I think 2010 will see one of two activities for lots of people in the social space. First, note that I said people. Apps? We’ll see them come and go. That’s always. Predicting that is like predicting that there will be 31 days in January.
David Armano has moved to Edelman, getting out of the startup life and tucking himself into a bigger company. His post explains why, and I wish him well at Edelman, and the Dachis team well with 2010 (they’ve already done some neat stuff with consolidation, via their Collaboratory).
I think we’ll see more of that. I think we’ll see more solo people tucking in with bigger organizations. I also think we’ll see smaller groups banding together to form stronger groups, not just in marketing, but in any of the newer businesses out there. Collaboration, consolidation, and a refocusing on business value will drive a lot of the social space.
And/or, we’ll see foldups. People will pack it in and eke out livings in other ways. Maybe they tried the gold rush and gave up prospecting. Maybe their significant others have given up on the promise that there’s money in this stuff. Whatever the case, we’ll see a bunch of folks wrap up their solo efforts and leave the playing field for “safer” sports.
Companies in the social space will follow suit. We’ll see some consolidations and we’ll see some foldups. I’d tell you who, but I might want to buy one or two of them, so I’ll stay hush. Just watch for it.
Is This Gloomy?
No. I think this is business. This is a new space. There’s always an adoption curve, a glut, and then a thinning out – a normalizing. I think this is just part of the flow.
Where do I think New Marketing Labs falls into this? Well, we’re not folding up.
What are the Opportunities?
If I’m right (so far so good), I would recommend looking for who you could team up with to build a better social business. I’d look for the skills you lack, the capabilities you could stand to add, and find a team that will let you see 2010 through by having more capabilities and capacity than the other guys. There are lots of other folks who might be ready for the collaboration. One of you simply has to ask.
What’s your read on it all?
Photo credit joeannenah