Hi, I'm Nick. This is my blog. I'm a life-long unschooler living in New York. You can find more about me here.

I help run the Recurse Center (YC'S10).

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Apple, Facebook and Emotional Engagement

September 30, 2011

At the core of Apple's success is an experience. It's the emotional bond people have with their products, an oft-ridiculed love that can border on obsession.

Apple has achieved this by making products that delight or, as they say, feel like "magic."

Few companies have ever reached this level. It's extremely hard and it takes considerable time. But there's one company that I think has a shot: Facebook.

This might seem ridiculous, particularly as people are starting to say that Facebook has jumped the shark, but I think they can do it.

I don't think Facebook will reach Apple's level by trying to become Apple. I think they can do it in their own way. The great opportunity Facebook has is that they deal directly with our most intimate data: Our memories and the people and experiences that define our lives.

I got a glimpse of this when I tried out the new Timeline. My Facebook account dates back seven years. It spans colleges and friendships and girlfriends. It's chronicled the lives of my friends, from births and deaths to weddings and breakups and everything in between.

Looking at my the earliest days of my timeline, I couldn't help but feel a tinge of nostalgia and think of Don Draper's Kodak presentation. My next thought was immediately: This is only the beginning.

Facebook has the potential to reach the same level of emotional engagement Apple has.

Facebook has taste, talent, vision, and a giant mote. It also has an incredibly young CEO who controls his board and has been smart enough to surround himself with people who complement his weaknesses.

The tech market is ridiculously dynamic, and predicting the future is a fool's game. But it's one I nevertheless like to play.

Facebook will be a $200B public company someday.