This episode is based on the top 1% Category Pirates ?☠️ newsletter.
On this episode, let’s talk about at least three Meta problems with Facebook. How, in light of their recent situation, they managed to launch a new category out of nowhere. The question is, was it a legendary move?
Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing, the number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind.
There’s an interesting thing that most people don’t realize and has not been reported on the mainstream press. That is, never in the history has a trillion dollar publicly-traded company launched a new category, that is so forward-leaning.
So whatever you want to say about Zuckerberg, what he pulled off there was legendary and by the book, at least from a purely category design perspective.
That said, given the fact that the new category is the metaverse and the fact that he named renamed and rebranded the company as Meta is genius. When you tie your company name to your category, you have real staying power in that category.
The 3 Meta Problems with Facebook
With that out of the way, there are at least three very serious problems with this launch.
Ignoring the Elephant in the Room
Zuckerberg ignored the elephant in the room, and just launched Meta in spite of recent situations developing even as we speak. If you’re interested in this, The Wall Street Journal is keeping an ongoing series on the matter called The Facebook Files.
The most glaring one is the recent whistleblower that exposed the company as someone who exploits its users and their data. Yet for Zuckerberg to just get up and launch a new category, brand, and giant demo is incredible, and not in a good way. Pretending that Facebook does not have a self-inflicted existential wound doesn’t make it go away.
The fact that he didn’t address it is stunning. It shows how much out-of-touch they really are.
Mercenary, not a Missionary
Zuckerberg’s announcement made it clear that he’s a mercenary, not a missionary. This is where he drops off on being a legendary category designer. Because category designers, as you know, are always on a mission.
While making money, building highly-valuable companies, and being economically successful is what we’re trying to do in business, entrepreneurship, and marketing, most legendary category designers and innovators are on a mission to make a difference. They use their category, and therefore their company and products to do so.
If you listen to the Metaverse presentation, it’s 100% about Facebook. They are not solving a new big problem that they have a solution to. There wasn’t a new big opportunity and a way to make a difference for others. Sure, there was an innovation on how VR and the tech behind it was being used, but he never anchored it to why it matters to us.
This is because the new category of Facebook’s Meta is not about us, the users. It is solely for them, and how it benefits Facebook. If you listen carefully, it’s all about me, me, me. That is classic mercenary talk.
Out of the three problems, this one should be the most obvious. If you simply Google around, you’ll find that Facebook is the least trusted social media company. Yet in the whole presentation, he has not mentioned anything about trust, or try to comfort us in anyway.
So the question is, can one of the most nefarious companies in history convince the world to bet their digital lives and future on a dubious, distrusted bedrock of technology from Facebook, without even building trust. He didn’t even try. Like the first problem, he didn’t even address it.
If you’d like to hear more about the 3 Meta Problems with Facebook, download and listen to this episode. We’ll also go into a deep dive about Meta and the issues surrounding it in Category Pirates. So stay tuned.
Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger.
He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur.
Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist.
In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion.
He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive.
We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on Apple Podcast! You may also subscribe to his newsletter, The Difference, for some amazing content.