Facebook Movie About Big Ideas, Not The Social Network Itself

by Eric Melin on October 1, 2010

the social network movie poster

Well, it’s finally here.

Today “The Social Network,” or ‘the Facebook movie that won’t be advertising on Facebook,’ arrives in theaters and everybody can finally see what all the fuss is about.

Is it the movie that will tarnish Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg‘s public image once and for all? Is it the movie that will herald social media’s ascendence to the throne of mainstream media?

Well…(even though the film is not 100 percent accurate) nobody will ever accuse Zuckerberg of being a sweetheart, but I think he and his company will survive. After all, Facebook has gone way beyond a networking website where college kids can find out who’s dating who. It’s now pretty much integrated into the fabric of our daily lives.

As far as cementing social media in general as a hugely influential, life-changing dynamic…it does do that. But in a way you may not expect. It’s not all touchy-feely about social media and it doesn’t even approach the idea that social media can affect global change (an idea that “Blink” author Malcolm Gladwell certainly doesn’t agree with).

More than anything …

“The Social Network” illustrates the primacy of innovation.

The movie isn’t about Facebook. It is a whip-smart examination of societal structures in general. As I said in my movie review, “It’s about the destructive tendencies of power and how different success looks now than it did even 10 years ago.”

big idea None of that success is possible without an idea. Whether that idea came out of resentment, jealousy, and bitterness (like the movie suggests it did for Zuckerberg), it doesn’t matter. What matters is the idea itself and how it grows; how it’s applied.

Thanks to the Internet and its lightning-fast integration into every facet of our culture, it is possible for a perfect storm of technological innovation and big-picture creative thinking to make another game-changing contribution to society.

And, as “The Social Network” points out, it could come from anywhereeven the dorm room of a drunk Harvard computer genius with a huge chip on his shoulder.

The widespread adoption of social media is a pretty big idea and companies are still struggling with how to react. “The Social Network” skirts the power of social media to illustrate instead the the supremacy of big ideas. Businesses need to be prepared for and open-minded to continued online innovation.

If you would have told business leaders five years ago that this college phenomenon called Facebook would become the future of demographic data-mining, they’d laugh at you.

Who’s laughing now?

(Image from Osliving.com.)

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