That's So Meta

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 3 min read

Facebook pulled a Google today and created a company to oversee all of their products, and that company is called Meta. I haven't read The Discourse on what people think about this, so I'll be curious to see how my opinions compare to others. Here's a few takeaways from reading Mark Zuckerberg's Founder's Letter, 2021.

We are at the beginning of the next chapter for the internet, and it’s the next chapter for our company too.

Love them or hate them, Zuckerberg continues to show how his company has remained relevant for close to two decades. This is bold, visionary thinking, and while I don't know if it will work out how they plan, it's certainly not a company content with where they are.

The name is fine and the logo is fine. I would wager most people who think it sucks would have thought literally anything they did sucks. The real question is whether the new name sticks…who talks about Alphabet, after all? I suspect we'll be talking about "Facebook" for a long time.

When I started Facebook, we mostly typed text on websites. When we got phones with cameras, the internet became more visual and mobile. As connections got faster, video became a richer way to share experiences. We’ve gone from desktop to web to mobile; from text to photos to video. But this isn’t the end of the line.

I'm getting to the age where I start to view all new advances with skepticism by default, but obviously we are nowhere near the end of the line when it comes to technological advancement, and it's foolish to think the world will behave the same 50 years from now as it does today. I attempt to keep an open mind with this stuff, even as my brain start fighting harder to dismiss it all.

Think about how many physical things you have today that could just be holograms in the future. Your TV, your perfect work setup with multiple monitors, your board games and more — instead of physical things assembled in factories, they’ll be holograms designed by creators around the world.

Again, my eyes start to roll back when I read this, but it may not be as crazy as I think. I work with a team of people thousands of miles apart, I am friends with people I've never met in real life, and I pay for all sorts of things that have no physical value, but make my compuing/gaming experience better, and I don't blink an eye. Tell someone 30 years ago this is all normal and they'd tell you you're crazy.

Maybe this is all crazy already, but that's a rabbit hole we don't have time for now 😂

This period has also been humbling because as big of a company as we are, we’ve also learned what it’s like to build on other platforms. Living under their rules has profoundly shaped my views on the tech industry. I’ve come to believe that the lack of choice for consumers and high fees for developers are stifling innovation and holding back the internet economy.

There's the first shot at Apple (and to a lesser extent, Google)! I mean fair enough, though. Facebook's business is massively controlled by Apple and Google, and it's clearly bothered Facebook for a long time.

We’ll continue supporting side-loading and streaming from PCs so people have choice, rather than forcing them to use the Quest Store to find apps or reach customers.

Doubling down on consumer choice. Again, I don't blame them one bit.

I’m dedicating our energy to this — more than any other company in the world. If this is the future you want to see, I hope you’ll join us. The future is going to be beyond anything we can imagine.

I do have a Facebook account, but I don't use it. Frankly, I'm not a huge fan of the company in general, but that doesn't mean I'm fundamentally against everything they do. Zuckerberg is taking a big shot here, and it will be fascinating to see how this plays out.