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Archive for December 17th, 2008

LinkedIn has been a long time darling in blog discussions, VC conversations and strategery sessions.

Techcrunch brings us news of their latest shuffling of the exec deck.

It’s one of these media ventures that seems like such a great idea but really isn’t.  It has no growth potential left and is a media product that grabs user bases that really aren’t worth that much to advertisers or big exec firms – for example… the unemployed middle-aged, middle management white guys.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I like LinkedIn as a place to hosted my resume and occassionally link to people.  Unfortunately, I think that’s just about what everyone uses it for, excluding marketers and recruiters.

This isn’t so unusual.  Almost all other online job boards, professional networking and recruitment sites go the same way.

Site gets announced

Some people join

It catches fire and everyone puts their data in

The recruiters swarm

People get annoyed, bored, or don’t land that dream job and most accounts/profiles age

Network/Site starts blasting out emails and alerts about people looking for you, jobs waiting for you

That powers the site for years

Revenue grows slightly but never breaks out

Next site crops up and chips away at existing sites margins

LinkedIn’s traffic has fallen off.  It basically has found the 16 million people looking for jobs it can offer them.

People not in the market don’t update their profiles.  The folks most likely to power big network connection growth, don’t need a networking site. Folks who want a bitching resume just go off and build one at their domain or facebook page.

Put all of this together and LinkedIn is another Monster.com.  It’s big, has users, might add a bell or whistle but has no place to go.   It’s fate is set and completely determined but what it actually is – a job board.  It’s only hope to grow is to somehow magically get people more jobs than any of the other methods. It won’t die as people always need networking and jobs.

I predict some old skool news media company will buy it one day and squeeze it for revenue.  It’s a safe haven for the weary Internet exec.

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So, in a moment only Tony Robbins could love, I was doing my early morning stretches when my wife read the following:

Few things could be more dangerous than letting your children fall into the trap of believing what they do doesn’t matter. Teach them that there are consequences of their actions. Teach them that even small decisions and actions consistently made, have far-reaching effects.

But wait; didn’t we just go over a news article on Google that reported that a teacher was axed because she told the 7 year olds that Santa doesn’t exist? Teaching that in a school, no less. What is the world coming to? Oh-no, Batman, another liberal chop at family traditions and faith-based holidays. It wasn’t on CNN.com or Time.com, Reuters, the washingtonpost.com or wsj.com. Should I believe it? What should I do?

What are the consequences of the Santa thing? I certainly enjoyed it growing up. And we all have heard, “What was good enough for me is damn good enough for…” Oh, wait a minute. That was called upon by my parents concerning values that they wanted me to have….that weren’t true, good, or right. You know, buying GM cars that started on fire, racism, bigotry, sexism in business, education and even dictums on whom to marry.

Hummm… seems there is just one more set of conflict of beliefs. What we do is a testament of our values. We thus value the stuff of our traditions more than we value the truth or all that other stuff we teach in school. …We could use this relational logic to teach intelligent design in schools, maybe a course in Wicca and another in Karma for Tots at the YMCA or JCC.

Should we really be surprised that people go postal or freak out in less dramatic fashion when these ‘absolute’ rules from our parents, teachers, and representatives change?

My sister’s response: “Well as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone (another stellar admonishment that the end justifies the means…) why not have Santa, the Easter Bunny and a Virgin Mary?”

Besides that, consequences are complicated even if they are universal. Myths are fun and simple and that is what we need today so we don’t have to deal with the antecedents that result in foreclosure, bankruptcy, layoffs, SEC fraud and bailouts.

Considering the need for fun and distractions, you might consider a small but compact 22 cal pistol as a gift for your child or perhaps some Mary Jane that isn’t a shoe.

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