and they diluted what we liked it for. We just want to keep in touch with friends and family and do some networking. We do not want brands, places, open graph, deals etc. We just want a simple technology to communicate.  But now we have so much clutter in the feed we see so few posts that the value has diminished.

It's why only 20-30mil US users do anything on the network each day. Most people passively just look for posts from Friends/Family check out photos and nothing else. It is why we upload so few photos per person per month (less than 10), share less than 2 items per day, and watch less than 1 video each per month. (From Facebook's stats!)

So let me ask to be logical here. In exchange for letting Brands and Advertisers invade our personal space does:

Microsoft give us Windows for Free?
Does Verizon give me free Cell and Text?
Does Time Warner give me free Cable and High Speed Internet?
Does Apple give me a Free IPhone?

NO NO NO and again NO! So why is Facebook or Twitter choosing a different business model? Is the technology not good enough maybe? And if it isn't good enough to me that smells trouble and the end is coming. If we aren't willing to pay we sure are willing to leave right?

We would pay for a bitchin communication platform! Remember kids Social Media Networks are not Media:


There is no Brands, Advertising or Marketing in that statement! And we pay for all the other forms of Technology that allow us to communicate. Here is my post from LAST MAY about Facebook charging. Why am I always so far ahead of everyone? LOL LINK

So imagine if Facebook when they had 400million users had charged $3/month. And just 200mil signed up. They would vault to number 314 in the Fortune 500 with 7.2bil in revenue yes they would of increased their revenue 600%! And they could made the network 100% private. Kicked out all brands all marketing all exploitation. They could of reinvested in the USER EXPERIENCE vs the BRAND EXPLOITATION EXPERIENCE! They could of been a threat to ATT, Verizon, even the Internet! But instead they got poor managerial and venture capital advice and here we are with a network no one would pay for!

We pay for great technology all the time why wouldn't we pay if it was GREAT TECHNOLOGY?

Lastly Fred Wilson has invested in some great companies. Tumblr. FourSquare. Twitter. Soundcloud. Disqus + More. And I am not stating every web property or network we would pay for. But I do feel we would pay for Facebook or Twitter or similar network if the value was such that we really want to use it.

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