Facebook 1

(January 03, 2008) I have been experimenting.

In 1993, I was working as the Executive Director and Editor for the Point Foundation in Sausalito. Point was the non-profit founded by Stewart Brand that ‘owned’ the Well, the Whole Earth Catalog and the Whole Earth Review (a quarterly magazine). It was the job of my dreams

The offices were on the docks. It was a very unlikely place to be ground zero for anything. Imagine a big grimy garage full of smart, independent visionaries. Imagine a complete lack of funding. Imagine a place where the only fertilizer for a new idea was the idea itself.

One day, a fellow who worked for the Well walked into my office with his Mac Laptop in hand. “You’ve got to see this, John.” He had installed a copy of a software tool called XMosaic, fresh from the labs in Switzerland. It was one of the first copies of the original browser in the United States (like maybe there were two or three others).

He showed me a “home page”. If I remember correctly, it was by a guy in Japan. “John, we have to build a home page for the Point  Foundation,” he pleaded.

With all of the wisdom I could muster, I looked him dead in the eye and said, “Who would ever want one of those?”

The point of the story is that it’s possible to miss the future when you are staring right at it. After a couple of days of experimenting with Facebook, I am reasonably convinced that I made the same sort of mistake again. While Jobster was colonizing Face-space right under my nose, I was able to avoid giving the tool a fair try for nearly a year.

The good news here is that the mainstream recruiting industry and enterprise software vendors will take the usual five years to begin to adopt the new technology.

Facebook is other than I imagined. Everything I heard about sex was different than sex. Facebook is like that, too.

This morning, I received a gift from Chris Russell. Last night, I began working on prototypes for the Recruiting Roadshow logo. I like to have something in hand when I talk to the graphics people. I uploaded my experiments into an album. Chris saw what I was doing (we’re friends on Facebook) and had a few spare creative cycles. So he made and sent me an alternative version of the logo.

Facebook allows a kind of collaborative work that I haven’t seen anywhere before. More tomorrow.

John Sumser. – © 2008 Two Color Hat, Inc. Santa Rosa, CA


  1. John,

    I liked what you were working on but what Chris came up with hits a chord with me. I like that much better.

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