The diffusion of social through society is going to touch all of our lives in many ways over the next five years and the software that enables it is one of our investment themes. Our portfolio company Conversocial fits into this theme. Its software helps enterprises take advantage of Facebook and Twitter to better care for their customers.
Marc Benioff is also a big believer in this theme. It explains the huge emphasis that Salesforce put on their Chatter product and their recent acquisition of social media monitoring service Radian6, and he was on stage at the Web2.0 summit in San Francisco waxing lyrical on the significance of Facebook (from Techcrunch):
“I really think that Facebook is becoming a vision of what the consumer operating system is”, he said. “Everything I want, I’m beginning to see on Facebook”
“I’d like to be doing as many amazing things as Facebook is”, Benioff said, continuing on to say that Facebook is essentially driving the direction in which the entire industry is going, especially that of enterprise, which Benioff has been selling for some time now…. Benioff is quick to say that the social revolution is coming to enterprise software, that it is inevitable, and that those who don’t get on board are going to fall by the wayside. It is of utmost importance for enterprises (and let’s be honest, every company out there) to listen to their customers. And, as Benioff perceptively surmised, their customers — across the board — are on social networks, which is exactly where they should be interacting with them.
Facebook is going from strength to strength to the extent that it is hard to see where it stops. I am starting to think it will evolve into a powerful global monopoly that it will end up being regulated as a utility. That vision of the future implies a level of global policy co-ordination far in excess of anything we have seen to date, but then I think a globalisation of regulation, and eventually government, is inevitable if the world continues on its current path.