One of the toughest aspects of the Facebook platform is the potential rate of growth. While the virility of the Facebook platform provides a new opportunity for entrepreneurs, it also creates a very dangerous predicament. Instead of asking, ‘How do we grow?’ the question becomes ‘How do we scale?’.
To build on this conversation and add an additional perspective, J-Squared’s Sticky Note application has seen explosive growth and is now finding itself in the middle of ‘The Facebook Problem’. While we are pleased with our situation in some respects, there is no infrastructure in place for us to scale with our growth rate. As an early stage start-up, we lack the important resources needed to effectively grow the business evenly in terms of scaling and product development. If we spend time on one, the other fails. Both are crucial to success.
While we don’t believe it is Facebook’s responsibility to provide unlimited resources to their developer community, it does seem that some sort of developer assistance program would benefit both Facebook and its growing developer community. Why not reward the most successful applications by providing support of some kind? It’s in Facebook’s best interest to facilitate the growth of the most popular applications, because these popular apps begin to take on the Facebook brand.
We have personally experienced poor customer-support response times and adverse effects from poorly communicated F8 modifications, among other obstacles. At the same time, our users are beginning to associate our sometimes slow response times (due to server overload) with the Facebook brand in general. This is why it behooves Facebook to assist popular applications. It becomes a representation of the entire Facebook product.
We’re not asking for Facebook to provide us with a revenue model and an executive management staff, but some general support and streamlined communication would help.
What do you think? Should Facebook be providing support of some kind? If so, what type of support? Is ‘develop at your own risk’ the right model, or will developers soon leave the ephemeral green pasture of F8?