Facebook poised for international growth

I used to be all alone in the world. A few years ago, if you did a Google search on “Manish Hirapara,” you got results all about me and all the things I was up to. I did a search on Facebook with my name the other day. There are now dozens of my namesake in the world.

Facebook and Manish Hirapara

More than 1 Manish Hirapara on Facebook

So what does all this mean? Facebook is set to conquer the global markets in a way no other has. ECommerce sites still have to deploy localized websites to transact with consumers in their language & currency of choice. Facebook on the other hand, is able to put a truly global site in place without the need to localize anything — except maybe the ads.

An agency I work with recently told me about their work with a major consumer brand in Brasil & Mexico. All the work was done on facebook.com (not facebook.com.br) and they were able to take their brand to over 250k “likes” in just a few weeks.

Facebook had its IPO recently and investors summarily beat it down. Emerging market consumers are just coming online. If Facebook can continue its phenomenal penetration into those markets, particularly with mobile consumers, it will be worth quite a bit more than the IPO value…


    Software development is not engineering

    Read a great blog post by Mike Gualtieri at Forrester today:


    Too often, the folks that are well versed in deep technical theory are the ones that are running software development shops. What happens? Waterfall, agile, scrum, extreme programming. All are great methodologies for building functional software. They often miss the mark on user experience though.

    Design and user experience is critical in the modern software world. Web 2.0 websites, optimized eCommerce sites,  iPhone, iPad,  even your car’s dashboard — they are all incredibly design sensitive. Yes, they must work and work without glitches — but they are not going to be used if the user can’t figure them out.

    A systems-centric approach is often adopted by software development teams, as opposed to a user centric approach. Functional as opposed to creative. How does this happen? The mindset of treating software as a pure engineering discipline, similar to construction is at fault. It’s no longer about just sheer assembly of objects and classes.

    Instead of just thinking about software as an engineering discipline, add some artistry to it. A great design experience transcends software.  If you’re using scrum, agile, etc… take some time to ensure that you have product design as a cornerstone of your software development lifecycle.







      Yes, IT stakeholders do exist!

      I work with a lot of people who are in IT.  Not a day goes by when I don’t hear something to the tune of “well, if the businesspeople would just give us clear requirements, we could build that.”

      IT employees: YOU can help drive business change. You are empowered. You are smart. Don’t just wait for someone else to come up with the full design of what they want to build. Engage them. Drive them. Make them think. Most of all, let them use your expertise and insight.
      People that are responsible for P&L and functional design want to know the consequences of key IT decisions. Be a stakeholder in that conversation and any  product that you jointly build will turn out much better.

      Whether you’re a project manager, business analyst, developer, or engineer — you’re a stakeholder. Treat yourself as a stakeholder and drive the conversation…you WILL make a difference.