NEVER forget your mission NEVER divert from it

So today’s big news is about Twitter acquiring Posterous. It lead me to tweet this:

“Eeeek… Posterous acquired by Twitter?! People, NEVER forget your mission, NEVER divert from it. If you do, you WILL fail.”

Which, based on the replies, requires a bit more explanation (other than explaining what has caused me to start making mouse noises).

If you are a real-time microblog that is all about “what’s happening right now”, how does buying a blogging platform make any sense? It’s a classic piece of mission creep by Twitter. Over the last several months, the platform has been gradually shifting its focus, and this latest acquisition is another swerve in the path.

The position of the interior is that you end up constantly looking to ways of making land grabs into adjacent spaces. That might seem sensible to the average MBA, but in the world where platforms rely on people’s passion and their descretionary effort, diluting the focus of what you do is a dangerous thing. Users can become confused, distracted and ultimately disillusioned.

However, the bigger signal here is that Twitter is less and less about the early adopters and more and more about the late majority. It’s switching from “many producing little”, to “the few producing much” – and that is back to where we started.

By switching from spontaneous output, to more and more curated or meta content, Twitter risks steering itself under the juggernaut that is Facebook. In the on-line world, imitation is not the sincerest form of flattery, it’s simply a death wish.

Always remember what it is that you, uniquely, do best. And never, never divert from that.

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