In the business world of sharks and prey, Facebook has been self-inflicting wounds with multiple mistakes. But it can become a dominant shark with one product – The Facebook Tablet. Think about it. You walk into your local café and watch people in front of you, tablet in-hand with the big blue Facebook logo, getting coffee for free. How is this possible?
Facebook can create the first hybrid business model for tablets that combine manufacturing everyone has access to in Asia with the marketing power of social interaction and product endorsement:
• Businesses get free word-of-mouth marketing in seconds
• My Facebook friends get discounts for liking products and businesses I endorse
• Design the device as Facebook’s logo – make it work offline.
• Finance the device with advertisers who likes to connect with 1 billion Facebook users.
• Give away free tablets to heavy users – those how have more than 2000 friends and are online more than 10 hours a week (in relation with quality rankings etc). But if they are not social enough they have to pay a monthly fee for the device.
• Include payment solutions in the device; make 1 billion users use it as their mobile (free calls to Facebook friends), credit cards and member cards.
• Facebook can with this tablet launch books, movies, cars etc., in other words turning the world into a blue and white shopping mall for those who LIKE to shop!
And I would compare the offline eye-ball test for Facebook Tablets to Jaws coming for the Orca.
I have long said that today’s tablet makers are selling cars with no engine and progress is slow with lots of hype. In the world of Sharkonomics, the most attractive prey are companies that make over-hyped products that don’t swim as fast as others in the environment. Such as Microsoft who recently introduced their new Surface tablet, it looks good but only on the ‘surface’.
Apple’s Tuesday presser sure looked cool, but what is the difference between what they are selling now and what they were selling before? Not much. Facebook has made lots of logistical mistakes, but the company remains committed to product evolution, which makes then a dangerous shark in any product war.