When Has Playing By the Rules Ever Paid Well?

There was a panel at the Web 2.0 Expo today in San Francisco titled “The Facebook Platform: Finding Success in the Facebook Economy.” So far all signs depict a negative image of the panel. Not of the panelists per say, but that all the panelists were bitching about the state of the Facebook platform and the lack of money in the “Facebook economy.” When the platform launched we instantly saw a number of millionaires made overnight and when you can smell money in the air, you can guarantee that VCs are prowling around and entrepreneurs are trying to sniff out opportunity.

This ridiculous world of Web 2.0 is filled with risk takers, some of whom take so much risk, what they participate in should be considered gambling. Attend one of the Web 2.0 conferences and you are sitting among a sea of gamblers who will all jump at the opportunity to share with you what their strategy is. I too am one of those risk takers and everyday I share with you what my strategy is. There is nothing any of us in this industry like more than sharing with you our thoughts on the world because occasionally we are proven right.

Somewhere I once read that Nietzche said, “Out of chaos comes order.” We are slowly witnessing that take place in this landscape. The real businesses are floating to the top and a few that have been quick to adapt are also keeping their heads above water. While some have found beauty in Chaos, within the chaos you will find aggressive individuals who don’t play by the rules and will do anything to get to the top. That’s how you win in the wild west and that’s how many of the leaders have risen above.

Joyce Park, co-founder and CTO of Renkoo, claims that Facebook has “built a system where you can only win by cheating.” Don’t hate the player Joyce, hate the game. The reality is that Facebook is not a place for the faint of heart. It’s a landscape filled with aggressive risk takers that know how to win when everybody is trying to play dirty. There is a rapidly growing graveyard to support those that have failed to create sustainable business models and are running on a treadmill that will soon be unplugged.

That is the cycle of venture investment and entrepreneurial spirit. It’s not all winners and it’s not all pretty. One thing it is though: insanely fun.