Has Facebook's Reign Come And Gone Already?

A smart friend of mine, a longtime industry veteran, once shared with me an interesting observation about the companies that dominate the computing industry. His idea was that there’s always a top dog, a company that Bigfoots over everybody else, instills fears in rivals, attracts the best talent and so on — but that with each turn of the wheel, each new ruler’s reign gets shorter and shorter. So: first came IBM, which ruled for 25 to 30 years, then Microsoft, which ruled for 12 to 15, then Google for six to eight years, and now Facebook, whose reign arguably began in 2010, when its traffic surged past Google’s and it bullied Zynga, its biggest partner, into accepting Facebook Credits.

But is Facebook’s reign already drawing to a close?

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