Scoble’s Mistake

In a post today on his blog, Robert Scoble ( basically makes sweet love to Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook.  We get a wonderful list of accomplishments from Zuck, how many jobs he’s created, how much wealth he’s generate (on paper) and how he’s even created a beautiful ecosystem of wealth in the form of companies like Zynga.  

We’re then treated to shots at Jason Calacanis and others for having the audacity to challenge the benevolent leader of the Facebook empire.  What have his detractors accomplished in their careers?  Nothing compared to The Zuckerberg.  We’re all but peons basking in the warm glow of Facebook, thanks to Mark Zuckerberg.

Poor guy, he didn’t ask for that, he’s just trying to build what he thinks is cool stuff – I admire that.  I’m sure he didn’t commission Scoble to build a shrine.  Then Scoble tells him to hand over the reins (presumably to Sheryl Sandberg, more on her in a minute) and go be a geek.

In Jason’s last email, he outlined a whole series of thing that Zuckerberg could do to try and regain some public trust in him and his company.  That approach would inevitably help him grow as as a CEO and eventually it would be better for the company.  He has the “founder’s passion” which nobody else can have.  That’s why we’re captivated by the Bill Gates’ and Steve Jobs’ of the world – they BELIEVE in what they are doing and have grown into the role.

I also think Zuckerberg has come under a fair bit of criticism that is unwarranted, but not for the reasons Scoble is suggesting.  Sandberg is the COO and right on the Facebook website it says that she is responsible for Communications, Marketing and Public Policy.  So this entire privacy policy debacle is under her purview!  Working directly for Sandberg is Elliot Schrage, VP of Communications, Marketing and Public Policy.  These people are the two “supervising adults” and it falls directly under their job descriptions to handle privacy and they’ve botched it.  Not only that, part of Sandberg’s role is to protect Zuckerberg and the kid has gone under the bus for this privacy mess.  She now walks out the other side with people talking about making her the CEO?!?  Madness, get a clue.

I find Scoble a fascinating character, but sometimes he becomes a parody of himself – instead of a character, he’s a caricature.  His undying admiration for what Zuckerberg has achieved already at such a young age becomes ridiculous.  I also think his shot at Calacanis and Mahalo was pretty lame – Scoble is a guy who is a “Social Media Star” but for some reason needs to hide under the wing of big companies like Rackspace and Microsoft.  It is entirely disingenuous to commend Mark Zuckerberg for his creations, then mock Jason for his while you yourself create nothing of your own.


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