Facebook > Is This It?

I first received an Invitation to join Facebook in the second half of 2006, just when we were getting used to Orkut. I joined it thinking it was a rip off of Orkut since Orkut had already become a rage in India by then. However, it did not take me too long to figure out that Facebook was actually the real deal and will soon change everything.

Facebook made networking so easy that people stopped speaking on phone, MSN and Chat Rooms went out of the window, Orkut become obsolete. Everybody was getting used to Facebook. Facebook had arrived. It took Facebook less than a year to become the preferred networking option.

Every person in the age group of 18-24 was on Facebook and that was Advantage Facebook. People were themselves on Facebook, they did not have to care about their uncles reading their posts and seeing their pictures. Everybody loved it. Youngsters spent hours just refreshing their home page, no one had been exposed to anything like this ever before. The future of communication was here.

However, how sustainable is Facebook?

Almost everything on the Internet that is not making a difference in people’s life or that can’t be replicated is a fad, Facebook is no different.  Just like it took Facebook, less than a year to wipe out all other previously used networking options on the Internet, something more powerful is going to come along and change everything all over again.  Is that not the Rule for anything on the Internet? There are exceptions though, Google, Microsoft, Apple are companies with too much content to be considered a fad, they have multiple products in multiple domains which prevents them from going out of business overnight. But Facebook is just one single product.

Facebook, needs to act Fast, Really Fast!

I personally feel that Facebook is already on its way out. People have options to be connected on the move now, they do not want to be stuck to a desktop or even a laptop for that matter. They have phones, really powerful phones. Facebook’s mistake is that it took Facebook ages to realize this opportunity and by that time Whatsapp and Blackberry with BBM had already capitalized on this market. Facebook still had enough fuel to outcast these  competitors with its strong 800+ Million Active Users but Facebook was just too lazy. Now Facebook is playing catch up and it still looks lethargic.

A Product Vs A Company

Facebook needs to diversify, create more products inside Facebook, just like Google did. Google saw an opportunity and created Android and look what Android did for Google but Facebook is still sticking to an App.  Google capitalized on the cell phone market big time with its Android, Facebook had the exact same opportunity but it failed to capitalize.

The problem is with the mindset; Facebook does not want to deviate from being a Social Networking Platform and will therefore always be a product and never a company. If Facebook chose to come out with an OS, it would have made a kill in the phone market but it stuck to its slow ways and now faces extinction.

Facebook for example is a competitor of Google+. For Google, Google+ is a product, for Facebook, Facebook is all it has. So if Google+ fails, Google will just forget about it and move on. But if Facebook fails, it is all over for Facebook. Facebook missed an awesome opportunity to enter the tele-communications market and that along with the lack of diversity is what is going to bring its downfall.

People check Facebook just because they are used to it, not because they enjoy it. In stark contrast, see people on Whatsapp throughout the day and you will see the share of mind and share of heart clearly deviated. Facebook already seems to have lost the battle.

Generations on FB:

Another thing that seems to have not gone Facebook’s way is people growing on Facebook. When we joined Facebook, it was a place for the young. Then these young people grew up and the ones who joined Facebook too early have now grown to say a 32-36 age bracket. Apart from these people started getting their parents and grand parents to join Facebook. Today, Facebook has teenagers, young adults, just married people, mid aged folks and their parents and grand parents.

Just like you would not want all generations of people in a nightclub, you would not want all generations on Facebook. Facebook used to be for the young. Today, it is for everyone. Facebook’s popularity is what is killing it.

Facebook needs to sit down and look at their strategy and see where they are headed. They need to redefine their goals and this time unlike last time, they need take the external environment into consideration. They need to figure out how they are going to reach these goals since at this point, they are left far behind in this race. They have changed the way the world communicates once; will they be able to do it again? Or was it just a fluke?


Great or Not?

Sachin Tendulkar has not contributed to a winning cause for India as often as important players of other nations.

Michael Schumacher won 92 grand prix races only because he was with Ferrari which was clearly a superior car.

Christiano Ronaldo is a good player but fails to perform in crucial matches.

Shah Rukh Khan’s movies work only because of the massive marketing involved.

How often has one come across criticism for greats like these even though they have proved themselves over and over again? Has it become a trend to blame the one who is on top? Is it fashionable to disagree with the common consensus and sound ‘different’?

This article ponders over just that.

Sachin Ramesh TendulkarImage
Sachin is now in his 23rd year in International Cricket. He has been instrumental in bringing Indian cricket to the level & popularity that it currently enjoys. Have we forgotten how we used to switch off our television sets in the 90s once Tendulkar got out simply because we did not expect India to win without Tendulkar?

Sachin is still equally instrumental in helping India win. The recently concluded World Cup 2011 stands testament to just that. Yes he has changed his game as and when was demanded by the team and has gone from being the nightmare smasher to the dependable sheet anchor but the opposition still fears him. The problem with Sachin is that he has set the bar so high that now, even if he finishes a series with an average of 35, he considered to be a failure. Most of us don’t realize that most teams in the world don’t have a single batsmen in their lineup with a career average of 35.

The latest criticism against him that baffles Imageme is that ‘India looses everytime Sachin scores a ton’. The guy has 100 tons in International Cricket and 54% of them have come in a winning cause, 22% have come when the match has been drawn/tied/no result and only 24% matches have been where India has lost even after Tendulkar scoring century. I wonder how that boils down to the conclusion of India losing every time Sachin scores a ton.

My argument is that it has become fashionable to target the poor chap who has given his life to Indian Cricket. Since he is so successful, he is always in the limelight and anyone who questions Sachin gets a share of that limelight. And our stupid media helps this even further. Remember Adam Gilchrist, Shoaib Akhtar & many more. All these people who are questioning his ability are no different.

People want to sound all smart & different when they disagree with the obvious and made comments against players like Sachin but the fact remains that Sachin Tendulkar is a gem that India should proud of and is.

Michael SchumacherImage

The biggest name in the world of Formula 1, a seven time world champion, and people say that the chap won races not because of his talent but only because he had a Ferrari which is faster than any other car on the grid.

People forget one very basic thing, relativity. Even if Schumi’s car was faster than the other cars (which by the way, I strongly disagree to), don’t forget that there was another Ferrari on the grid which was being driven by Felipe Massa. Can’t recall too many incidents where Massa beat Schumi. They had the same car didn’t they?

However, Ferrari was not the only fast car on the track, Renault, McLaren & Williams car were equally competitive and sometimes more. It was just that Schumacher was so flawless that he made sure that he was on the front grid every time the race started and he performed flawlessly in the qualifying to make sure he achieves that. Yes the car does make a difference but to give all the credit for his performance to his car is not justified.

Schumacher proved his worth in the driving seat over and over again and one amazing instance was his last race as a Formula 1 driver in the 2006 season where he started 10th on the starting grid but finished 4th. If he had another 10 Laps, he was on the podium and with a few more, he would have had the chequered flag.

That is Michael Schumacher.

Christiano RonaldoImage

Christiano Roanldo is yet another player who has delivered excellent performance over and over again but has been criticised as many times. I am not so well versed with Soccer and therefore I will not speak much on this subject. But, I feel, merely owing to his talent, capability and performance he should be given the due respect. His rivalry with Lionel Messi is well known and the fact that Ronaldo is looked down upon is simply because of his attitude is not acceptable when we are talking about performance. Yes, Messi is a great player but the moment someone names Ronaldo, one has to bring up Messi and start comparing. Both the players are greats and light years ahead of anyone else playing the game. The point however, is, that this fact needs to accepted!

Shah Rukh Khan:Image
The Badshaah of Bollywood, after delivering blockbusters after blockbusters especially since Darr, Baazigar, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Dil To Pagal Hai, Dil Se, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Kal Ho Naa Ho, Main Hoon Naa, Om Shanti Om…his capability is still questioned.

Shah Rukh Khan once said that he can even romance a pillar. This is comment of his is probably the best example to come to the reason as to why he loved and why he is hated. He is loved because, he can actually do it, his eyes can speak. He does not need words. But the reason why people hate him is exactly that, the fact that he used the words. People probably already know that SRK can easily romance a pillar and make it believable but the fact that he says it, is why some of more modest section of the society do not approve of him…

Shah Rukh Khan came from a non-film background without any Godfather to help him make a mark in this industry. Shah Rukh Khan is a self made man who has been through a lot and has worked very hard to be where he is today. Such a person is allowed a certain level of pride, he allowed to not be modest about his achievements because he has had tough times in his life and he has overcome them to be No.1.

Shah Rukh Khan is not a method actor, he does not go into as much detail as Aamir Khan does but then that is like comparing Brett Lee and Sachin on bowling. Method acting was never SRK’s thing, he is a spontaneous actor, that is what he is good at. In fact he is spontaneous in everything it does from acting to giving interviews to hosting Award Functions. Now in the same way, it is wrong to compare Aamir and SRK on spontaneity.

Shah Rukh is also not a larger than life star the way Salman Khan is but he Salman can never Romance like SRK can. What I am trying to get to is that each one has his own trademark way of entertaining and no one and I mean no one can beat SRK when it come to romance. You may also dig into Hollywood, but Bollywood badly needs another Rahul because this one is nearing a half century.

Yes SRK markets his movies very aggressively but so does every producer. It is just that SRK happens to be the producer of his own movies.

I however also agree that SRK has made a few avoidable films in the recent past but I guess it is only a matter of time before he finds his genera again. Even Amitabh Bachchan did a Lal Baadshah before rediscovering himself.