App.net is Dreaming Small
If you haven't heard, there is this new social network called App.net. I don't like it. Here's why.
The name is terrible. "App" feels so technical. "App.net" is even worse. Now I'm thinking of Microsoft or that they couldn't get the domain they really wanted. I think naming it something that only appeals to such a small crowd is very short-sighted. Right off the bat, I have little faith in them just by the name.
Granted Cheddar isn't the best name for my product. It's not technical, but who doesn't like cheese.
Limited. The entire point of a social network is to share with all of my friends. Most of those friends won't pay for a new social network. Again, their small vision shows through. Look at the App Store. Lots and lots of people haven't bought an app or nonetheless an app over $0.99.
A Steve Jobs quote comes to mind: (paraphrasing)
People says social networks. As I see it, there is only one social network. Facebook.
He's right. Facebook is where the majority of the world connects. If you're going to take the time to build a social network, Facebook's market should be what you're going after. Building Twitter for the tech elite seems super small.
I wish they were dreaming big.
I'm all about charging for things. After all, the best way to start a business is to charge for something. I don't know of any social networks that have succeeded that are paid. The entire play for social networks is tons and tons of users. They tout that they are for users. Well, if I pay for it, getting the rest of my friends to pay will be near impossible. Now I'm paying for something I have no use for. Sounds like they win and everyone else loses.
I could go on and on about other stuff, but all of it comes down to App.net is dreaming small. I wish they were dreaming big. All of that said, I really do hope they succeed and prove me wrong.