In the early days of the Internet, there’s something that didn’t make sense to me. MySpace. More specifically, why MySpace was such an insane success. It was the hottest thing on the web, and it looked absolutely hideous. Gross. Horrible. Like garbage. And yet people still flocked to it. It was worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and it looked like a steaming pile of dog crap.
Thus, the numb-nuts at MySpace gave away a literally trillion dollar opportunity by resting on their laurels, and Mark Zuckerberg showed up, stomped their face in, and now controls the planet. Nice going, MySpace. No one wants to be your friend now. But at least the world made sense again.
I felt much the same way about another early Internet pioneer by the name of Paypal. Simply stated, I always thought Paypal was garbage. Even decades after its creation, its technology looked like something out of the year 1998. Even now, in the year 2022, the Paypal website (from a business owner’s point of view, with the recurring subscription screens and so forth) is absolute JUNK, and I’ve spoken to plenty of developers who universally agree. It’s ancient, and it’s garbage. And yet its stock price did NOTHING but go higher, and higher and higher.
So I really couldn’t plausibly say too loudly what junk it was, because, as the old saying goes, you can’t argue with success.
But, again, just like MySpace, it’s nice to see that Paypal has finally picked up a dose of reality and has lost about 50% of its value in a short amount of time. I strongly suspect it has a LOT lower to go because – – to use a sophisticated charting term – – it, too, is a steaming pile of dog crap, and will ultimately be valued accordingly.
The analog will be thus: Facebook is to MySpace as Stripe is to Paypal. The former, well-engineered and thoughtfully designed. The latter – – simply first out the door, but otherwise absolutely ka-ka.