I like Sarah Lacy, I kind of felt for her when she was torn apart for her interview of Facebook founder mark Zuckerberg last year. True she came across that time as something of a sycophant – but she didn’t deserve the evisceration that she got.

But then in my feed reader this morning I read something that Sarah had written. In it she says;

Facebook Continues to Focus on Product, Not Revenues. That’s a Good Thing. While the drumbeat for Facebook’s need to generate bigger revenues grows louder, it was a clear message that Zuckerberg & Co. aren’t done focusing on the product. And as we enter an era of slower ad spending, I think that’s wise. Facebook is break even with a hoard of cash: Right now the product is more important than juicing revenues at users’ expense.

Is she out of her mind – I mean has Web 2.0 got so screwed up that it’s now OK to admit publicly that making money doesn’t rally matter for a business, that it’s the product that matter more than anything. In her defence (slightly) she didn’t say that revenue doesn’t matter at all, just that Facebook has the cash to fund product development for the next little while – so revenue isn’t an immediate imperative.

But let’s be clear here – there is a vast difference between not focusing on making revenue now, and not focusing on how you will make revenue ever – I hope like hell that Facebook is in the former, rather than the latter, camp.

To correct the sense of off-balance that Sarah’s post created, I was pleased to read Phil’s post where he actually mentions the fact that it is a concern that Web 2,0 businesses are so lacking focus about revenue. His points were made in relation to SlideRocket, the online presentation builder that is going to (shock, gasp) charge for the use of its product. Phil says;

It’s good to see that SlideRocket, unlike so many of its Web 2.0 brethren, is equally emphatic about its decision to charge users for its services. At last, there’s a faint glimmer of a monetization strategy coming into sight at the end of the Web 2.0 tunnel.

Nice to see you haven’t completely got caught up in the Web 2.0 hysteria Phil!

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

  • ROFL. Again companies have no idea. That's why Microsoft and Google come around and buy them. Because Microsoft and Google are there for the money. They buy, assimilate and monetise. Nothing of this "we don't really know what we are here to do". It looks like CS degrees these days don't have any single semester of basic business skills except "make eyeballs and buyers will come".

  • Mike Riversdale |

    I'm detecting a theme running through Diversity at the mo' – the almighty dollar. Why's that? (PS: WHAT is this new commenting system, seems very top heavy on getting my info and it didn't work with OpenID)

  • Mike – no conspiracy re money theme – just in these recessive days people need to refocus on priorities (like being able to pay for food and shelter) Re comment system – I had requests from some readers to roll out a comment system that encouraged more dialogue and community building – will trial it for awhile and then decide. Other than no OpenID support, WDYT?

  • Falafulu Fisi |

    make eyeballs and buyers will come Amen. Also, this is driven by VCs who want to poor millions of $ into startups with no vision of how to monetize and gather revenues.

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