[OpenID] A lesson from history for Facebook

Santosh Rajan santrajan at gmail.com
Thu Apr 16 07:53:02 UTC 2009

The internet does not wait for anyone to move on. It wont wait for Facebook,
nor OpenID. Things will move on via the "path of least resistance". OpenID
can go on a roll even with just what it already has. Yes improvements are
welcome, but I firmly beleive it already has what it takes to make it.
Otherwise,  by and large, I agree with your arguments.

Chris Messina wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 15, 2009 at 6:23 PM, Santosh Rajan <santrajan at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> ...
>> Apple had a choice to make. Open up Mac OS to all hardware vendors or
>> stay
>> proprietary. They chose to stay proprietary, keeping the price of a Mac
>> higher than a equivalent PC. Apple could have really trashed Microsoft if
>> they had opened up Mac OS to the hardware vendors back then.
>> ...
>> Facebook is pretty much faced with the same situation as Apple back then,
>> as
>> far as their Facebook Connect is concerned. They can choose to Open it up
>> by
>> supporting OpenID or stay proprietary. Only this time they have a bunch
>> of
>> contenders to deal with instead of just Microsoft.
>> Of cource the circumstances for Facebook are different today. But the
>> underlying strategic mistake made by Apple cannot be missed. I hope
>> Facebook
>> learns from the past, and chooses to support OpenID as an OP, before it
>> is
>> too late.
> You can summarize this point with the Eric Schmidt's admonishment "not to
> bet against the internet" — similar to "open always wins out in the end".
> That said, I think Apple lost their way because they didn't have Steve
> Jobs'
> guidance to capitalize on their opportunity.
> I think that your comparison between Facebook and Apple is mostly
> seductive,
> but also instructive. Apple makes much more usable systems TODAY, so that,
> on the whole, if you live within the Apple world (as I tend to) you have
> fewer hardware frustrations and incompatibilities because Apple products
> work with Apple products. And you never even think twice about it.
> The experience is simply better for the consumer.
> The same is true for Facebook Connect today, so I think you ought be
> cautious making that analogy when OpenID as a technology — and as a
> community — has so far to go to actually offer real-world solutions that
> see
> wide-spread adoption AND are well designed AND are interoperable. We don't
> need OpenID to do more, per se — we need to clarify the vision for what
> OpenID CAN and SHOULD do... and then work to get the technology necessary
> architected, built, deployed and tested.
> Without a stronger foundation (big and little "f"'s), OpenID will not
> become
> what you seem to want it to become. Nor can we just plow forward taking
> shortcuts that run roughshod over the progress that we've made so far.
> Things are getting better through concerted effort, not through words
> alone.
> Doing, in our case, is far more effective than dictating.
> In general, I've yet to see a compelling example of exemplary,
> user-friendly, original design from an open source community; that's not
> to
> say that it isn't possible — it just hasn't happened yet. Openness alone
> doesn't intrinsically make anything better or more usable, but I'd like to
> see if we could correct that in the OpenID community.
> Chris
> -- 
> Chris Messina
> Citizen-Participant &
>  Open Web Advocate
> factoryjoe.com // diso-project.org // vidoop.com
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Santosh Rajan
http://santrajan.blogspot.com http://santrajan.blogspot.com 
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