Great post about Facebook’s new challenges as a public company.
Facebook stock was far from the home run many investors expected once the company went public. After the company’s initial offering valued it at over $100 billion, the largest internet IPO ever, Facebook is currently worth a mere $68 billion.
Facebook is certainly making money. They claimed $1 billion of after-tax profit in 2011 on revenues of over $3.7 billion. But at a price-to-earnings ratio of over 100 are Facebook’s current earnings really that valuable? Does the company have a feasible growth path? Will they be able to further monetize their technology platform?
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I would be remiss not to post before Facebook’s IPO.
I don’t have a great feeling about it. The closest example that explains how I feel about Facebook’s IPO is this:
My best friend in junior and senior year of high school was really into John Mayer, before he got big. He was still playing in coffee houses and growing his fan base through small online communities.
When “No Such Thing” and “Your Body is a Wonderland” blew up, she was elated for him and his success but sad because she felt that her “little secret” had gotten out. His music was no longer personal to her because now the whole world was being serenaded by his music.
No one would characterize Facebook as their “little secret” but I do.
I’ve followed (snort) Facebook long before Twitter was around, long before all of the colleges had access to it. Long before Facebook was ever considered a legit news story.
I’ve cared about its existence and what that existence means to us, users, for the past 8 years. I’ve been a friend to it, and it a friend of mine, for 8 years. I’m one of its oldest friends.
Now, Facebook is inevitably changing its privacy setting to PUBLIC.
Anyone can subscribe. Facebook will be forced to share.
Everything Facebook does will be scrutinized. Its objectives will change — they have to, to satisfy new owners, who may or may not be its friend, a friend on it. My relationship to it, therefore, will change as well. I won’t have as much say as a user; I won’t be part of their bottom line. It’s difficult to express, but I feel that I am losing a special connection and my little secret.
Wired published an article earlier this year on IPOs and the effect that going public has on the ingenuity and innovation of a company.
Facebook will no longer be as nimble. It will no longer be as fun.
Mark will have to face more pressure and challenges and I hope that he will be able to withstand it.
I think he will but he won’t have an easy time.
I don’t envy him from that position but I will always admire him for what he has accomplished.
I hope he stays clear to his mission statement — “to a more open and connected world” — and remembers always that we the users are the core of this site, this company.
In many ways, the users should all have at least one tangible share in this IPO. We’ve stuck with them for this long, after all.
“I know a Facebook picture when I see one!” my friend shrieked sarcastically. He motioned for me and three other girls to squeeze together so that he could take a picture of us. “I’ve never had a Facebook account but I know a Facebook picture when I see one!” He continued, laughing.
This was two weeks ago. We were at a bar, holding $15 bespoke cocktails in our hands.
Even people who aren’t on Facebook know that when two or more girls get together, there’s bound to be a Facebook picture.
A Facebook picture is a picture that is taken with one intention, for a sole purpose — to be shared on Facebook. A Facebook picture is most likely taken when two or more girls get together, because girls like taking boat loads of pictures of themselves in general.
Girls at a bar —
Girls in car —
Girls on boat — FACEBOOK PICTURE.
Girls feeding goat — FACEBOOK PICTURE.
Here are some other inevitable situations that lead to FACEBOOK PICTURES of groups of girls.
2. They’re at a Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous location that involves a banquet hall/fancy restaurant/fancy hotel lobby, bar, pool, room, roof…
3. They’re at a wedding.
4. They’re wearing stuff that shows off their bods…
5. They’re wearing pumps. Nude pumps….
6. They’re wearing matching outfits. Bikinis. Sarongs. Hibiscus flowers in hair. Dance uniforms…
7. Nude pumps again…
8. They have VSL — Visible Sorority Letters…
9. They’re in costume, or have fake mustaches, and it may or may not be Halloween…
10. They’re engaged in one of the following activities: brunching; dining; drinking; dancing; pre-gaming; preparing to pregame; snowboarding/skiing/extreme sporting; bathing…in the sun; getting ice cream; making desserts; eating desserts; walking in Montmartre, or other easily recognizable tourist area; waiting for each other in the bathroom of a nice club; waiting for a train; waiting for a plane; on a party bus; on a school bus; on a mini bus to go ziplining…
11. They’re fixing their hair; fixing their shirt; wiggling their butts in their seats to adjust their seated pose; moving one foot in front of the other, bending slightly the leg that’s in front, and sucking in their stomachs to adjust their standing pose…
12. They all take out cameras and smart phones and hand it to a poor schmuck(s) who has to take the same picture with every single one.
In actuality, even with mixed groups, as long as there are at least two girls, there’s bound to be a Facebook picture.