Episode #016
26 April 2022
The worst way to fix Facebook
Notes

Everyone agrees that we need to do something about Facebook, Google, Apple and Twitter.

Well, almost everyone. As I said in Episode #013, Everyone wants to fix Facebook (listen or watch), I’d prefer we did nothing. But that’s just me.

Given that the something-must-be-done mob is likely to win, here are three ways we could fix Facebook: the worst way, the not-quite-so-bad way and (let me dream a little) the best way.

“Of the top 10 companies by market capitalization at the turn of the century, only one is still in the top 10 twenty years later” – 2001 v 2021 – Michael Mauboussin on the Acquired podcast

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Quotes
“If you listen to tech industry commentators, you’ll hear a thousand and one ideas as to what to do about Facebook, Google, Apple and Twitter”
“If you’re a tech founder, starting a social media company becomes a lot less attractive if social media is highly regulated”
“Facebook gained all its users in an era when social media was unregulated. Any challengers will struggle to gain users in an era when social media is highly regulated.”
“Regulation is the worst way to fix Facebook, because it’ll only consolidate Facebook’s dominance”
“Who’s the bigger bully: Facebook, for its aggressive competition, or the politicians and bureaucrats who would use the power of their office to hobble Facebook?”
“Who’s the bigger enemy of democracy: Facebook, for running a few crappy ads paid for in roubles, or the politicians and bureaucrats who would take arbitrary action against arbitrary companies just because it might make them popular?”
“It’s now impossible to start a small tech company legally”
“Of the top 10 companies by market capitalization at the turn of the century, only one is still in the top 10 twenty years later”