Ah, that good old ‘career vs impact’ dilemma.
Mike Jones, the Userplane founder and former partner now busts his ass to make sense of MySpace. What’s in it for him? I don’t believe it’s money. Mike seems to work hard to actually make something fresh out of the legacy-cursed thing. I’ve seen many announcements from him (ironically on Facebook) about the progress MySpace was making recently.
And yet MySpace is now for sale until it’s probably too late. It basically means that this social behemoth of yesterday can’t secure its position even in the music/entertainment niche (would fit News Corp perfectly), let alone return to the leader position in social networking. Apparently News Corp believed in “don’t fix what’s not broken” myth for too long. Now MySpace is clearly broken and has been that way for several years already.
And yet somehow Jones’s strategy is the same, if accelerated. I would bet good money Mike understands that “enhance” approach doesn’t work when “redefine” is the only option. Does the parent even allow him to do anything radical?
Did Mike have any aces in sleeve? Did he believe MySpace could become relevant again by doing baby steps instead of breakneck jumps? Or was it a resume-oriented move? An intermediary step further from being an AOL executive towards more meaningful gigs?
I tend to believe the latter.
But what do I know. All the nuances and controversy of such a choice can only be felt when faced directly. Maybe Mike is up to something really exciting that might just work so everybody (including me) would just shut up. That seems to be possible if only Jones’s intentions are true, not politics-based.
Steve Jobs once really nailed it:
I don’t think of my life as a career,” he says. “I do stuff. I respond to stuff. That’s not a career — it’s a life!
I believe that’s the best attitude towards anything you do in life. It just keeps your vision clear from mirages and road dust. Think hard and long of what you stand for and then find ways to make real, visible impact.