Archives for posts with tag: Mark Zuckerberg

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You can now listen to the best Steve Jobs interviews on iTunes. You can buy his biography. There’s no Mark Zuckerberg biography yet but I’m sure it’s in the making. Google his name and you get 216 million links: lessons learned from Mark Zuckerberg, how to change the world according to Mark Zuckerberg, how to be the next Mark Zuckerberg.

Both names have become a codeword for the truly gifted exception, the outlier freak for whom traditional rules don’t apply.

Steve isn’t Steve Jobs. And Mark is not Mark Zuckerberg.

There was no magical event that created these superstars out of amazing strands of DNA. Steve Jobs was successful because of a million small choices, not because he was a genius with magical skills. Mark Zuckerberg created the social network machine we call Facebook because of a million small choices, not because he was a genius with magical skills.

You’re not the next Steve Jobs because you don’t make the difficult choices. If you do, someone might write a biography about you.

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We have this view of the world that the super-mega market leaders in one niche or market have a superpower that will guarantee success in new markets. The current Facebook S1 release is just another sign of this irrational view. “Facebook dominates advertising.” “Facebook more important for advertisers than Google.” “Mark Zuckerberg for President.”

The majority of brands are only good at doing one thing. If you hit the jackpot, they are good at 2 things. Almost nobody is good at three things. Remember when Facebook Places was launched and every dopey pundit proclaimed the end of Foursquare? (Including this dope.) Or when Google Wave launched? Google Buzz? G Phone? When Yahoo tried social. (Let’s not hate on a corpse.) When Microsoft got into mobile hundreds of years ago and never achieved their goals? Or when Apple tried social?

Size does matter. But it’s not everything.

There are rare instances where companies can crush a competitor: IE vs. Netscape comes to mind. But it’s not common. That’s why you shouldn’t be brainwashed by the size of a company, focus on the excellence of a company. Facebook is really good at growing their user base, allowing us to share information with family and friends. They belong in the user baser growing Hall of Fame. Does Facebook do anything else that belongs in the Hall of Fame? Deals? Places? Commerce? Advertising Conversion? Monetization. Nope. They didn’t even make the roster, riding the Minor League bus.

Will Google ever succeed in social? Google+ is doing okay but it’s not in the same league as Facebook and Twitter. They even show cracks in their dominance of the search business. Microsoft’s browser domination is gone. Soon, Facebook will see increasing fatigue and the brainwashing of a new shiny tool. While we live longer, social platforms life expectancy tends to decrease.

Don’t get fooled by size. On Sunday, many advertisers will link their advertising to Facebook pages or Twitter accounts. That’s foolish. Facebook owns all the data. Who guarantees you that they don’t sell it to your closest competitor?

Look at the big picture and have a long-term strategy. If you put more and more eggs in Facebook, you need to move some out and put them in different platforms. It’s not about new platforms, it’s about experimenting with better ways to market, platforms that convert and technologies that are effective in achieving your business goals.

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Groupon’s IPO: We’ve wasted too much time, writing about Groupon’s problems, challenges, opportunities and internal machinations. I’m as guilty as anyone. The IPO filing moved the conversation from pundits to the market. As it should be.

2. Google+: Since we don’t have to focus on Groupon anymore, Google+ gave marketers more fodder to discuss the problems, challengesand opportunities of Google’s innovative social layer. The combination of SEO and a huge user base makes it likely Google+ will be a success. It’s not the new Facebook, but it’s a new Google.

3. Zombies cling to life: Just a few deaths of 2011: The Web, micro site, print, display ads, television (a golden oldie) and radio. I’m glad to see all these zombies looking pretty much alive. Some of them need some drastic procedures to move them back to a real healthy existence, others need a good rehab to reset their mission and vision. Still, they are alive, nobody died and no need to write more obituaries.

4. Josh Williams, Gowalla: It’s good to see a CEO pivot in the right way. He knew he lost the “check-in war” and changed the vision of his company from “I was here” to “I wish you were here.” Check-ins were always kind of stupid: marketing opportunities are limited (Since most people use location-based apps as personal branding tools, the opportunity for businesses to conquest seems minimal), and the user base was even more limited. Foursquare cornered that small opportunity and we’ll see if they can get traction outside of the geek crowd. Gowalla’s mission change to craft the narrative of your life is fascinating. I wish them well.

5. Content Marketing: Let’s be honest here: We didn’t feel needed anymore. People just blocked us out. Banner blindness, DVR, apathy, ignoring our messages. Content marketing gave us an opportunity to go back to our roots of communicating with our customers and prospects without selling. Instead of being the parrot-on-the-shoulder-crazy-colored-blazer-wearing pitchman, we can deliver now messages that make our buyers more intelligent. Beautiful.

6. Steve Jobs: Simplicity and purpose. A powerful vision for all of us.

7. The GOP primary: Some of the candidates remind us of marketing lessons we should never forget:

a. Rick Perry: Never overpromise and under-deliver. Always under-promise and over-deliver.

b. Herman Cain: Always be prepared for everything. You lose all credibility when you don’t know the basics of your profession.

c. Mitt Romney: It’s not good enough to look and act the part. You need substance.

d. Rick Santorum: Brand Awareness is important.

e. Jon Huntsman: If there’s no demand for your product, you need to create demand.

f. Newt Gingrich: Lies only get you so far. And they will always come back to haunt you.

8. John Wanamaker: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” We all thought this would change with the digital revolution. Not so fast, friends. Clearly, we still haven’t figured it out and John Wanamaker’s quote will be around for many decades to come. Maybe not, since some claim 90% of advertising is wasted.

9. Mark Zuckerberg: The inventor of the Zuckerberg dance: Introducing new features, protest dances by a minority of users combined with flaming threats of an even smaller minority to leave for good, Mark and his team dance the apology tango, retreating slightly with a waltz and the users go back to do the Facebook Polka. Thanks, Mark, for keeping us all in motion.

10. All the people that dedicate their lives to help people in real need. You have my deepest thanks. You do work that really matters.

Last but not least, thank you to everybody who reads my posts. I feel humbled and quite lucky to have the privilege. Thanks for being here, for making a difference and changing the world.

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Mark Zuckerberg wants you to share life stories. Just don’t expect diaries. Get ready for your photoshopped self.

A few days ago, Mark Zuckerberg proclaimed: “The heart of your Facebook experience, completely rethought from the ground up.” And, he added: “Timeline is the story of your life.”

My jogging maps, the books I read , the movies I watched, the pictures I took – Is that really the story of my life?

Data aggregation as the expression of a human dream.

Facebook is not the only platform that satisfies a basic human dream. We’re archiving what we see, hear, read, eat, where we are traveling and how it takes us to run 5 miles for one reason and one reason only: We don’t want to die.

Or better: Since we all have to die at one point, we don’t want to just disappear, be forgotten.

Most eulogies leave out the “He was a bastard” part or the “She was a meanie” piece. The new Facebook timeline will become an idealized archive of your digital self,  defying mortality with every “like”. A permanent monument to yourself, conveniently leaving out the depressed moments, the embarrassing stories, the dark secrets, the big failures that made you who you really are. De mortuis nil nisi bonum dicendum est – Speak no ill of the dead.

Who is this digitally conserved replica of me?

How will the tools form my digital ego, how will they change my real self? And how does this digital self affect my own perception of me?

Facebook focuses in its timeline on the consumption of media and products – makes sense for marketers to get access to people in a relevant setting and helps Facebook’s valuation tremendously. Skeptics might say our life story will consists of lattes and “The Bachelor” viewings.

Diaries were never that exciting.

One could argue, the Facebook life story won’t be that much different than your typical diary. Andy Warhol noted in his diary each cab drive and the fare. I dare you to read my diary from 20 years ago without falling asleep after the first sentence.

The big difference: I wrote for an audience of one. Me, myself and I. Nobody else. I wasn’t hoping for “likes” or comments. Facebook rewards you with an audience and its comments when you tell a good story. Without readers no autobiography.

When you share your life story on Facebook, is there any space for openness and honesty? We tend to discuss what should be public or private on Facebook. Maybe we should discuss more how Facebook and all the other platforms make us focus on stories we want to share. What’s the worthiness of an experience if I can’t share it with the world?

Will these mirrors of our digital self enrich us?

The audience you carry with you throughout your digital life might lead to a race to the boring middle. When we feel we are in the minority, we might not express our opinion freely. Who wants to get booed by the Facebook fans? Why would I express the support for a political candidate when 30% of my fans might block me in return? Why would I share a controversial theory that results in no feedback when I can post an Instagram image of my daughter and get 20 responses?

On the other hand, looking at myself through the eyes of others might enrich my life, adding more perspective to my thinking. A life story filled with contributions of others.

Are we living in reality? Or creating a digital fiction?

Facebook and all the other platforms are about identity management. I’m sharing the latest insight from Forrester, the FT column, the David Brooks book I just read. Leaving out my most embarrassing album purchase ever (Titanic Sound track, there I said it.), my favorite trash TV show (Scroll up, it starts with The…) or a possible hangover.

When we look back in 5 years, our life stories might be as boring as Andy Warhol’s cab entries. Or they may be an insight who we wanted to be 5 years ago. What stories we shared to develop this new identity. Or what apps wrote about us.

And we might look at all the personal data and stories, look up and ask:

“Who is this person? Do I know him?”

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