Interviews conducted: Noah Kagan, early product manager for Facebook. Noah will soon release an e-book on Facebook, with good insight on the social networking space. You will be able to download the book at Noah’s blog, okdork.com. I have had plenty of informal conversations with people close to Facebook over the last two years, while not formal interviews, I would regard these as quality sources – employees, investors, and competitors.
I would also like to thank Nick Macey, a student at the University of Utah for helping in the research and writing of this case study, and providing the ever valuable user perspective as a current college student. Nick will be helping with some of the writing on Startup Review in the future.
Key success factors
Provide pre-existing offline community with a complementary online service
Facebook had its initial success with college students by providing an information service that was not available offline – an interactive student directory containing each student’s class schedule and social network. Before Facebook added the feature sets it has today, it was simply a more complete student directory. Facebook did not create a community where one never existed before; rather they