Takeaways from Community Next

This weekend was the third iteration of Community Next and it was focused on developing for platforms (in other words: how to make money off of Facebook). I’ve been tossing around some ideas myself and only needed to listen to one or two panels to determine following:

  • The “bubble” has decentralized. Instead of one big commotion over something called “the internet” we’ve created dozens, if not hundreds, of mini-bubbles that all involved parties convince each other is the most important thing right now.
  • Mini-bubbles can make mega-money. Each new concept (Facebook platform, website widgets) only grows the pool even furthur which means more talent, more money, more excitement, repeat.
  • Most people don’t “get” Facebook. Social networks are the first websites that both nerds and normals can use together and overlap. Nerds build the applications, though. In other words, millions of college kids (normals) put “who reads?” as their favorite book whilst nerds create applications to list your favorite book, current reads, and your personal review of them all.
  • There is no formula to success. Just because your application or idea is viral doesn’t mean it’ll attract millions of users. Just because it’s rich in features doesn’t mean people will use it any more frequent. You can’t look at success with such a checklist approach.
  • Switching costs are lower. Thanks to thousands of app developers if I think your Office Quotes application sucks it only takes three clicks to get a replacement. We’re picky, we’ve made the big decisions (Facebook v MySpace) but the rest are so easy. Do it right.
  • Noah sure knows how to make money. It’s wise to build a conference and a reputation of bringing smart people together. Being able to repeat it every 3 months with a new idea (thus, group) is perfect.

I don’t know if anyone agrees or disagrees with me so I’d love to hear your thoughts. In fact, I’d love to hear what Noah Kagan, Dave Feinleib, Dave McClure, Andrew Chen, Rodney Rumford and anyone else at CommunityNext think/thought.