Dan Lyons called it, what was on the tip of many a tongue in Silicon Valley – Has Facebook’s reign come and gone already? I’ve never been very bullish on Facebook and have been proven wrong over and over again as its growth accelerated over 2010-2012. I thought the bloom would come off the rose sooner than it did, clinging to the argument that it’s just a communication platform and communication platforms are notoriously difficult to monetize – ask Yahoo! or Google how much they make off email. Now it seems like I’m in good company being down on Facebook, however now I question Dan Lyons on just how dominate Facebook ever was.
So: first came IBM, which ruled for 25 to 30 years, then Microsoft, which ruled for 12 to 15, then Google for six to eight years, and now Facebook, whose reign arguably began in 2010, when its traffic surged past Google’s and it bullied Zynga, its biggest partner, into accepting Facebook Credits.
Was Facebook ever as dominate as IBM or Microsoft? Maybe in the games space for a fleeting moment. If Facebook ever had such dominance I would say that came in the form of expectations – hype. It actually reminds me much of GeoCities rise to “dominance”. It completely dominated the personal homepage space on the web, but soon after Yahoo! paid $3.57 billion in stock for it the bloom came off that rose. The question then became, how much was it worth to dominate the personal homepage space? Apparently not much as Yahoo! shut it down years later.
When I think of a company dominating the technology world like IBM or Google, it is more than just hype. And to say Google has already faded is quite premature. Sure they aren’t the darling of Silicon Valley, that briefly went to Facebook however they’re making great strides in the cloud and mobile.