The Social Cloud: Facebook IPO – Is This MySpace 2.0?
History repeating: 2000 Bubble, Myspace, 2012 Facebook IPO, NBT (Next Big Thing…)
Investors are expected to sink $5 billion into the Facebook IPO. Wow. Well, from a pure spreadsheet perspective it makes some sense. If you take the 800 million Facebook users multiplied by a value of $6.25 per user, that equates to a $5 billion initial public offering. Being the most visited site on the Internet, with more stickiness than anybody else could even plan for, let alone credibly lie to anybody about, this makes some sense.
Or does it?
Let’s compare Facebook to Apple.
The major difference from my perspective between Facebook and Apple is this: I paid a lot of money for all these devices, and I spent even more time selecting them and getting them set up. I touch my iPhone more times a day than anything else. My wife, my kids — they all rank below my phone. Sure, a lot of times I will use my iPhone to access Facebook, but I do a lot of other things with it besides Facebook.
I’ve bought into the Apple gadget ecosystem. The stickiness of an Apple phone, and a laptop, and its app store, and my airport-express-powered sound system, and my Apple TV, and my Thunderbolt-attached storage device will drive my resistance to change brands beyond what is sensible.
Now, let’s talk about Facebook.
Their terms of service require me to sign over my personal data, and all derived data in my social ecosystem, to Facebook. What if, just if, there was an alternative service maybe somewhere else in the cloud, a successor to Facebook, where I could migrate my Facebook data? And, where I could control my data? Where I could decide what to disclose – and more importantly, what not?
Looking back at Myspace, it’s clear now that something better came along – Facebook. Myspace was acquired in 2005 by News Corporation for $580 million. In 2011, Myspace was sold for approximately $35 million. Total destruction. The only missing part required to bring down Facebook’s user data ownership is somebody offering a service without this inappropriate claim on user data, and its house of cards will crumble.
Control your data…
By Juergen Geck, Chief Technical Officer, Open-Xchange
Juergen Geck is Chief Technical Officer at Open-Xchange and responsible for continued development and communication of the company’s technology strategies. He has a distinguished background in open source and technology management. Prior to Open-Xchange, he spent 10 years with Suse Linux as vice president – Technology Partners and CTO. He built strong alliances with AMD, Fujitsu-Siemens-Computers, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Oracle and SAP. Geck was instrumental in designing Suse’s flagship product, Suse Linux Enterprise Server and its maintenance model, enabling the first enterprise Linux offering in the market. Geck is also one of the founders of Eclipse.org. He holds a masters degree in production engineering from the University of Erlangen, Germany.