Being Jewish myself, I can understand what Mark is going through. He must be getting a lot of pressure from mom. I’m sure conversations like this are pretty common in the Zuckerberg household:
Mark’s Mom: Son, I’m so proud of you. You’ve been playing with something that is now one of the largest Countries in the world. But Bubbele, please, when are you going to stop playing computer games and work in a real company! Do something a bit more secure than this toy of yours.
Mark: But Moooom…
Mom: Son. I know. It’s all wonderful honey, but if you can’t be a Doctor, maybe you can work on something a little more serious, like Jeff is. He’s in BOOKS.
Mark: But Moooom…
Some facts to ponder.
Facebook can make Billions. Go public. Sell lots of ads. Hey, they’ve even made millions selling virtual icons for $1. But a social network, even a powerful one, is vulnerable to the next cool thing. It feels like they’re on more solid ground than some of their predecessors were, but still. You can understand Mom’s concerns…
Amazon on the other hand, has built many solid businesses. Including cloud computing, which they are saying will be larger than all their other businesses combined!
It’s a no-brainer that only a handful of companies have the experience and know-how to build a cloud computing company. Facebook Engineering certainly has the chops. A cloud division could be a long-term play to outlast their impressive social division.
Amazon would be a very tough competitor though. They have executed like pros. One impressive release after another.
Which brings us back to Mom and her wishes for Mark & Facebook. Combining social media with crowdsourcing can actually be a solid business.
MechanicalFaceturk is something that Mark would be in a position to do better than Jeff does.
I haven’t played with MT yet, but from all I’ve read, it feels like Amazon’s problem is that buyer and seller are pretty much anonymous strangers to each other. Before and after the work…
Facebook has the best social graph in the world. The famous 6-degrees of separation concept means that you can hire a huge workforce and use your social graph as a factor in deciding how much you pay. How far from your social graph before you accept a worker…and vice versa.
Facebook can let you set minimum rates for yourself. I think the workforce would make more money…and while it may cost the buyer more, many would happily pay more for better quality.
This also would let Facebook become a more serious part of your life. If they help you make money, you’re less likely to leave to the next cool site…
Your facebook profile would get deeper and better. What languages do you know? What fields are you proficient in? It’s one thing if you fill this out for your friends to see and a whole other ballgame if you can make money doing this.
Given a few minutes, I already have lots of thoughts on how this could become a serious marketplace. Set a room full of engineers into brainstorm mode and I’m sure this could become big. Really big.
And most importantly, Mark’s Mom would be happy to see him finally work at a real job!