myspace_logoApple’s introduction yesterday of the Ping social networking site for music has been widely proclaimed as a harbinger to the death of MySpace.

A number of articles have already speculated that the once-upon-a-time-most-popular social networking site is on its death bed, but the case study of MySpace’s ultimate failure provides some real food for thought.

MySpace is a classic example of misaligned strategy directly leading to improper execution. There’s no reason MySpace couldn’t have, shouldn’t have been the preeminent social networking Web app—they were first to market, had a sizable user base (estimates range from anywhere from 100-160 million total accounts), a premium advertising deal with Google (reported at $900 million over 3 years) . . . . yet less than five years from its peak in 2006, the company is on its way to irrelevance . . . .

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“If all a sales person can do is talk about the product, then for sure their job is at risk to technology . . . . The role of sales is going to have to evolve to [provide] a value-add, or otherwise they may well not be needed in the process.”

—Jim Dickie, CSO Insights.

Gerhard GschwandtnerA fascinating article by Selling Power’s Gerhard Gschwandtner recently explored the growing tension between technology and sales performance.

“We have entered the ‘displacement economy,'” he states, “where new technology drives out the old ways of doing business . . . The reality is that some companies are already leveraging technology, not to save time, but to save the high expense of keeping salespeople on the payroll.”

In other words, “Old guard” sales has a problem on its hands . . . .

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