Facebook is not unassailable
Thursday, January 14, 2016 by Dave Winer

I've heard people say that Facebook has everything sewn up, but I don't believe that. 

True, Facebook is a deeply entrenched huge enterprise that serves 1.5 billion people, an amazing accomplishment, but it does not achieve the full role that computer networks are going to play. 

For example, when the Knicks are playing tomorrow night, I'd like to have a place to go talk about it with friends who are NBA fans. And I want to have a place to go talk about the show I just binge-watched, with other people who have watched the show, so we can talk freely about the show without worrying about spoilers. I want to go to a place where adults hang out so we can talk about things that we're not allowed to discuss on Facebook. 

Facebook is a one-size-fits-all network. It's huge. But it's definitely not the only kind of network imaginable. You have to figure over the coming years we will try all permutations of human networks.

People always think the deeply entrenched leader of a generation will dominate forever, but that has never been true and it never will be. Look at the story of VisiCalc. People thought it was too big to lose, they thought so too, so they left the door open for 1-2-3 to take the market. And they did. Usually it doesn't happen that fast, the previous generation sticks around for a time after their dominance is done. But no one owns the top of the mountain very long, esp in technology.

People eventually want something new. Facebook might not see it coming. They are confident that their 1.5 billion users will keep the upstarts away. But you don't need 1.5 billion to gain critical mass. Facebook itself is an example of that.

PS: Facebook the product and Facebook the company have the same name. This piece is  about the product.

  • Isn't this the very reason for Facebook acquired Whatsup, Instagram and also tried to snatch Snapchat?

    • I don't understand your question.