The dumbest Internet business plan (okay, there are no superlatives when it comes to “dumbest” and “Internet”) that keeps coming around like a bad boomerang to whack me in the head is the notion of a “members-only” community for

Having done my utmost to sink my career with a two-year stint running a closed-network for rich people (and their bankers) out of a bad suburb of Zurich (in an office that looked like Darth Vader’s helmet), and having been pummeled ever-since by headhunters trying to lure me back into running some closed cluster$%# of a site, usually in desperation to salvage the investor’s money because, whoa, no one is using it ……

So it struck me today while getting my daily LinkedIn invitation that there is both an irony and a rule of thumb emerging from the “social business network” which anybody can join.

1. LinkedIn has this “group” concept. Example, a group could be alumni of a specific company, college, organization etc.. You somehow are invited to join this group, or are automatically elected into the group, I dunno, but there is a ubiquitous group created by Forbes.com, indeed, there are several ubiquitous groups hosted by Forbes.com — San Francisco Chapters, Entrepreneurs, Space Ranger of Tomorrow — and …

I don’t belong to a Forbes.com group. I don’t know how to join. And now, of course, I would never join. The shame. To paraphrase Fake Steve: “Dude, I founded Forbes.com. Have you heard of it?”

2. That was the irony. The rule of thumb is this: the invitations I get from the blue, from people I have no connection to, no foreknowledge, the online equivalent of the subway lunatic who asks you if you know Jesus? (I mean really know him?) They ALL HAVE FORBES.COM badges!!!!!

Woody Allen was right: “I’d never join a club that would allow a person like me to become a member.”

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

0 thoughts on “Un-dis-ubi-Forbexclusivity”

  1. Utter hilarity David.

    I personally am in wonder over how many internet-cliques are created on a daily basis. Sure they are expanding to cover multiple demographics (students/young people=Facebook, Myspace, business professionals=linkedin, etc), but at some point you gotta ask what’s the point? In the end I guess we want to reach everyone possible and thus many people will attach themselves to every social networking tool that’s got a sizable population, but I’d just rather be more direct about it. Get to the people you WANT to get to, not everyone on the stinkin’ planet all the time. There’s value either way, but I guess it just amuses me. Or maybe that’s the beer talking.

    BTW – expect to be quoted on this 😉

  2. Yes but … you can see why it keeps coming up. Everybody looks at gated communities (in the real world or on Housewives of Orange County) and concludes: Surely the rich want to rub elbows, at a safe distance from the bothersome poor.

    What they should be building instead is of course an online community for people who WANT to be rich. Those poor dupes will buy anything.

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