January 28, 2012

"Mr. Zuckerberg had been reluctant to push forward with an IPO."

R"People familiar with his thinking said he has been fearful of the damage an IPO could do to the company's culture. He wants employees focused on making great products, not the stock price...."

28 comments:

Holmes said...

Just like it ruined Apple. Wait...

themightypuck said...

Apple had Joe Stalin to keep the peons in line.

Curious George said...

Facebook is a great idea. Hardly a great product. It's biggest asset is that is has so many users that people are not going to want to migrate to a better product, which is Google+

Darrell said...

Start charging people even $1 per month and see how many of them could live without it.

Joe Schmoe said...

Google+ is just a wannabe product with bad timing. Sorry; this is illustrative of how big companies lose their ability to innovate. They establish a high-volumme service, and then their focus becomes maximizing the efficiency of that service. All the other stuff Google's tried is imitative of other products, or they just buy out startups to co-opt their innovation. All or most of their non-search advertising ventures are loss leaders.

Microsoft has been doing this for a decade now.

madAsHell said...

This social networking thing is sooooo 15 minutes ago.

What's in the next act?

sydney said...

I still can't see the appeal of Facebook. My college age kids use it, but I suppose I am sufficiently paranoid not to trust the data mining.
(My mother, on the other hand, uses it, and often expresses astonishment at the lifestyles my cousins' children are living - not mention their language.)

Joe Schmoe said...

So Zuckerberg either had to go public or, since they have more than 500 private investors now, he had to start reporting his financials.

And sounds like he's passing on Goldman Sachs for handling the IPO. Good.

Zuckerberg, if my memory serves, was at the big tech CEO dinner with Obama at Jobs' house. He is quoted as wondering when Schmidt of Google was gonna shut the hell up as he was dominating the conversation with stuff particular to Google.

madAsHell said...

Bill: So, Steve, how many people work at Microsoft now?

Steve: Hmmmm....less than half.

True story!

rick said...

I am getting the distinct impression from my fellow FB users this product has reached it's zenith. Not counting the data mining mentioned earlier. I mean after you have reconnected with all your friends, what's left?

Me? I am going to invest in E Grocer.

bagoh20 said...

Facebook is a terrible product. Most people love the simple idea of it, but hate almost everything about the way it does it. And yes, I do know what everybody thinks, thanks to Facebook. Conclusion: they don't think much of it, and they generally don't think much at all.

Eric said...

If I had a nickel for every time I've heard "[someone] wants employees focused on great products", I could retire and just laugh from the sidelines. It must be in one of those fad-y business books this year.

Facebook has never had what I'd call a great product, so Zuckerberg needn't have worried too much.

bagoh20 said...

The biggest product coming will be the digital eraser. Software that will seek out every mention of you on the net and delete it. I want it now...well, right after I hit "publish" here.

If I could, I would go back to being invisible, but it's too late, dammit! I tasted the red pill, or the blue one or smelled Al Gore or something. Help me!

Michael The Magnificent said...

What you need to keep in mind is that the users are not the customers, they are the product that is being sold.

Richard Fagin said...

How a Facebook IPO turns out will depend on how the public shares are structured. Give 'em a minority of voting/director election rights and they'll end up like the New York Times, broke, or like Google, evil (notwithstanding their corporate slogan). Want to cash out in the public capital markets? Subject yourself to their discipline.

EDH said...

Michael The Magnificent said...
What you need to keep in mind is that the users are not the customers, they are the product that is being sold.

Excellent point.

edutcher said...

Last place I worked, we focused on making a good product and the stock price, since everyone had a piece of the company.

The company started to slide when management loused up, not the peons.

Carnifex said...

I would think the big problem is the negative PR from the FBI data mining on the site looking for homegrown terrorist. Since I always assumed they do this to every internet communication, it's not a surprise to me.(also the CIA, NSA, DOJ, etc,)

Hows that right to privacy thing working out for you(I know, this is a public blog. You are naive to believe you e-mails IM's, and tweets are secure. The court just forced a woman to decrypt her computer.)

SteveR said...

"He wants employees focused on making great products, not the stock price"

There have been some good comments on this already. FB has been mostly positive for me but as has been stated, I'm not a customer.

kurt mueller said...

He should have thought about that when he took all that private equity money. They want an exit within 5 years and there are two way this is traditionally accomplished -- IPO or sale of the company. What they do not want is to be caught holding illiquid shares when the term of the private equity fund expires (generally 10 years).

PatCA said...

More and more people over 25 are dropping Facebook. It's like reading 100 blogs but none of them post anything interesting or witty, so it's a frustrating use of time. And then people post annoying photos of you pr rant about Sarah Palin. Yuck. TMI!

Young people like to friend hundreds of people and find out what all of them are doing, I guess.

I think he's going public because he can't monetize this thing without selling his customers to retailers or the gubmint.

cubanbob said...

Short the stock ASAP. It's not likely to be around in ten years.

ken in sc said...

I don't understand how Facebook is better than MySpace. But everyone who used to be on MySpace is now on Facebook. I'm there because that's how I keep up with relatives and former students.

Kirk Parker said...

MagniMichael,

"What you need to keep in mind is that the users are not the customers, they are the product that is being sold. "

That seems like a non-explanation to me. If you're in the business of catching and selling fish, you do have to think about what attracts the fish. But instead, the constant, gratuitous churn in the user interface, the frequent missteps in security, etc, have got to be scaring away a portion of the catch.

Penny said...

And worry he should.

Facebook is Zuckerberg's baby, and a fine youngun at that.

Like any other parent, he's worried if his precocious kid is REALLY ready for the big time.

It's a cruel, cruel world out there, and once that door is opened up to the "public"? There's isn't too much that a parent can do but hope the kid remembers their values.

Penny said...

Course the kid COULD stay in the basement?

Developing!

Just not "muscle".

Penny said...

Tough call, Dad. But I have a feeling you'll know EXACTLY when the time is right.

Penny said...

Ha Ha

That was a joke, Zuckerberg!