FaceBook (investors) aren't stupid

NY Times publishes this: 

RIVALS SEIZE ON TROUBLES OF FACEBOOK

OK, now do you really think that with billions of dollars in market cap and investors in it for the money (Microsoft and the Russians, for God’s sake), the guys at facebook are going to let this thing just get away from them?  Oooh, privacy, we’re sorry we did not warn you that we’re going to allow others to see the trivial crap you share with your 500 “best friends.”  We’re sorry we did not link to the dictionary definition of “default.”  Zuckerberg is like Tiger Woods apologizing up there.

Come on…  there may be an opportunity to make a better (though what matters in THAT business is popularity) product than Facebook, but it has to really kick ass to make a dent.  If I see another company claiming to be “like facebook for….” or “like facebook but with (drumroll) ‘privacy’,” I’m going to puke and post the vomit picture on my FaceBook page (for all to see because I know what I’m doing).

Now, Diaspora is a neat idea.  But it’s like Linux vs. Windows.  A good idea, BUT one which takes a LONG time, a LOT of luck, and TONS of money.  I honestly wish the Disapora guys the very best because I am not a FaceBook fan by any means.  Innovation is always good and my fingers are crossed.

But I am also a realist, especially when it comes to throwing money around.  VCs who missed the FaceBook home run, please don’t create another bubble.  Please don’t.  The industry can ill afford it.  Don’t invest in any company that is going after FaceBook with a one-trick feature like ‘privacy’ assuming that somehow 500M users will start losing that thing you call “trust.” If they like “sexting” I think privacy is not a primary concern. Now, if you’d invested in Yahoo, saw its IPO proceeds distributed to your LPs, and had Google come to you (as a Round A investment) with a clearly better mousetrap…  smile and count your blessings as a couple of folks on Sand Hill Road once did.

Unless, of course, the US Government grasps the fact that with Russians on FaceBook’s board, Putin might figure out how often someone’s kid ate on a given day and who “Like!”ed it… and where they were when it happened… We’re talking national interest at that point.  Then, FaceBook will be broken up during a six year legislative process and all the feudal lords of other social networks will get their chance to fight each other for the title of “most trusted and private” public network.  Contradiction there? How nice.

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