Social is not defensible

This brings me to the social aspect of my core idea; social is not defensible.

Friendster thought it had it in the bag with social. Then MySpace thought it had in the bag with social. Now Facebook thinks that it has it in the bag with social (and a few other tricks up its sleeve).

At each point the three previously mentioned social networking companies had critical mass, reached a tipping point and grew exponentially. Two of the three were, in the eyes of the public that matter, were virtually wiped off the face of the Internet by the next big social thing. (To be fair, Friendster has over 100m registered users and is now a gaming site and MySpace was recently bought by some people including Justin Timberlake who want to do some things with it, or something).

Google+ has reared it’s behemoth head recently and become the fastest growing social network in the history of the Internet. That’s quite impressive.

If social is inherent and everyone has it, then what is defensible?

I think Facebook has two key things that make its business defensible: An overwhelming number of active users and an ecosystem.

There is a sense of chance that one gets from the success of Facebook and Twitter, an element of serendipity if you will. Right place, right time, right mix of things. Once that was in place then the market took off and grew Facebook and Twitter’s defensibility.

Now I am definitely oversimplifying (before I get roasted in the comments) and I am aware of the immense volume of cash injected into both Facebook and Twitter, but lets be honest, MySpace had NewsCorp behind it and it tanked. Anything is possible.

The point of this particular article is to emphasize that if you are building a business, a technology, a campaign or anything else for that matter, saying that you are “social” does not set you apart, it puts you firmly in the category of appropriately average.


Nicholas Haralambous
By  | http://memeburn.com/


The concept of being social is inherent and should be a part of everything that a company does, in any industry.Social is just the nature of things and people. When you’re in the grocery store and you bump in to someone you know, that’s social. When you ask for directions: social. When you talk to a petrol attendant: social. When you get advice from a friend on a dinner venue: social.

Everything is social.

Therefore nothing that claims to be social as a unique selling proposition is defensible or, in fact, unique.

What do I mean by defensible? It’s quite simple. As a startup in the technology space (in any industry really) you need to be able to defend your business. You need it to be defensible against competitors. A simple test of this is as follows: If someone had US$20-million of investment and wanted to do what you do, could they easily be better than you at it and take you out of the market? Could they take contracts and staff away from you and crush your business? If your answer is “Yes”. Then your company, idea, brand, or niche is not very defensible. Leer más “Social is not defensible”

Stipple Seeks to Tag the Web’s Images

Stipple, a San Francisco-based start-up, is introducing a new service on Wednesday that allows online publishers to add tags to particular parts of an image with information about its contents and related links.

The service, which is free to use and offers a revenue-sharing program for purchases made through the links, allows publishers to tag products for sale within an image, or to add information about objects or people.

Rey Flemings, the chief executive and founder of Stipple, said in a phone interview that one problem his new company intends to solve is the “much needed” ability to add more information to “the trillion or so images on the Web today.”

Stipple will introduce the product with three partners: Six Apart, a blogging software maker; Jive Records, a Sony music label; and the media company E.W. Scripps.

“We’re partnering with some companies when we launch to show how simple the tools can be and how much information you can share within an image,” Mr. Flemings said.


By NICK BILTON

Stipple Clicking on the pants in the photo shows how much they cost and where they can be purchased.

Stipple used to identify pants

Stipple, a San Francisco-based start-up, is introducing a new service on Wednesday that allows online publishers to add tags to particular parts of an image with information about its contents and related links.

The service, which is free to use and offers a revenue-sharing program for purchases made through the links, allows publishers to tag products for sale within an image, or to add information about objects or people.

Rey Flemings, the chief executive and founder of Stipple, said in a phone interview that one problem his new company intends to solve is the “much needed” ability to add more information to “the trillion or so images on the Web today.”

Stipple will introduce the product with three partners: Six Apart, a blogging software maker; Jive Records, a Sony music label; and the media company E.W. Scripps.

“We’re partnering with some companies when we launch to show how simple the tools can be and how much information you can share within an image,” Mr. Flemings said. Leer más “Stipple Seeks to Tag the Web’s Images”

What Can Entrepreneurs Learn From Mad Mens Christina Hendricks?

This month sees the launch of “From those wonderful folks who gave you Pearl Harbour : Front-Line Dispatches From The Advertising War” by Jerry Della Femina (the original Mad Man). His book has just been republished in order to piggyback on the success of the TV phenomenon Mad Men, which it inspired. The book lovingly describes the inner machinations of Madison Avenue in the Sixties, and is a delicious gossip-heavy read about the golden age of advertising (the title refers to the tongue-in-cheek slogan proposed by Della Femina for Panasonic during a particularly unproductive brainstorming session).

According to Della Femina, the reality of working in an ad agency in the Sixties was actually much worse than what we are seeing on Mad Men. Apparently, in the business climate of the late Fifties and early Sixties, sex was a forbidden subject – everyone did it and yet no one talked about it. But by 1965, the sexual revolution had enveloped much of North America and the advertising industry responded in kind. It either grew its hair or let it down, started drinking in the morning and generally went wild.

Della Femina actually encouraged wayward behaviour in his agency because he figured out that nothing got creative people to come in early and leave late better than the prospect of sexual adventure.


by jeremywaite

This month sees the launch of “From those wonderful folks who gave you Pearl Harbour : Front-Line Dispatches From The Advertising War” by Jerry Della Femina (the original Mad Man).  His book has just been republished in order to piggyback on the success of the TV phenomenon Mad Men, which it inspired.  The book lovingly describes the inner machinations of Madison Avenue in the Sixties, and is a delicious gossip-heavy read about the golden age of advertising (the title refers to the tongue-in-cheek slogan proposed by Della Femina for Panasonic during a particularly unproductive brainstorming session).

According to Della Femina, the reality of working in an ad agency in the Sixties was actually much worse than what we are seeing on Mad Men. Apparently, in the business climate of the late Fifties and early Sixties, sex was a forbidden subject – everyone did it and yet no one talked about it.  But by 1965, the sexual revolution had enveloped much of North America and the advertising industry responded in kind.  It either grew its hair or let it down, started drinking in the morning and generally went wild.

Della Femina actually encouraged wayward behaviour in his agency because he figured out that nothing got creative people to come in early and leave late better than the prospect of sexual adventure. Leer más “What Can Entrepreneurs Learn From Mad Mens Christina Hendricks?”