Mark Zukerberg is the next Richard DeVos. We know history repeats itself, and as we are seeing it right now as Facebook becomes Amway 2.0. Both organizations provide tools to aspiring networkers, focus on counting things, and work to monetize the relationships to the maximum degree possible.
Both Amway and Facebook provide the tools and encouragement to build a network of friends. Quantity of friends is more important that quality, and no attempt is made to value one friend more than another. There are no best friends on Facebook or in Amway.
Count Your Friends
Once in Amway you are encouraged to produce a list of your friends so you have a place to start building your network. You are coached as to how to approach your friends, and suggestions are made about friends of friends. The objective is to get as many friends into the network as possible.
We Make it Easy for You
Once you get enough friends into the network, you can work to sell things to them, or work to get them to sell things. You can be a big success even if your friends don’t buy anything – as long as your friends of fiends do.
So the next time someone asks you to lunch to discuss a new “business opportunity”, make sure to ask: is this Facebook?
All of this is not necessarily bad for Mark Zuckerberg. After all, Richard DaVos owns a really big boat and the Orlando Magic.
Later: Here is a good post by Robert Scoble about what Facebook should do.