28 years old.
End of story.
I’m sure Facebook is going to be a freshman’s case-study for ages to come. I’ve come out of Facebook, like many other people, not because of its notorious security issues (although it did support my decision to come out of it), but because I found that Facebook as a social network service was overwhelmingly popular to a point beyond my humble brain power to digest. I thought here’s a service that is not as essential as eMail (at least when it first came out), but it certainly was acting a lot more important than eMail.. or even telephone! “When did this become a necessity?” I asked myself too many times. “Why is this post-on-my-wall crap even on my to-do list for the day?” When the time came that I realized I could not answer those questions, sure enough, I bounced.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Facebook hater. If anything, I commend Zuckerburg for his opportunistic genius; let’s face it, no one could have pulled this off without pulling some strings, and some legs. I could be meaning that in a good way, by the way. But I just didn’t understand what Facebook meant to me, if that means anything at all. There was a time when I used the service like many friends and relatives; I post favorite quotes and type a status and write something on someone’s wall and upload photos. But here’s the catch: I had 50+ friends.
My entire group of “friends” consisted of 3 people whom I see on regular basis, including my wife! So who the hell were all those other people? Well, not a problem; if it was a question of “labels” they could most certainly be “acquaintances”. But why would I want any of my acquaintances to look at my photos or where I had lunch today or who I’ve been out with lately or even to poke or be poked by them? Hmmmm… I can see the original intention for Facebook to be a social club, connect and catch-up. But did it lose direction?
Maybe it did. Maybe I did. Either way, I was losing faith. Fast.
Is Zuckerburg anticipating that a service like Facebook needs to be constantly changing to stay interesting? Is this why Facebook’s user’s interface looks like the freakin’ tabloids? And I hate tabloids. Well, when Google came out, it was just a simple plain page with a search bar in the middle. Today, it still is a simple plain page with a search bar in the middle, with an arsenal of apps and tools somewhere under “more” menu. Facebook’s interface had too many distractions, at least from my point of view; one of the main reasons why MSN and Yahoo! never really got a chance at this “search” game. With FB, somewhere between “sharing” and “connecting” was lost. Me.
Is it a bubble? Hah! Have you guys followed its IPO? Listen, I’m not judging (who am I to judge, yeah?), but seriously, IPO followed by a marriage is anything but good timing (let alone good plan of action). When your net worth is $19 Billion, Mark, what you do with your personal life DOES matter to the public. Honestly, the irony of the synchronicity of IPO and tying the knot is overwhelming. But then again, some people say it shows responsibility, some people say it shows irresponsibility to your shareholders.
What nobody is saying, though, is that Mark should have consulted his shareholders and asked them for permission to get married. Indeed, that would be absurd.
But the entire issue is timing.
Different people have different reactions when it comes to money. I certainly can’t imagine myself having a five-digit amount in my bank account, let alone eleven! If he’d gotten married months before the IPO, that would’ve been fine. If he’d gotten married months after, that would’ve been fine as well. But to have two IPO’s in the same time… whoah!
At the end of the day when someone like me talks about giants and geniuses of the world, it is like complaining the sun is too hot. Deactivating my Facebook account is like wearing a baseball cap to get the heat off my scalp. It just wouldn’t matter.
Mazel tov, Mark.