One of the biggest problems any technology company faces is that, it’s not enough to innovate one particular feature. Sure, you may come up with the best widget in the world but if once everybody starts factoring in the same principles and same features as your widget into their existing products, you basically find yourself without a product. Your whole reason for existing as a company has essentially evaporated overnight. This is precisely the danger that current technology darling Snapchat faces. Snapchat is a mobile app that lets you take pictures and share them with friends but this picture have a very short lifespan. They are not going to be posted on Facebook, they are not going to be posted on some sort of digital depository somewhere that will last forever. Kind of like Herpes, instead, Snapchat helps you protect a very special moment with friends that based on the understanding that it’s just for your own private consumption and that it’s going to go away.
While many people would think that they would like to have family birthday pictures, graduation pictures and other pictures of special events posted somewhere, many other people are more protective of their privacy. In fact, one of the greatest things about a shared memory is that, it is a memory. In other words, it gives you a reason to hang out with friends and talk and relive those memories. Having everything filmed, digitized, and reduced to Facebook content kind of cheapens the memory and that’s precisely the value Snapchat brings to the table.
As awesome as this concept may be, it is a fairly easy to replicate feature. What’s preventing Facebook from coming up with a similar feature? What’s preventing other social media companies from coming up with this feature? Moreover, Snapchat is also placed in the very difficult position of having to invent and build a business around that one feature when that feature can just be plugged in to an existing business ready like Facebook. Facebook is actually a complicated platform with many differen moving parts. Snapchat is very easy to identify. It’s just one feature with one fixed set of concerns and problems that it solves. So, is it worth turning down billions of dollars to continue? Is it worth funding? Is it worth investing? All that remains to be seen. Regardless, the head honchos at snapchat showed that they have big balls for turning down billions of dollars from Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. It remains to be seen if they did the right thing.
A lot of this, of course, is riding on the health of the stock market come next year. As we have already reported, there are troubling signs and increasing anxiety whether the market can continue the way its continuing. Just like in a physical world, whatever goes up must come down. And the market has been breaking so many records that it’s anyone’s guess when the correction will come. Regardless, it’s not a question of if but when.