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Myspace is Dead: How Facebook Outwitted a FOX
By Kevin Leu • 3:00:00 PM • • Comments : 3
At first, MySpace ignored Facebook. Then as Facebook’s growth became undeniable and their rise to the top, inevitable, MySpace began copying every cool feature from Facebook. The worst part about it was they did a second rate copy job. It’s like seeing your buddy come home with a hot female blowup doll and then you get your own in the mail, but it turns out to be male, so you have to put your own lipstick and wig on it. It’s just not as good.
Well, we all know how Facebook won over our minds and affections: vanity and voyeurism made easy. Sure, FOX scored a major boon when they bought MySpace for far less than it was worth. And they’ve made their investment back tenfold through lucrative deals with Google and gaudy front page advertisements, but they let a valuable entity become virtually a non-player. In another year, I predict you’ll see a precipitous drop in traffic and users to a Friendster-type level, and worse yet, a drop into irrelevance. If it weren’t for users logging-in to listen to music for hours at a time, MySpace would already be toast.
The reason is pure and simple. MySpace employees got old. With no equity left to gain, Los Angeles sunshine to enjoy, and employees well into their 30s and 40s, the desire and thirst for innovation stagnated as MySpace rested and vested on its laurels. Facebook, on the other hand, continues to hire some of the brightest from the college ranks each year. While MySpace has made far more money than Facebook, thanks to a marriage of old media (FOX) and new media (web 2.0), they let the old minds spread a virus through MySpace. Inactivity caused by corporate bureaucracy leads to death in the constantly evolving world of web 2.0.
Facebook has constantly changed its look and feel, even as users unleash varying levels of backlash against this wave of change. Facebook is smart, though. Not only have they pinpointed the luxuries of the web (connection, voyeurism, simplicity), they’ve kept the focus and priority on the user experience, as revenue takes a side seat - a very important passenger seat, but still not the driver. This is important, because in the quest for the big dollars, MySpace succeeded and won that battle, but ultimately have lost the war.
The Silicon Valley Bachelor
P.S. Building and sustaining a brand is a marathon, not a sprint. Therefore, take your time when blowing up that mail-order doll. The rewards can be immense.