Thursday, December 09, 2010

Going Backwards: FoodSpotting, FourSquare, Twitter, Facebook

Fractals: Apple, Windows 95, Netscape, Google, Facebook, Twitter
Twitter, FourSquare: Mobile Web Thingies
FoodSpotting Is The Next FourSquare
Fractals And FoodSpotting
Fractals: Mandelbrot

What do I mean by going backwards?

Microsoft started out as a software only company. Actually that was the genius of Bill Gates, otherwise his cofounder Paul Allen wanted to do both software and hardware. Microsoft could not have moved as fast if it had also done hardware. Smart. But. Down the line Microsoft has gone into hardware. The company fell comfortable enough that it felt compelled to get into hardware as well.

What is going backwards for Apple? It just put together a data center in North Carolina. Big and ugly was supposed to be IBM, not Apple.

Google working on operating systems is Google going backwards.

Facebook was not meant to be a search engine. It was not supposed to be an email provider, that was Gmail. Twitter was not supposed to be a search engine. Today it is a bigger search engine than Yahoo.

This has implications for companies like FourSquare and FoodSpotting. Creating new space and occupying new space is not enough. You have to move forwards, but sometimes you also move backwards. Moving backwards is a sign a company has arrived, and is no longer scared of the big companies that came before.

FourSquare grabbed the social graph before Facebook did Facebook Places. You can check in, but the check in can be accompanied by a tweet. There is no escaping search for FourSquare. FourSquare is going to hit a tipping point. And it is going to get into search. It is only a matter of time.

If you think about it, FoodSpotting could register all sorts of Spotting domain names and mesh it all together. Is Path the FriendSpotting that FoodSpotting did not launch? Is Instagram spotting with an attitude? Could PlaceSpotting add a layer to your Google Street View experience? I already took a picture of my dish, why would I also want to check in? Much socializing happens around food. If your social circle only consists of the people you ever ate with, is that the true social graph? Search for that damn apple.

I don't see FoodSpotting doing an operating system, but search feels like is in sight.

Call it Fwitter. Make it Foogle. That is Microsoft with a F.

Any by now Apple refuses to get categorized. The old man Steve Jobs never stopped being a startup guy.

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