LinkedIn v. Facebook


Great discussion by Nancy Miller @nancefinance of why the market loves LinkedIn and plainly does not love Facebook, despite the fact that it is trading at 102 times estimated earnings for 2013 versus 60x for Facebook.


1. There is a solidity in LI’s play for the hugely-lucrative recruitment market that leaves Facebook’s unresolved ad-based play looking fragile. Only 20% of LI’s revenues are from ads.

2. LinkedIn also does the unthinkable in this land of free/ads/privacy intrusions – it asks for subscriptions and plenty of people are happy to stump up $200 a year +.

3. While LinkedIn’s efforts to move into Facebook-type “social” seem to many of us half-baked, the issue also seems entirely secondary.

Lessons for Facebook? Well, to my mind one is clear: Why not try a subscription-based offering?

Why the Market Loves LinkedIn — and Hates Facebook.

A Walk Through Twitter’s Walled Garden


Terrific post from Tonia Ries in which she puts Twitter on the rack. There’s not much in its current direction that any of us mere Twitter users is going to like . . . .


A Walk Through Twitter’s Walled Garden | The Realtime Report.

Social Media Value, Beyond the Campaign


This brief piece from Ted Rubin offers a helpful corrective to the continuing marginalization of social. Why do so many execs find it so hard to think of the future, when they did MBAs that took them through NPVs and projected free cash flows and such efforts directed entirely to the value that the future will serve up?

OK, rhetorical question. But here’s a real one. Take your company. Multiply the amount of “social” by, say, 100. Then start to look at the implications. Scaling has the effect of changing the situation far beyond its scale. And that’s where we are headed.



Social Media Value = Thinking Beyond the Campaign | Smarter Commerce.

Of Risk: Weather Threatens Infrastructure


Since success in biz and politics alike come from managing risk, it’s remarkable how bad we are at it.

This report in the NYT takes further the discussion we noted earlier (see below) on resiliency and risk in the context of the areas around Washington, DC, which were badly hit by recent storms.

Rise in Weather Extremes Threatens Infrastructure –

Mr. Zuckerberg comes to Washington


So after Facebook boosts its DC representation, a new alliance is announced with Google, Amazon, and others to defend a “free internet” and such.

If this is not going to be seen as just another lobby ploy by rent-seeing corporates, they need to add non-profits to the group as full members, and spell out a very clear program with which others than digital corporate interests will be in agreement.

And while we are at it, they need to realize that their own corporate futures depend increasingly on their engagement with users/customers through social media. As we have kept noting –  and as Facebook’s almost unbelievable history of gaffes keeps demonstrating – the kings of social are among its least agile proficient, and strategic users.

Get these two issues resolved and both the future of the digital giants and that of America could look a lot better.

Facebook, Google, Amazon, EBay Form Internet Lobbying Group – AllFacebook.

Korea’s High-Speed Internet Access Passes 100% Penetration


South Korea has been promising that by the end of 2012 it will have every household with an average speed 100x that of the US household.

I discussed this and the important historical context (in 1960 S. Korea had a lower GDP than the Democratic Republic of Congo) in an essay on Washington’s Innovation problem, which you can see here:



Korea’s High-Speed Internet Access Passes 100% Penetration.

Most Organizations Still Fear Social Media


From Gartner via HBR comes another handy report on how major organizations are responding to social media. Despite the alliterative categories (sorry, not into that) there’s great data and analysis here, although it is focused on the tactical and not so much the strategic value of social.

The “fear” term is interesting. Seems to me that fear requires a level of (perhaps mis)understanding that the failure of the CEO/CIO class to engage personally with this new world is somewhat OTT.

My recipe stays the same. A serious immersion in social for every member of the C-Suite and the board. Best time/money spend any major organization could make; and let’s start tomorrow.

The grim details: 14/500 CEOs tweeting . . . .

Most Organizations Still Fear Social Media – Anthony J. Bradley and Mark P. McDonald – Harvard Business Review.

Sustainability, #CSR, and the Disconnects


One of my occasional anxieties lies in the fact that CSR has been such a success story that plugging it organically into the core strategy of major enterprises will actually get more difficult and not easier. The current evidence of deep disconnects between “CSR/sustainability” functions and marketing, brand, other departments drive this home.

Seems to me that logic is on the side of strategic alignment, and competitive advantage. That is, CSR properly tackled aids the mainstream and is not tacked on to aid corporate image (though aiding image over the long term is part of the package). Which is not to say that in every product or market this will be at all evident. It’s a gamble on the long term.

But not an unreasonable one. Social, transparency, growing brand subtleties, there are many factors driving things this way (Michael Porter may have over-stated things in his bombshell essay, but the right things).

Some good data and discussion below:

Your Sustainability Message: Not Enough Charisma To Light Up The Room?.

Facebook user satisfaction plummets- MSN Money


Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook

Mark Zuckerber (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nuff said.

But if I may add: The cause is attributed to three factors: Privacy issues; the constantly changing interface; and what HuffPo describes as “in-your-face advertising.”

Which takes me back to a theme I keep harping on: Our leading “social” company is among the least engaged on its own behalf in social media; despite being uniquely well-placed, it has chosen to disconnect itself from its user/customers and take continual decisions without consultation.

The context here is fascinating, since it is not simply that Facebook, “the social network,” does less well than G+ and Twitter; as a whole social companies score far worse than traditional (and traditionally unpopular) companies such as airlines and utilities.

Hard to make this up. And truly remarkable that these companies seem to be among the least able to grasp the impact on business/consumer relationships of the technologies they have mastered.

It’s also dire news for Facebook investors.

Facebook user satisfaction plummets- MSN Money.

China’s Xiaomi Declares War on Apple


As we move around inside and occasionally comment from the outside of the US technobubble, it’s handy to peak into another country that could just get serious about what we have been so good at. And we all know where that is.

This neat piece drills down deep into Xiaomi, recently valued at $4bn after its Series C; its ex-MS and Google leaders; and its plan to go head-head with you-know-who(m) initially in the vast expanse of the China market.

A sobering read. And exciting.



Already Valued at $4B, China’s Xiaomi Has Declared War on Apple | PandoDaily.