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?
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.
Or, what topics would you like to read about as we all grow with Crypto and Blockchain? Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.