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Google+ and Facebook’s natural monopoly in social networks

Posted in Analysis, Economics, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Tech Industry on July 17th, 2011 by leodirac – 2 Comments

Natural monopolies occur when it is economically favorable to have a single standard vendor for a product or service. In these situations, monopolies tend to appear and maintain themselves naturally. When I say “economically favorable” I mean in the aggregate — the entire economy operates more efficiently because of the standard. Which is unusual with […]

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Microsoft buys tiny stake in Facebook: Game on!

Posted in Analysis, Business, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo on October 25th, 2007 by leodirac – 7 Comments

After months of rumors about companies trying to buy Facebook, yesterday a deal was announced. In a sense the deal is quite small because Facebook sold just a 1.6% equity stake to Microsoft. But by paying $240 million, the deal values Facebook at about $15 billion! What’s going on here? This surely can’t be based on rational economics, can it? Let’s analyze how these deals should be valued and take a few steps back through recent internet acquisition history for context. In trying to keep this post focused, I wrote a separate article about why mergers and acquisitions rarely work….

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Web UI Platforms through Javascript sandboxes

Posted in Democratization of Information, Facebook, Geek, Google, Microsoft, Tech Industry, User Experience on October 8th, 2007 by leodirac – Comments Off on Web UI Platforms through Javascript sandboxes

I see a trend of how we’re approaching Tim O’Reilly’s Web 2.0 ideal in a way that he didn’t really identify. But I think the trend is important, and growing, although still in its infancy. The trend is towards richer web APIs that enable people to build value on top of existing websites. I’ll give some history on how we got here, and talk about the current trend-leaders that I see: Facebook and Google Maps. I’ll also explain why I think Microsoft is in the best position to build the required enabling technology. Original Web 1.0 Universal access to massive…

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Why build your app in Facebook?

Posted in Analysis, Facebook, Social Computing on September 12th, 2007 by leodirac – 4 Comments

Almost every information service can be made more valuable by the addition of social networking metadata. So if you’re thinking about launching a new information service you currently have three choices in this regard: Build your app without social networking data Start from scratch with your own social network Integrate your app with Facebook The third choice is so simple, it is the obvious best choice for most new information services. As I see it, this is the fundamental power of the Facebook platform and why they’re going to go very, very far.

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Solving RSS Infoglut through Social Filtering

Posted in Analysis, Democratization of Information, Facebook, Google, Infoglut, Social Computing, User Experience on September 12th, 2007 by leodirac – Comments Off on Solving RSS Infoglut through Social Filtering

This morning Scoble linked to a leaked video out of google describing some new features to be added to Google Reader. I don’t like re-reporting other-people’s news here, but I can’t leave this one sit because it strikes so close to home for me. The ideas they describe sound exactly like what I’ve been thinking the world needs out of a feed reader — features to manage infoglut using the social network. What I’ve been thinking about building in my copious spare time is a web-based feed-reader that assumes you over-subscribe to feeds. That is, it expects you to “subscribe”…

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Democratizing Product Development: Amazon, Google and Facebook

Posted in Amazon, Analysis, Business, Democratization of Information, Facebook, Google on August 23rd, 2007 by leodirac – 2 Comments

A trend in modern successful websites is the democratization of information and decision making. The so-called wisdom of the crowds is at the heart of what makes a web 2.0 company successful. I’m going to compare how three companies have democratized the process of making product development decisions. Amazon makes extensive use of so-called A/B testing to try out new UI’s and optimize the user flow. This works very well for them because their end goal is very well defined: they want people to buy stuff. They are facing a very hard optimization problem, but their objective function is clear…

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