Comparing Twitter to Facebook boosted VC IPO returns but didn’t help the company. But thinking Twitter is failing because its not Facebook is sheer folly
Rant: To protect the health and safety of venture capitalists’s children, VC offspring shouldn’t be allowed to compete at sports – for fear the VC’s would shoot their child-athletes so full of steroids to be mistaken for the Russian Olympic track team. Twitter is that steroid bloated clumsy Baby Huey VC offspring, straining to look coordinated and graceful next to the gifted child Facebook.
Steroids were necessary for Twitter though, in the VCs’ perpetual quest to parlay one overvalued private investment round into the next until finally the company like a listing cargo ship over–laden with VC hype crashes onto the rocks of a public offering while the VCs sell their holdings and take the women and children’s lifeboat seats.
That sadly is Twitter’s story. A wonderful company with a great idea that just wasn’t going to go to college on a sports scholarship giving the VCs a huge return without some help overstating expectations. The most valued VC skill is repeatable overvaluation schemes because real value like Apple, Google and Facebook are too rare to be counted on for fat returns. Right now twitter is recovering from an overdose of VC steroids.
Almost everyone from Marc Andreessen @pmarca to Pope Francis @Pontifex announce daily magna opera and interpretations of the day’s most relevant personal and public developments on Twitter. Monetization and user growth doesn’t match Twitter’s over-stated expectations and it never will match the Facebook-sized social network expectations that the VCs created with the public to “enhance” their return. At the risk of endorsing Chris Anderson’s @chr1sa the Long Tail that was simply another VC start-up overvaluation scheme, Twitter has a very long tail, not because of the cash it has in the bank, but because people use it. Twitter’s model is sustainable despite what Om Malik @ and Joshua Topolsky @ and the New Yorker @ say.
New Yorker Editor-in-Chief David Remnick needs to build some in-house technology talent instead of outsourcing Twitter opinions to Malik and Topolsky whose perspectives are tinted by VC-rose-colored glasses.
Twitter just needs a couple of changes: more verified users will give tweets authenticity, user-reputation-ranking will confront bullying and spam and user filtering that give users the same ability that geeks have to pan for the nuggets of gold in the rushing river rapids of Twitter without having to learn complicated tools.
Now I’m going to tweet this.
Find everything by Steven Max Patterson on Twitter @stevep2007