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October 16, 2006

Friendster Exposed

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 10/16/2006 04:36:00 AM

NY Times article on Why did Friendster fail (via). The moral of this story is: The product has to work. It's not a working product when the pages take 40 seconds to load.

If Friendster, had sold to Google (Nasdaq GOOG) for $30 million in stock, the stock would have been worth more than $1 billion today. It may not be all bad news. Friendster recently won a patent on social networking.
The patent:
The patent refers to a “system, method, and apparatus for connecting users in an online computer system based on their relationships within social networks.
Recipe for Failure

As Friendster became more popular, its overwhelmed Web site became slower. Things would become so bad that a Friendster Web page took as long as 40 seconds to download. Yet, from where Mr. Lindstrom sat, technical difficulties proved too pedestrian for a board of this pedigree.

In retrospect, Mr. Lindstrom said, the company needed to devote all of its resources to fixing its technological problems. But such are the appetites of companies fixated on growing into multibillion-dollar behemoths. They seek to run even before they can walk.

“We completely failed to execute,” Mr. Doerr said. “Everything boiled down to our inability to improve performance.”

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