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Change is good for the soul: Facebook timeline

September 25, 2011


So by now we’ve all heard the oohs and aahs and no doubt read countless social media gurus proclaiming good and bad about the Facebook timeline. What I get reminded of every time Facebook makes a change, is just how resistant to it people are. When it first came along, Facebook created a need for something that had never existed before. I’ve been advocating a certain quote for about 6 months now which I recently re-read in Ash Maurya’s Running Lean book (a great read btw for budding web entrepreneurs) :

“If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said: ‘faster horses’.” ~Henry Ford

And it’s that simple premise that seems to hold so many people back when they see things in their life change – whether it’s their Facebook profile, or something much more profound. At the end of the day, one of the greatest things about our era is that big companies compete on a level playing field with the everyday human being – and both ends of the spectrum are trying  to create things that we never knew we needed or wanted – until we had them, of course. Can you remember a time when you absolutely, positively convinced yourself that you were fine on your own, and didn’t need a boyfriend / girlfriend / children / mortgage / job tying you down? How’s that working out for  you huh?

It’s a far cry from the mid 20th century, when inventors were insane madmen who looked like the guy from Back to the Future movies; Nowadays, we look to a 20 something year old pimply kid named Zuckerberg to help us find ways to connect to the people in our lives in a meaningful way. Will he try and turn all of that into a way to make more money for himself? Of course he will. But if we get the value we’re looking for, then I’m happy to help him do just that. 750 million users of his product can’t be that wrong.

The timeline changes simply give us a way to remember the important things in our lives – which started long before Facebook was around. It’s a new way of presenting the information that has meaning to us, and is a clear sign that Facebook will continue to delve into the personal space of social media, where we share and conduct our private lives.

It’s only a matter of time before we see changes in the way people connect with their professional and everyday community lives online as well. Watch this space.

The official Facebook Timeline video is below – check it out and make up your own mind!





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