The Facebook/MySpace debacle is an interesting lesson in the difference between Top down and Bottom up business philosophies.
In the early days of social media MySpace was the leader. At some point, Ruppert Murdoch took over MySpace. Being a big business type he ran it like a big business, basically telling people what they could and could not do on the site and controlling it all.
The typical old school type of thinking of “we’ll decide what you can do here” backfired on the Internet. People clearly wanted more options.
Bottom up business
A new era was emerging, one in which we would see the concept of Bottom up marketing take hold.
Enter Mark Zuckenburg and Facebook. His approach, being a techie and not a hardened business owner, was to open Facebook’s source code to other developers, letting them essentially develop whatever they felt people wanted to engage with on the site.
Remember being able to throw sheep on Facebook? Ah, the good old days.
Zuckenburg’s thinking was to “let the users decide what they wanted.” He established an atmosphere of open competition, letting users determine which apps succeeded and which ones did not. Clearly the sheep toss did not make the cut.
Old school business is steeped in greed and most companies want to be able to exert complete control over the user experience.
New age businesses, if you’ll pardon the cliche’, are more open minded and employ “bottom up” strategies to grow.
The result is crystal clear.
We are living in a time when people want to choose, not have their choices made for them.
Why should we care?
Aside from it being a nice story, how can you and I use this idea in our business?
Often it’s simply a matter of asking your customers what they’d like.
Answer the following to start generating ideas:
- How could you make your product or service more attractive to your customers?
- What complimentary product or service might your customers enjoy?
- What else can we do for you? (my favorite question)
Please leave your thoughts and comments and please share this with your business associates. Thank you.