Mark Zuckerberg's network effects nightmare

Mark Zuckerberg's network effects nightmare
Samantha Lee/Business Insider

Mark Zuckerberg's network effects nightmare
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.Drew Angerer/Getty Images


Hello and welcome back to Trending, Business Insider's weekly look at the world of tech. I'm Alexei Oreskovic, Business Insider's West Coast Bureau Chief and Global Tech Editor. If you want to get Trending in your email inbox every Wednesday, just click here.

This week: Tech's "surge" of goodbyes and Facebook's network effects nightmare

Mark Zuckerberg's network effects nightmare
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images; Samantha Lee/Business Insider

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The tech business thrives on newness — new products, new features, new speeds. Even when the new stuff is really just old stuff with a new name, you can be sure there will a press release to mark the occasion (see: AOL and Yahoo become Oath, circa 2017; and Oath becomes Verizon Media Group, circa 2018).

But a lot of changes in tech lately have involved eliminating things.


The advertising boycott of Facebook, however, is gaining a surprising momentum that feels like a nightmare version of the network effects that helped Facebook grow its audience so rapidly. Instead of users' sociability contributing to Facebook's value, the peer pressure among advertisers is now working against it.

Just a couple of weeks ago a handful of brands announced plans to stop advertising on Facebook because of its policies allowing toxic or misleading content. Now the band of boycotters includes giants like Adidas, BestBuy and Coca-Cola.

Is the Facebook boycott approaching a "tipping point" that could significantly harm its revenue? That depends on how long the marketer's resolve lasts. An anonymous CMO at Fortune 500 company recently told Business Insider's Lucia Moses: "I'm constantly fighting with our business leads who think it's killing their business to not be on Facebook.

And this CMO's perspective on other companies in the boycott says a lot:

"Half the CMOs out there are sincere. The other half are doing it because they're worried about being tone-deaf," the person said. "They've all written their boycott statements vaguely enough so they can keep their options open and come back to Facebook."


Introducing BI's first-ever interactive Big Tech salary database

How much does a marketing director at Apple get paid, and how does it compare to what Netflix pays? How about a mechanical engineer at Tesla or Google?

We assembled salary data for 13 of the top tech companies, including Apple, Amazon, Google, Netflix, Tesla, and Uber, based on the companies' filings to the US government.

These are not estimates: The figures correspond to actual salaries that tech companies report for foreign workers hired through H-1B visas. As such, the interactive database, which lets you drill down by company and by job title, provides a uniquely revealing window into Silicon Valley compensation.

Check out BI Big Tech interactive salary database here

Sound bite of the week:

"I've seen people fall to the ground and succumb to their circumstances. Or figure out a way to get through that."


Talend CEO Christal Bemont on growing up in a family of four living in a trailer in Missouri, and what it taught her about resilience and leadership.

The big picture: So what did you do during lockdown?

Montreal technical director Nicolas Temese wanted to celebrate the 60th birthday of an iconic computer, so he built his own version of an IBM 1401 datacenter - complete with everything from the central processing unit to the punchcard reader - at a tiny scale.

The 1401 is considered one of the first mass-produced computers (a whopping 12,000 units were produced!) and it turned 60 in 2019. Temese began his Lilliputian passion project on his evenings after work in December 2019 and he's chronicled his progress on Instagram.


Temese's IBM 1401 is a replica, not a functioning machine, of course. But given the power of Moore's law and the unpredictable duration of the coronavirus lockdowns, there's no telling what kind of upgrades he could make.

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Recommended Readings:

Kat Schneider quit her VC gig while pregnant so she could launch a vitamin brand for the Instagram generation. Now her $125 million startup, Ritual, is facing its biggest test.

LEAKED MEMO: Alphabet's healthcare unit Verily suspended bonuses mid-pandemic to fund diversity programs instead, frustrating employees

These are the 19 Airbnb execs rebuilding the company for growth and an IPO amid the biggest travel industry crisis in decades


SoftBank-backed Lemonade wants IPO investors to think of it as a technology company. Here's why it really isn't.

Amazon wants to expand its customer base beyond developers with a new tool to build apps without code, but analysts say it faces fierce competition from Microsoft and Google

Not necessarily in tech:

40 insiders reveal the meteoric rise of Silver Lake's Egon Durban, the tech-focused PE firm's No. 1 dealmaker who strong-armed his way to the top and is about to get $18 billion more to invest

OK, I think that's enough for this week. Thanks for reading, and remember, if you like this newsletter, tell your friends and colleagues they can sign up here to receive it.

— Alexei