By now you have been beaten to death with the news that Facebook has bought a virtual reality company for enough money to feed many small nations for an extended period of time. To be frank, I have only read Zuck’s post and have largely ignored the others—why? Because I don’t care what others think, I am in favor of the purchase.
Staying relevant means making large bets. Innovation as I define is “creativity with a job to do”. As a public entity Facebook has a job to do; namely, they have to continually uncover new ways to integrate human conversations into people’s lives in order to make money. With all of the start up’s trying to eat Facebook’s lunch, the only way to stay on top is to always be thinking one step beyond everyone else. Sure, we are just at the beginning of the age of mobility, but the laws of exponential change dictate that new interfaces will come at us with little to no warning.
Augmented reality, virtual reality and other “invisible interfaces” will inevitably be ingrained into the fabric of our everyday lives. How exactly, I cannot say but the question is “when?” not “if?” and Facebook has a responsibility to it’s shareholders to not only been ready when “when” is now, they also have a responsibility to help shape the future of such interfaces.
From the beginning Facebook has been about connecting people and the way we connect is changing—one must either accept this or stay unconnected. Once again, as a public company, Facebook has no choice but to both accept change and lead it, and for that, I applaud them.