If you are coming from Europe you are most likely familiar with Samwer brothers, guys that have cloned or backed up a clone of every single successful US based startup in Europe. StudiVZ (Facebook), MyVideo (YouTube), DailyDeal (Groupon) etc, etc…
"The Samwer brothers are despicable thieves," serial entrepreneur Jason Calacanis tweeted once. "How do they sleep at night?"
And this is exactly what I think of Facebook lately.
I'm following Facebook from their day one and I give them ton of credit for what they did in Social networking arena, but lately it seems that they have cloned every single feature from any company that ever even remotely threaten their No1 status:
- Update status box on top of the activity feed. All they innovated is changing "What are you doing" to "What's on your mind"
- Checkin (Foursquare)
- Poke (Snapchat)
- Deals (Groupon)
- and now Vine
Feels like Zuckerberg is in maniacally afraid of loosing everything
He knows how it goes. He did it to MySpace. I believe Zuckerberg and everyone else at Facebook understands that the foundation of Facebook is very fragile and that community could melt practically overnight when the new cool bar opens up in the neighborhood. And I don't blame them. Social networking is a tough business, but I'm not impressed with the way they fight. In contrast I really admire a way how Twitter is fighting that battle.
In social, Facebook is new Microsoft and Twitter is new Apple
I think Facebook already earned its 'uncool' attribute which will become worse and worse with time. Same thing happened to Microsoft ten years ago. To maintain the constant growth they are trying to be everything to everyone and that at some point might kill them.
Twitter on the other side has a courage to come up with completely innovative concept like Vine and bet heavily on that. Even if they fail they will be cool in the cool people minds.
I don't really care who is more successful when it comes to business.
Like most of the people I hang around with, I like cool new things and admire people that have courage to try something new and push the boundaries. Everyone likes the first guy that jumps from the space, climbs Mt Everest or something like that. No body cares about second comer. Maybe Facebook will stay the richest and biggest social network in the world but they will never be the coolest. That is something I'm sure of.
Someone once said that Twitter is for the cool guys that are smoking in the school bathroom and Facebook is for everyone else. That says it all ;).