The blogosphere is abuzz about Zuckerberg's 'Open Compute Project
' - his latest innovation of opening his data center's hardware to the industry at large. The intent being to create data mines that are cheaper, more efficient and more environmentally sound. In so doing, the megalithic social network will bring down costs - and in essence - create a new golden standard, using an old business model.
Yes, all that's true in the short term. By bringing in more advertising dollars, FB is going to eek out more profit. That's a given.
Where I don't hear a lot of talk - is the larger and longer-range goal - the positioning of Facebook to become the dominant Internet player for the next decade - using an existing business model already in place. The existing software model that allows third party engineers and developers to build onto the Facebook platform is now be using in an open format to build out Facebook's hardware - i.e. their data centers.
The 'Open Compute Project' is a genius plan to step up the pace of the Web's next iteration - Web 3.0, or what many are calling the Semantic Web
. Allowing outside developers to help in the process will jettison Facebook to that goal quicker than if it was to have tackled this monumental task with its existing workforce.
Google, one of FB's competitors in this regard is choosing to do the same type of work in-house. But of course, they have over 20,000 staffers to lean on. Facebook, on the other hand has a fraction of that number. As Bianca Bosker from the Huffington Post
noted in her recent post, "by opening up its data center designs, Facebook is now able to solicit the suggestions from thousands of experts worldwide and potentially tweak its technology quicker with fewer people."
"The Open Compute Project really is a big deal because it constitutes a general shift in terms of how we look at technology as a competitive advantage," Stephen O'Grady principal analyst at Redmonk
said. "For Facebook, the evidence is piling up what they don't consider technology to be a competitive advantage. They view their competitive advantage in the marketplace to be their users."
Ironically, "users" as a competitive edge are folks that Zuckerberg labeled early on in his career as "dumb f*cks," based on their blind faith belief that his social network had something special to offer them. In the graphic "Facebucks & Dumb F*cks
," after Z-Man (aka Mark Zuckerberg) is chastised by his girlfriend for being an "asshole," Z-Man uses his new moniker to demonstrate to his "dumb f*ck" followers that he is one of them.Page from Facebucks & Dumb F*cks graphic novel
And the irony doesn't stop there. It is important to note that in order for the Internet to become a Semantic Wisdom of Machines
Web, it needs as many people as possible at the upshot to do the heavy lifting. In other words, it is necessary to the leverage Web 2.0's "wisdom of crowds" to be able to build Web 3.0's "wisdom of machines." Facebook's 600+ million users is the army of worker bees that can make that happen.
With that powerful workforce in play and now the Open Compute Project underway, Zuckerberg can begin to control the Internet of Things
, which is the actual underpinnings of the Semantic Web. Facebook's advantage over Google is their focus on "peoplelinks" versus Google's sole reliance on "hyperlinks."
The Open Compute Project is Zuckerberg's means to that end. In "Facebucks & Dumb F*cks
," all Z-Man needs to do once he by-passes Gobble (aka Google) is to focus on melding the Chinese netizens
(the world's largest population group) into his existing fold, where he will be golden - in building the largest data mine on the planet. It's a mother
of job - but then again, the motherboard of motherboards can't be built overnight!Page from Facebucks & Dumb F*cks graphic novel