Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Learning business principles from Demi Moore's FriendFeed habits

I found a post from Dare Obasanjo in someone else's Google Reader shared items (Rob Diana's, I think). This wasn't the RSS post, but another post of his entitled Where FriendFeed Went Wrong. And Dare has access to data that no one else has access to - his wife:

For the past few years, I’ve been watching services I used that were once the domain of geeks like Robert Scoble’s inner circle have eventually been adopted by mainstream users like my wife. In general, the pattern has always seemed to boil down to some combination of network effects (i.e. who do I know that is using this service?) and value proposition to the typical end user. Where a lot of services fall down is that although their value is obvious and instantly apparent to the typical Web geek, that same value is hidden or even non-existent to non-geeks.

It turns out that some geeky services, such as Google Reader, offered enough of a value proposition to Dare's wife that she ended up adopting them. Heck, she even blogs (and don't forget, blogging's hot again this week). But FriendFeed offered no clear value proposition to her, apparently.

But we don't just have to rely on Dare's wife to judge the value of FriendFeed. We can also rely on someone else - Ashton Kutcher's wife. Yes, Demi Moore is a FriendFeed user. I talked about her in a comment at Obasanjo's post, which I'm reproducing in full here.

Perhaps Demi Moore's experience is illustrative here.

Demi, of course, is a prolific Twitter user. She signed up for a FriendFeed account and asked the question, "Ok trying out friendfeed....any suggestions?" She got over 400 comments (I think I buried a comment somewhere in there). As of August 26, however, a FriendFeed search that she never posted another item directly to FriendFeed; her FriendFeed account basically echoes her Twitter account. Similarly (again as of August 26) her profile indicates that she has never commented on an item, or liked an item.

Now FriendFeed lovers such as myself can rant and rave about this or whatever, but the fact remains that Demi has found no compelling reason to use FriendFeed. The same holds true for millions upon millions of others who love Facebook, Twitter, AOL, or whatever.

And that, my friends, is why FriendFeed sold itself to Facebook.
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