In the 60 minutes interveiw of Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg (which I thought was a puff piece) Kara Swisher is highlighted as the expert in Facebook. Kara deserves to be on there because she has been following Facebook hard for a while. I like Kara and read her blog. Kara is a pro journalist, but I fell off my chair at the end of the interview on her comment on Facebook’s beacon product. I have to call foul on this one Kara.
Kara: I respectfully disagree with you. First, I think that you’re wrong on your take on beacon. You said Facebook was wrong for doing it and not explaining it. Then you go on to basically question their judgement. I disagree with you. Beacon is a good thing for Facebook and for users. I think that Facebook rolled it out the wrong way, but it was a good move for Facebook. It’s a competitive advantage weapon for Facebook and a possible innovation lever for their user experience (and for future monetization). Secondly, you have a relationship Google and know that Google practices the same techniques as Beacon (can we talk about gmail, data centers and toolbar among other similar data driven innovations). By your logic Google is wrong and has bad judgement. Competing on the value of data extraction is precisely what Google built their brand on and it is what drives their ad monetization business.
Both Google and Facebook derive their products core value propositions from the aggregation and knowledge about data and data relationships.
Here is the 60 minutes interview. Note: Bill Gates was 17 when he started Microsoft.