Apple sales growth has slowed while Facebook has risen. He has risen!. And according to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook has only just scratched the surface. Facebook has finally found out how to make money and I’m sad to report it is nail one in the coffin. Maybe. When the money starts to pour in, and that money is from advertising please take note, it becomes intoxicating. Even a hoody wearing start-up savant can lose his way. According to today’s NYT earning report, most all of the innovation coming out of Facebook today is tied to advertising. New mobile ad formats, new in-stream video ads, image ads in Instagram and some new targeting platform gobbledygook. The good news is Mr. Zuckerberg is not going ad crazy on Instagram, What’s App and Oculus at this time – deciding to understand and allow those ideas to grow first.
But this advertising revenue intoxicant is turning Facebook’s head and focusing too much intellectual capital on the wrong type of innovation. This leaves product and application innovation to the start-ups, who Facebook will buy for scads of money — thereby turning up the heat on the advertising engine. Nail 2.
Apple is not an advertising company. It’s a product company. It will have ebbs and flows which are natural. Good leadership will ease that pain. So long as they stay out of the ad business. Peace.