If Apple created Facebook

I just finished reading the article “Evil/Genius” from this months WIRED magazine. It is an interesting review of how Apple does not follow the silicon valley way of working. Autonomy, collaboration and employee rights do not rule, Steve Jobs does. Apple is a world of security, job insecurity and a fear of disappointing Steve. It is this environment that powers the machine that creates some of the worlds most sought after products and industry innovations.

The article Evil/Genius reiterated what I had previously heard about Apple, discussing Steve’s style of micro-managing every aspect of every project, how software and hardware development are separated in an almost church and state like structure and how the only person who truly understands how it will all come together and go-to-market is Steve.

This got me thinking about some of today’s digital trends and how they would be impacted/changed if Steve Jobs oversaw their development and launch. Lets focus on Facebook.

1. Facebook and Applications – All apps would be put through a detailed review ensuring that the user experience of both the members adding the app as well as the experience of visitors to profiles is not negatively impacted. This would probably eliminate over 75% of the current apps available of Facebook. Some such as friend block and funwall that make it so that some profiles take 3 minutes to load would be eliminated.

2. Who can join? – You would have to have an Apple computer to access the group. This would set-up barriers to join, but it would also strengthen the ties within the social community and probably act as a catalyst to Mac adoption as friends and family become interested and want to join.

3. Advertisers – would be non existent except Apple. The revenue stream would probably come from a free to join (basic profile) but pay to add and access applications and functionality.

4. Steve Jobs would decline your friend invite.

5. Video – as all Mac’s come with a built in camera their would be video integrated. Groups could talk to one another – watch one another. When you are online your profile could be actual video of you, etc.

6. Innovation would happen once a year – Macworld would be where all of the new apps are introduced and unleashed upon the world of social networking giving us all one year to play with them, add them and then start to speculate on how Apple will improve our online lives next year.

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