Facebook is crushing it! They are openly trying to reinvent web ( read search ) starting from social. Here I'll a bit into anatomy of their success and why others have failed.
Analyzing anatomy of most successful startups, I came to conclusion that we have two groups. Vision pursuers and make-the-world-a-better-place companies. These two types are materialized though Facebook and Apple on one side and on other side, we have Google and Twitter.
We have Google and Twitter founded with honest motive to make world a better place - which is great. But on their path they meet with VCs and they have to adjust they naive vision in order to justify investment made by VCs. An outcome is that Google has become biggest ad platform in the world and also became nightmare startups ( both for acquired startups and once whose business model overlapped with Google). Twitter backed with hype and $150m of VC investment followed the same path and have announced ad platform. It is first first trade-off made and clearly dictated by VCs. Both companies are hypocritical.
While, on the other side Apple is completely controlled and closed not allowing developers to use technologies that violate Apple's TOS, changed on weekly basis. They face FTC charges on daily basis . Also, look at Facebook. Its existence have been related to controversy from beginning. From dorm room project, stock dilution controversy, IP and to privacy charges. But, they have been sharp as a razor in achieving vision. They have crushed everybody standing in their way.
Point here is , that both type of companies started from different standing points , but ended up on same position. For a while, companies like Google and Twitter had to deal with conscience issues but at the end abandoning them. On the other side, Apple and Facebook stayed focused. I'm not picking sided here, nor I agree with any point of view or make excuse for anybody. Just stating facts!
Do you see any other company on the web that makes such ambitious aggressive moves like Facebook does? They will get slow down due to privacy issues and charges against them. Settlement for charges they are facing could be in range of $100m, but that is nothing compared to stealth growth and valuation over $10b.Twitter at Chrimp conference showed nothing that can match Facebook. Google is stuck within their infrastructure and can't change fast enough to compete to what Facebook is doing. Facebook is doing every necessary step in order to maintain their lead position in space.
But, Facebook have not active active in mobile. Maybe, that's their weak spot. We are expecting announcements regarding mobile from Google on IO, but they have been attacked from the back. Let's wait for Google IO and make any other conclusions.