Change the World

A little bit late getting to this, but Facebook’s continuing hoovering up of top design talent (including Nicholas Feltron, Nathon Borror and Sofa) has been worrying me for some months now. The shopping spree continued earlier this month with the acquisition of Push Pop Press, a promising start-up building an innovative digital publishing platform.

Matt Drance wondered whether, if without strong leadership, they can succeed:

It’s gobbling up a remarkable amount of talent – an All-Star Team, if you will. The problem with all-star rosters, of course, is that as a team they often suck. It’s an odd phenomenon, but if you put too much greatness in the same room, things don’t always turn out so… great. Each all-star may be too used to his or her way of doing things, and while all the team members might respect each other, they don’t necessarily flow together very well. They don’t communicate properly. They don’t share the ball. They just don’t work as a team.

Meanwhile, Tim van Damme who counts Push Pop Press’s co-founder, Mike Matas as his source of inspiration, was initially angered by the announcement:

It’s not just about the technology they’re discontinuing, the main reason I was so upset is this is yet another small company being vacuumed up by a gigantic company only to end up in the dust bag together with all Facebook’s other acquisitions… Like putting a bird in a cage when it’s actually meant to live in freedom.

After sleeping on it, he’s become hopeful that with Mike on board, Facebook can ‘change the world’.

This is a grossly overused phrase in Silicon Valley, but for a company with more than 750 million members – who it routinely holds in contempt whenever they daren’t play ball with it’s latest privacy or advertising related policies – I dread to think what such changes may be.

A walled garden just got better gardeners.