The Social Network – inspiration for business leaders everywhere in Facebook The Movie

I’ve decided to tear up all my business books and best practice guides and replace them with the screen play for The Social Network – aka Facebook The Movie. It’s a great film – it twists and turns with surprising  pace for a film that should be really boring. It reminded me of All The Presidents Men – it should have been dead dull – but it was completely absorbing. Go see it.

Importantly it has left with me some great new business strategies which I am now desperate to put in place.

1. I am now recruiting for a new CEO. He (and it must be a he) should lack the ability to see the argument from the other side. Must be wholly self absorbed, lacking in communication skills, pay no attention to morals, looses friends easily, will ignore IP rights and is able to code for 36 hours non stop. They must also be 17 years of age.

2. When recruiting new team members I will only recruit interns and interview them while they take shots of Jack Daniels in a drinking game as they hack into secure web sites or algorithms or something equally dead hard.

3. Our marketing strategy will focus on attracting groupies who see software as something akin to Rock and Roll (hmm… that sounds unlikely). 2 out of 3 will have to do.

I’ve blogged about how the Web 2.0 bubble is bound to burst now that the Facebook film is out. Seeing the film now makes me think that that is more likely than ever. I loved the film – and I suspect many more people will. So I predict that we will see an explosion of Mark Z wannabees (I can’t be bothered to type out Zuckerberg). Most/all of the current budding software entrepreneurs will know a lot about the Facebook story and know that it’s the exception, it’s a Black Swan (hate that phrase BTW) – but there will be a pile more folk who get the software bug and entrepreneur ambition from the film. Thats a good thing – we need more talent in the software development world – but undoubtedly a huge pile of folk are about to find out that it’s not quite as easy as simply falling out with your girl friend in order to become an “overnight” accidental billionaire.  

The film is terrific, acting, dialogue, pace, the lot. They even manage to avoid all those stupid computer screen cliche shots that seem to appear in Bond movies as the villain cracks the password. They even managed to convince me that those Rowing Twins were Twins – but Mrs O assures me this morning that it was just the one actor. Technology eh? Who’d have believed it.

The reason that I am 100% confident that lots of folks are rushing off to become the next MZ is that I have been continuosly wandering off into fantasy land myself  since seeing the film yesterday. I’m always looking for the next big thing that we should be doing in the web development business – and now every idea I come up with has Justin Timberlake resembling a devil resting on my shoulder telling me to get to the Valley. That’s the Silicon one as oppossed to the Forth Valley one. 

Go see the film. And when you come up with your big idea (and you will, I promise you) give us a call and we can go get some interns and head to the West Coast (that’s Palo Alto not Largs).


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