One week ago, Facebook Director of Product Blake Ross announced that he’d leave the company in a goodbye letter he posted on his profile page. Ross wrote: "I’m leaving because a Forbes writer asked his son’s best friend Todd if Facebook was still cool and the friend said no, and plus none of HIS friends think so either, even Leila who used to love it, and this journalism made me reconsider the long-term viability of the company."
A few sentences later, Ross wrote, "In all seriousness, even after switching to part-time at Facebook, it’s just time for me to try new things," but the damage was done. Ross has since removed the letter, perhaps because he’d accidentally posted it publicly, or because his jesting intro wasn’t taken as lightly as he’d hoped. The "journalism" Ross mentioned is hardly Pew Research, but it means something. Facebook admitted in its annual 10-K report that it might be losing "younger users" to "other products and services similar to, or as a substitute for, Facebook." Teens are often an accurate barometer for what’s cool and what’s next, and recent rumblings seem to indicate teens are moving on. Telling your colleagues that teens are no longer into your product is far from an Irish goodbye.