It was an interesting week for people who follow the tech world. Facebook changed its name to Meta. What they did was similar to what Google did by creating Alphabet holding company. Mark Zuckerberg said that the main reason for the name change is that they want to show how serious they are for their metaverse investments. I think the reason is more than that. There are a few reasons for the name change:
- Facebook name is associated with many negative things and they need a new narrative to get rid of all the negativity around Facebook.
- Mark Zuckerberg is probably tired of answering the questions of the U.S Senate. He will probably become the CEO of Meta and assign someone as CEO of Facebook so he can also get rid of association of the negativity of Facebook with his name.
- There are many ongoing investigations around Facebook for owning Instagram and WhatsApp and how their data is shared between them. Now, with Meta they can easily say that Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are separate companies, Facebook doesn’t own them. So, they can also easily get rid of those issues.
- Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are dependent on Apple and Google. If they decide to remove those apps from their App Store, Facebook would lose most of their revenues instantly. If you look at the big 5 tech companies, you can see that they all have their owb platform except Facebook. By changing its name and focusing on Metaverse, Facebook is trying to have its platform.
There are probably more reasons for having a new name but these are the ones that came to my mind first.
I do not believe that Facebook is going to be a pioneer in Metaverse area. It doesn’t matter how many people are going to work on it (they are going to hire 10.000 people in Europe) or how much money they are going to spend (they are going to spend $10 billion this year and it is going to be increased more next year), Facebook is a company that is not able to create something new from the ground. They created News Feed after the acquisition of FriendFeed. Instagram and WhatsApp, the apps that are pushing Facebook’s growth and are still popular among young people were also acquisitions. Instagram is still popular because they copied Snapchat’s Stories feature. The hardware that showed many times during the event, Oculus, was a result of an acquisition as well.
In a nutshell, by changing their name, Facebook is just trying to stay alive for the next 5-10 years, not aiming for innovating something new. I don’t surprise if they buy Roblox to have millions of children and young people instantly for their metaverse platform because that’s the only way that they know to enter a new market.
I watched a video from David Graeber. In the video, he describes 5 types of bullshit jobs. While he is explaining them, I couldn’t stop myself to think about people who I met and have one of those bullshit jobs. Probably, the funniest thing about those bullshit jobs is that people who have one of them are earning more than the average salary and the people who don’t have a bullshit job and have a critical role in society are earning less than them.
I was always wondering if there is an easy to decide which feature, we should implement next at the company. Seems like there is an easy way to decide that. It is called RICE score. It is a score that is calculated based on reach, impact, confidence, and effort. You multiply reach, impact, and confidence and divide into effort and you get the RICE score of that feature. The highest score has the priority for your next sprint.
Let’s say, you have a feature that you think is going to reach X percent of your users, have a massive impact on your KPIs and you are 100% confident on the reach and impact but the effort for implementing that feature is huge. On the other hand, you have another feature that has less reach but high impact and the effort of the implementation of that feature is not that big. So in this case, it makes sense to implement the latter one based on their RICE score.