Monthly Archives: September, 2012

Is Facebook Obsolete?

When sitting down to think over our business’ “social media strategy” all too quickly do we gravitate to Facebook. While Zuckerberg certainly knows how to stay on our minds, no longer is it the most advantageous business tool in the social landscape. 

Regardless of your business type, whether you are service provider or direct retailer, you’re selling a product. While Facebook doesnt hurt your pitch, it’s certainley not the most beneficial, cost effective, or efficient.

  • If you want to build you brand’s presence or establish yourself as a thought leader, sure you could use Facebook but wouldn’t a blog provide a better online forum? Couldn’t you push out content faster and to a more engaged audience if you used Twitter?
  • If you wanted to network and interact in a group setting, again, you could use Facebook, but isn’t LinkedIn a much more valuable tool, providing specialized groups, and professional feedback?
  • Lastly, if you wanted to cold prospect, making contact with 1,000 of random leads a day, could you even use Facebook? No. On Twitter and LinkedIn you certainly can.

Which leaves us here, has Facebook become obsolete? Satisfied with being thinned out and mediocre in ever category, not the best tool for any one scenario. Or has Facebook done the right thing, and established itself as a utility player of sorts? You tell me.

The ideology of a college startup

In the rapidly evolving world of micro blogs, social media, and html5 the college startup has become increasingly common. While many economists advise against starting a business in a recession and financiers are reluctant to provide small business loans, a new breed of entrepreneur is emerging. With minimal expenses, little responsibility, and plenty of free time, intrepid college students are going into business for themselves. In theory, college provides the perfect climate for launching a new business, but what are the motivating factors that drive students to become more than just that?

 

When launching my first business at 19, it boiled down to three things.

 

Boredom- Sure I took classes on everything from fine arts to ethnic conflict, stayed involved in campus activities, and made time for friends, yet I somehow remained dissatisfied. For many young entrepreneurs like myself, launching a business is an opportunity to channel personal talents in ways that academics cannot.

 

Fear- I have always been somewhat of a news junkie but even students who remain completely uninterested find it impossible to remain uninformed. Between the classes, flyers, and dorm room chatter students are immersed in a world of knowledge. While for many this results in a spot on the dean’s list, for me it translated into fear. Sure I was intelligent enough, got good grades, and had a respectable internship, but constantly hearing about a turbulent job market scared me. Was I really going to be able to land a decent job upon my graduation? Starting my own business seemed like a win – win, either my business would succeed and I would be financially secure entering “the real world” or  the endeavor would fail and I would walk away with an improved resume. Regardless of the outcome I would be better off than I started.

 

Opportunity – College is an incubator for creativity. Of course there are countless hours spent studying, but free time is plentiful. This, coupled with bountiful campus resources; mentors, technology, and most importantly other students, creates an ideal environment for young entrepreneurs. While both are potentially available in countless other scenarios outside of college campuses, I found the collegiate environment to be one of a kind, a sort of all in one think tank, test market, and mentorship program that provided everything necessary for me to launch a successful business.

 

So what really motivates young entrepreneurs? Are they, like me, motivated by fear, boredom, and opportunity? Or is there another force driving them to succeed outside of the classroom?