‘Face’ plant: Facebook is vulnerable and opening doors for Tron (and others)

I’ve always marveled at the Pan American Airlines story – how it went from a sure-fire, can’t-miss, top-of-the-world, safest-ever, long-term investment to bankrupt and dead within two decades.

It was a stunning collapse because what could have seemed more investment safe at the time than a strong worldwide airline?tron-facebook-justin-sun-mark-zuckerberg

That said, Pan Am’s downfall was brought on by several factors – many of which were outside of the airline’s control. But, that’s the rub, isn’t it? The best strategic plans try like hell to keep a business flexible, but if integral pieces fall apart — for Pan Am it was fuel shortages, failed acquisitions, and the Gulf War — it doesn’t matter.

What I’ve always kept in mind from that is vulnerability can come from anywhere and at any time for any company.

So … about Facebook.

A company that seemed to have the world at its feet and a CEO with rumored presidential aspirations as recently as 16 months ago has been staggered with data controversy, security concerns, prioritizing ad revenues above content value, and waning user engagement.

And that was the good news …

That all was before Wednesday when the actual -$123 billion shitburger was served to investors by maligned Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who also had to warn his audience that the worst may not be over as the company may struggle* with earnings going forward* The loss set a dubious mark by losing the most market cap ever in a single day by a U.S.-traded company.

*Let’s use “struggle” in a sentence. A company may struggle when it can no longer sell data to shitty people for shitty reasons and play dumb about it while cashing checks.

It puts the behemoth in suddenly vulnerable territory, but it shouldn’t be surprising. Why? Pull the hood back for a second and look at the engine.

Facebook’s growth plan, for a long time, has employed a strategy of “build, and if you can’t build it better, buy out the competition” – everything from photos and chat to file transfers, mobile chat, and face recognition. In fact, a lot of Facebook’s best features came from that approach. However, the platform doesn’t have it all, especially when it comes to streaming content. It tried and couldn’t land NFL games, though it found other sports live streaming avenues. And, maybe more topical or relevant to the next point I’m about to make, it recognized about six years ago how awesome BitTorrent was as a tool for sending updates to its servers worldwide.

Wouldn’t that have been handy to have in house? The fact that the company doesn’t own the system it uses for something as important as having an ability to update all servers ASAP? Especially, say, in a security crisis? That’s airline-can’t-afford-fuel vulnerable.

You know who does own BitTorrent? And is growing in its ability to offer super-fast transactions, development, and content?

Of course, you do.

At the risk of making it sound like Justin Sun (slash Tron) just happened to be lucky and fell into securing BitTorrent, Facebook (and whoever else wanted BitTorrent) didn’t lock down a vulnerability.*

*Misstep? Overlooked? Just couldn’t get it? Wish I knew. (Feel free to confidentially email me if you do.)

Bottom line is Facebook, which appeared to be locked in for the foreseeable future as a giant, the giant, in social, online, and digital services, has a leak.

And, just a year old, Tron, with its Virtual Machine becoming fully available in a few days, its growing list of acquired capabilities, and its expanding partnerships, could very well have the kind of glue Zuckerberg needs to patch things back together.

*****

Have a tip? 

Or, what topics would you like to read about as we all grow with Crypto and Blockchain? Shoot an email to kitchenski@gmail.com with “Blog idea” in your subject line, or find me on Twitter at twitter.com/curtiskitchen. And, FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a Tron (TRX) investor. I am not a financial advisor. This content should not be used as a base for or considered to be financial advice.

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Jordan Willis gets drafted by the Bengals … dang it

Thoughts from the past week or so outside of remembering what god-awful Kansas City Royals baseball feels like …

– Jordan Willis was selected in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft on Friday, and the Kansas State Wildcats extended their streak to 24 straight years of having a player selected.

– That’s the good news.

– Third in K-State history with 26 sacks, Willis was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals.

– That part … well …

– You hope for the best, but there are some teams out there that just make you cringe when you hear them draft guys you like.

– In any case, here’s to the Kansas City, Missouri, native surviving Cincy and having a productive pro career.

– This year’s K-State spring game had a different feel to it, and I don’t know if it’s good or bad.

– Pregame hype, game day news, and postgame discussion all seemed to be left wanting for more.

– It’s a chicken/egg thing, I suppose. Did most media not cover it the same because outlets felt like fans don’t prioritize it like they did in the past (attendance)? Or, did most media limit their coverage because they internally don’t feel it is worth the effort, and the lack of coverage led to limited talking points and discussion for fans?

– Regardless, did anyone notice the same thing? If you did, do you care?

– Personally, though I felt it was lacking some, I’ve never felt the spring game mattered much unless you were Nebraska or Oklahoma, so it doesn’t bother me one way or the other.

– Jesse Ertz is going to be the K-State starting quarterback, and for good reason.

– Neither Skylar Thompson nor Alex Delton showed enough for me to think it would benefit K-State to have them in the first-string conversation at this point.

– And, that’s okay.

– I’m pretty okay with the Kansas City Chiefs taking Pat Mahomes in the manner they did.

– It’s hard to get mad at a team’s decision to use extra picks to move up and get the guy it really wants. As for analysis …

– I’ll go the Bill Snyder route and have you check back in with me in three years or so. I mean, it’s such a crapshoot how someone will respond to being asked to be the future face of a franchise. Who knows?

– So … the Royals — ah, I held out on this as long as I could in this column.

– Lineups with Mike Moustakas leading off. Young guys getting goat-ed and sent down because the supposed stars aren’t producing (Raul Mondesi). No sense of roles in the bullpen. Pointing at things like playing at home versus on the road as if that is the real issue (Eric Hosmer).

– It’s all seems so anti-Royals, at least based from the past three seasons.

– It reeks of panic.

– It makes me wonder if Royals management badly misjudged who was responsible for the winning attitude and culture in the clubhouse.

– Let’s end on a winning note.

– Kansas State Women’s Basketball Coach Jeff Mittie was named 2017 Coach of the Year by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association.

– Kansas State concluded the 2016-17 season with 23 wins, the most since the 2008-09 season, and Mittie became the first KSU WBB coach to make the NCAA Tournament in two of their first three seasons.