Open Facebook? Not Exactly
I think Facebook is the most interesting company in Silicon Valley right now, more interesting than Google.
That's because they are still young and innovating on a single dimension and doing it better than anyone.
All you have to is watch how they roll out new features to see that they have impeccable taste in technology and execute it beautifully.
They watch what others do and then do it better, taking advantage of the very real social network that's at the heart of Facebook.
Sure MySpace and Beebo have social nets too. But based on my observation of my kids and increasingly my own habits, Facebook is the kind of service, like Google, that you build your web around.
Of course every single web service I know of would like to tap into that network. Build widgets that run on Facebook like the ones that run on MySpace and Beebo and elsewhere.
But Facebook hasn't been keen to that model. And according to today's WSJ, Facebook is going to open in a different way.
Instead of the wild west model that exists elsewhere in the social net world, companies that want to play in Facebook's sandbox will be offered the opportunity to build services in Facebook but in a way that works for Facebook.
That's not entirely an open model and may not be what third parties would ideally like. But its better than what exists today and it's big news. We'll be watching this development closely as will our portfolio companies.