Personally, I think Zuckerberg’s (Facebook’s) new communication system will flop. I could be wrong, certainly. But there’s a difference between innovating a new technology based on the organic force of the culture pushing upward, and arrogantly telling people what they’re going to use, that you’ve researched them and know what they want, with an ad hominem at any of the adults in the room that might disagree, because they’re just not young enough to get it. The top down thing reflects the same attitude that would partner with Microsoft, with the same weaknesses. And by saying “kids wanna…”, you’re not talking about the adults of tomorrow, because those kids will change, at least some, in the process of leaving college and high school and finding work on their own, and they’ll change again when they have babies, and so on. Kids aren’t the future, despite the sappy teacher rhetoric – everyone is the future. And everyone will change, and that means Zuckerberg could have a hit, but it’s by no means guaranteed. As I say, personally, I think arrogance and top-down approaches to innovation never deliver the final result. And frankly, I think the core competency is not research, it’s openness – the kind of openness I see at Google, not at Facebook. I’m biased, but so what? I don’t think FB is a Gmail killer. We can all do some karate moves to a stationary opponent, like the tree in the back yard, or the kid brother we tied to it, but Google has never been static like that, and neither will the other web 2.0 startups out there just stand still while someone describes the future state as though it’s all sewn up in a nice pouch for us. My take on FBmail? Think Vista.