The Problem With Anything Called “Name Here”-Killer

John is right, in spades.

That said, I don’t think LinkedIn is vulnerable to any new business network starting up, whether incubated at a newspaper on in-the-wild. LinkedIn is one of what I think of as one of the “three horsemen of the Social Web,” networks that are fundamentally about real identity and real relationships, specifically Facebook, LinkedIn, and Plaxo (where I am employed, as many of you know).

[From Is the Wall Street Journal really building a “LinkedIn killer”? « The Real McCrea]

It’s amusing to read about something rumored to be coming that is labeled as a “such and such killer”. The problem with anything of this ilk is that it only serves to validate the leadership that the targeted service has achieved and fails to recognize that just mimicking or being incrementally better than something which has emerged as a standard is not the way to beat it.

You see this play out in search all the time… a new search engine is measured against Google, which is why none of them succeed against Google. You can’t beat your competitor by just being as good as they are or marginally better… just ask Detroit car companies how that strategy has worked out for them. It’s also why Microsoft has an impossibly tall task with Bing, which by all accounts is a pretty damn good offering. Even though they go to great pains to call it a “decision engine” the fact remains that every analysis and review compares it to Google. Good luck with that.

LinkedIn succeeds not because they have a great user experience, which they don’t, a huge array of partners integrating with them, which they don’t, or any other feature, they succeed because everyone is using them and the social assets they possess cannot be replicated easily by a competitor.

I hope the WSJ succeeds with their rumored project but calling it a LinkedIn killer is really just theatre.

PS- LinkedIn should take these threats seriously and use the heat to change a culture that moves at a speed best described as glacial. If you have ever tried to do business with LinkedIn you can attest to the fact that this is one of the most difficult companies to work with, has enough NIH to cover Silicon Valley an inch thick, and despite protestations to the contrary has not delivered a rich set of tools that companies can use build on top of LinkedIn.

LinkedIn: We’re Selling Ads For $75 CPM

Yeah, I don’t doubt that LinkedIn is selling such a high CPM, but the problem for them is that I just don’t spend a lot of time in LinkedIn so the opportunity to lever up that CPM is limited. I’d bet that the average time spent when compared to other social networks is low, which means there is less ad inventory. This is something they should be concerned about because I’m right in their sweet spot for a target market and I rarely spend but more than 10 minutes a month in LinkedIn. How much you want to bet that LinkedIn acquires a social networking company in the next year?

Having said all that a $75 CPM is really impressive.

Since LinkedIn knows the professional histories of its users, and can target sales execs, c-level managers, or certain industries, we can imagine high ad rates for advertisers looking for a business niche. Still, we have a hard time believing this is an average CPM for LInkedIn. But we don’t have a hard time believing that LinkedIn’s average CPM crushes that of Facebook, MySpace and other social networks who routinely struggle to get CPMS above a buck.

[From LinkedIn: We're Selling Ads For $75 CPM - Silicon Alley Insider]

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