I've been thinking about the Facebook broken IPO and the ensuing ripples around the valuations and value of many web and mobile based companies. For now, let's leave the topic of valuation for another time as, ultimately, I believe that valuation is a derivative of customer value, and this is what's on my mind.
Three weeks ago, one of my investments (still in stealth mode) opened a Twitter account and the Community Manager began tweeting relevant subject matter, gaining followers, and following others. At the end of two weeks we had 1,000 followers, were following 2,009 people, and found ourselves suspended from Twitter for aggressive following behavior. Twitter rationally put rules into effect which limits spam, churn and other activities which may hinder the community's trust. By growing so fast, in large part through aggressive following, we violated the rules and were put in a 10 day penalty box.
The team felt an acute loss from the suspension. We lost the ability to communicate with a growing group of adherents, lost their feedback, went dark on them and were at a loss to find a suitable replacement. Though only live on this free service for a matter of weeks, it became the fabric for our community outreach.
They say that you only appreciate the value of things/people when you lose them. Twitter has serious value.