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Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Why Myspace is so Messy !

Most people I have spoken to and heard shares my view that Myspace is messy .Inspite of its explosive growth myspace has never really tried to address this problem and has allowed it to remain as it is .Umair of bubblegeneration strategy lab tries to explain this messiness with an excellent post here which talks about how this messiness is a kind of garb to exlore a value proposition for this long tail of Myspace generation . He also talks about why Linkedin can never become as distruptive as Myspace Myspace is the digital ghetto. It's ugly, nasty, and brutish. But it's got soul and character. Interesting conversations happen there. In other words, it's messy. And, in large part, that's why it's rocked - messiness explodes value creation at the edge.
LinkedIn is clean, smooth, and streamlined - and utterly devoid of any possibilities for meaningful interaction. But this in itself begs a deeper question. Why didn't LinkedIn ever learn to get messy? Umair feels that when LinkedIn's near-term prospects weren't materializing the way investors hoped they would, LinkedIn changed it's strategy. Instead of learning about what it takes to make the social happen, it shifted to focusing on what it thought would be easy pickings: it forgot about consumers, and focused on recruiters.But LinkedIn, again, didn't focus on disrupting this industry - it focused on simply replicating the same old, broken, lame industry economics: on ever-so-slightly dropping the marginal search costs of recruiters finding new candidates.Here, again, LinkedIn refused to get messy. Instead of embracing the new possibilities for value creation at the edge, LinkedIn stayed clean, simply choosing to streamline yesterday's value chain just a tiny bit more - instead of getting messy, it's chosen to get even cleaner.Contrast this with Myspace. Myspace experimented for a long time to come up with it's revolutionary array of services. It's messiness, in turn, reflects this approach.Myspace isn't a streamlined business trying to streamline yesterday's broken music value chain. It's a deeply messy, almost chaotic place, where an entirely value chain is up for grabs. Myspace is messy because it has to be. To forge a new value chain, it needed to pioneer - and needs to continue to pioneer - new possiblities for value creation through deeply revolutionary kinds of interaction (like letting bands compete for the attention of listeners without greedy corporobot suits getting in the way).
Umair is of the opinion that Myspace and LinkedIn are tiny examples of a larger earthquake rolling across the global economy - more and more firms are learning that getting messy at the edge beats trying to keep wiping the core clean.
This post is a must for all those Myspace crictics who have consistently felt that myspace was a bubble2.0 which was going to burst soon . Hoever Myspace has only become more popular and has given rise to a whole lot of Myspace widgets industry .It has not only created value for its users but has also been succesful in providing an anchor to its long tail which has helped small start ups and enterpreneurs who continues to ride the myspace wave .