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Interview with Michael Birch

Ian Delaney interviews Bebo's Michael Birch. Here are a few excerpts:

On the rumoured buyout offer:
I wish it was true. Iíd love to say that we had been offered that much, but unfortunately, no.
On growing the business:
It isnít rocket science to do. Whatís hard is creating the traction.

We learned a lot from Ringo when it came to the technology. We threw features at it. But as we looked at it we learned that only 10% of our users were using those features. So basically we learned how not to scale a social network. Every user takes a hit on the database, and the more you complicate things, the greater that hit will be.
On Bebo's audience:
At the time we launched, the youth market was a very competitive market space, and we had the choice to either be part of that or not. But really, the intention was, and is, to target adults in their 20s or early 30s.
On the next best thing:
There is a big barrier to leaving any network in that all your friends are there. So what happens is that people never really leave. They start frequenting other networks. This happens all the time. Your challenge is to keep evolving, keep making your network as attractive as possible; keep giving them reasons to come back.
For his sake, I hope he's right.


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