Like Bill Gates back in the turn of the century, the world’s biggest man of the hour, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is having his day on the grill. And like Gates back then, how he spends his time under the microscopes of monopoly busters, privacy advocates, and even conspiracy theorists will be a test of his character and the resilience of his vast enterprise.
Nonetheless, there was a notable post-Windows period that followed Gates’s own time under the spotlight. Back then, Microsoft was seen to be the lumbering dinosaur around which circled the then little mammals that would soon come to dominate the landscape and establish humanity’s 21st Century platforms for tech evolution — social media startups, a data collection and analytics engine called Google, and the re-invented and re-branded Apple Computer.
Facebook has become that dinosaur today. Under pressure from the planet’s regulators and “activists”, it is becoming laden by compliance responsibilities and third-party “fact checkers”. It is on that same one-way street to uncool oblivion that Big Tobacco stepped into.
Will it survive? More importantly, will humanity survive a post-Facebook world? Microsoft did. And we still use Windows. That’s the learning pathway Zuck needs to tread to weather this storm. And this is the opportunity the rest of humanity needs to seize. There are alternatives, albeit small ones for now, circling the current dinosaur that is Facebook. Perhaps it is time to give them some notice and reboot on a new platform — at least until the dinosaur of the hour evolves.