Yesterday must have been a tough day at work in the Facebook offices. First, Apple fired off a broadside on Facebook around issues of privacy. Then, the Federal Trade Commission and 48 Attorneys General teamed up to start antitrust proceedings against the company. They want to break up Facebook into residual parts.
There are much smarter people than me who can and will weigh in on the Facebook matter. But I will observe that this is going to be a long-drawn-out proceeding. Remember the United States v. Microsoft Corp.? That took forever — and the outcomes were nothing compared to the impact of the open-source movement and the rise of the open web…
I am not a lawyer or an antitrust expert, but as someone who has observed the technology industry for a long time, it seems important to note that things in the industry are speeding up. The government watchdogs need to be mindful that the time it takes from being an upstart to a giant is getting shorter and shorter.
Google was roughly 21 years. Facebook was 15 years. In 11 years, Uber became a $95 billion (in market capitalization) company. It took newly-public DoorDash just seven years from being four guys at Stanford University to become a $68 billion company with over fifty percent of the food delivery market. And the future is going to be even faster because the network effects make everything grow much faster…
What we need — and soon — is a new framework that thinks about monopolies from a more future-oriented perspective. Market share is such an industrial metric to think about in this digital age.
Om popped my poor brain with the last sentence in that paragraph. True, I had been in the chairs of two dentists for three-and-a-half hours. One of them readying me for implant surgery, next week. But, no anesthetics needed, yet. So, I was in fair shape to reflect upon the industrial past, which had ruled most of my working life – and the digital present and future, the context of my present life as well as the past couple decades of dialectical explosion.
That concussion was barely noticed by the political hacks promulgating 99% of the lawmaking that attempts to guide future America. Not very well, at all, I’m afraid.
RTFA, let it roil your little gray cells.