The Facebook Conundrum….or when big companies try to become bigger.

Much has been made of Facebook having more than 1 billion users.  That seems like a lot and it is.  Their struggle is continuing to meet the expectations set by past expectations and continuing to grow users and revenues (not necessarily in that order). And the only way you can do that is to either attract new users (harder and harder given their current user counts), add new services or bring in more revenue from their existing services.

There’s a saying that by trying to make everyone happy, you make no one happy.  This is the sense that I’m getting from Facebook these days.  They want a ubiquitous service (for their 1 billion + users) and don’t want to add features that most of them won’t love.  Rock, meet hard place.  It worked with the Instagram purchase and they are hoping it will with the Waze purchase they are considering.

Sometimes a simple pivot or expansion is good.  Other times you have to look outside of what you do and go completely outside the box.  Google is the expert at launching unrelated products, waiting for them to get popular and then integrating them into the core service offering.

Businesses should take note of these different strategies because if you tie yourself to only one product, you’ll find yourself in trouble when that product passes from popularity.

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