MySpace founder Chris DeWolfe found himself in an interesting position this week at the Casual Connect conference in Seattle. Taking the stage for an interview with VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi, DeWolfe spoke to the audience on everything from making MySpace relevant again to mobile strategies at his current company, MindJolt.
DeWolfe is in a unique position to comment on the current situation MySpace finds itself in. Stepping down from the position of MySpace CEO in April 2009, DeWolfe acquired flash-based gaming provider Mindjolt this past March. Mindjolt has a strong presence on Facebook, currently engaging 17 million monthly active users. Considering Facebook’s rise in popularity is often cited as the reason for MySpace’s drop in popularity, DeWolfe’s insight into his former company’s struggles are well worth considering.
On MySpace’s struggles: “We grew really quickly, we had more page views than any other website in the world. When you’re part of a public company there’s a certain amount of revenue and profit pressure that you have, and consequently I think we probably had too many ads on our site, and some of the features on our site, we didn’t streamline enough. So adding a friend may have taken three steps and Facebook was doing it in one step. I think there was a lot of pressure to have those extra three page views in there, and from that perspective I think we could have done a better job. I think we learned a lot in the hiring process. We were hiring 70-80 people a month. Anytime you hire 70 or 80 people a month, you end up getting some mediocre people in the bottom tier, which slows down your company.”
On making MySpace relevant again: “MySpace was always the place where all the celebrities went to announce their news, and now on TV, you see everyone giving their Twitter account or their Facebook account, and you no longer see them giving their MySpace account. So I think a lot more outreach can be done to educate the influencers both in the U.S. and abroad that MySpace still has 110 million users, it’s very user-friendly for influencers, and it’s a great place to go. The pitch has been very quiet in the last year, year-and-a-half. A lot of people think the site’s dead, which really isn’t the case.”
To hear more of DeWolfe’s take on the industry, be sure to read the full summary on TechFlash.com.