Will Facebook Survive Beyond 2025? I Wouldn’t Bet The Farm On It.

chaosHad a great lunch meeting yesterday with one of my favorite young entrepreneurs (no names please), that ended with a brief debate: What’s the projected lifespan of Facebook, five years or 50?

I love these kinds of discussions. They are right up there with “What is Robert De Niro’s best movie” or “Will Peyton Manning be starting for the Denver Broncos next season”? There is no right answer, at least not right away. So until the truth is revealed, everyone is potentially right or wrong… and passionate about their point of view.

My learned entrepreneur friend is absolutely confident that Facebook – along with Amazon and Apple and maybe Google – has the necessary social platform infrastructure to survive the next half decade. They are enormous and well-funded and forcibly diversified (as the result of numerous acquisitions of companies they perceived to be a threat or opportunity). And all this is true.

But when it comes to social media, Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg, I am more inclined to lean on Dr. Ian Malcolm’s interpretation of Chaos Theory: The island will quickly proceed to behave in “unpredictable fashion” and that it is “an accident waiting to happen”.

If we’ve learned nothing else from the Internet-stoked information age, it’s that change is rapid and unpredictable. According to Wikipedia, “one of the central themes of Future Shock is that history, itself, would accelerate to the point where all of the past would catch up with the present. Therefore, the question has been raised with increasing frequency as to whether a Fourth Wave is looming or already underway with the most recent dislocations that appear to be taking place in the world.”

So, given the possibilities of all the things that could go wrong, I am inclined to think Facebook will become a dinosaur by its 20th birthday.

My successful entrepreneur friend says Facebook is positioned for future growth. I say what Dr. Malcolm says: ” Oh, yeah. Oooh, ahhh, that’s how it always starts. Then later there’s running and um, screaming.”

Time will tell.

Jim Sweeney

Jim is a veteran of the agency industry and the founder of Sweeney. He is uncommonly passionate about the idea of creating and implementing insanely great marketing campaigns that achieve insanely great results. He pioneered the full-service, full-circle agency model and continues to forge new ideas in an ever-changing industry. And he is accessible to everyone about anything, seemingly all the time, serving as a mentor to all agency personnel and clients.