A broad-based belief in Silicon Valley is that new opportunities for social networks occur only with “platform shifts,” such as the growth of mobile. Only then, so this theory goes, do consumers have the cognitive bandwidth and interest to seek out new social products—and can budding networks find cheap enough distribution avenues to grow efficiently.
This dogma is starting to be reconsidered. Company builders and investors are starting to focus on a new generation of social products. That is despite the fact that there is no meaningful technological shift on the horizon and customer acquisition costs have never been higher, at least in the strict sense of advertising cost.