MySpace: Hindsight Can Be Blurry

March 9, 2015

I remember MySpace. I never used the service, but I sat through a pitch that explained how MySpace was the next big thing. For a time, it was. Now MySpace is the focus on one of those post mortems that some MBAs and failed middle school teachers enjoy so much.

Navigate to “MySpace – What Went Wrong: ‘The Site Was a Massive Spaghetti-Ball Mess”. The write up explains in the form of an recycling of a former executive’s recollections MySpace.

Several points struck me as interesting:

  • MySpace was “didn’t exist as a company.”
  • MySpace was an influencer marketing outfit.
  • News Corp. is “a monster organization.”
  • News Corp. corporate policies influenced MySpace.
  • MySpace had bloat.
  • MySpace lost money in “almost every market.”
  • MySpace was a technical “spaghetti-ball mess.”
  • MySpace lost the social war.

My ageing mind reeled at these statements. Most of the Internet centric companies are spaghetti ball messes. The reason is that the systems are not engineered to become hits quickly. As start ups add staff, corporate policies influence decisions. The fact that an executive of MySpace was on watch as these factoids surfaces tells me quite a bit about the decision making at MySpace.

Shifting gears: Isn’t MySpace following in the footsteps of Geocities? Won’t other hot Internet outfits trudge along this Santa Fe Trail? Did MySpace search work?

Fascinating mea culpa but without any medieval granny casting an evil eye on the affair. No public humiliation; just a lesson likely to be ignored. The annoying implication is that MySpace is a tech outfit similar to Apple and Google. And, to the former MySpace exec, not skilled at social. That’s exclusive company into which the former MySpace executive has inserted MySpace. Amazing or indicative of the management thinking at MySpace?

Stephen E Arnold, March 9, 2015


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