Linked by Howard Fosdick on Wed 5th Sep 2012 05:24 UTC
In the News Remember the dot com debacle of a decade ago? Well, it's back, this time in the form of Facebook. Since its high-profile public offering last May at over $38/share, FB is now down to about $18/share. Management is finding that running a public company is very different than one privately held, as people variously blame Mark Zuckerberg (or not), CFO David Ebersman, lead IPO underwriter Morgan Stanley, and even the NASDAQ stock exchange. The real problem, of course, is that Facebook went public even as its business model desperately searches for new revenues. Let's just hope they don't pull a Digg and fatally redesign the whole site in response.
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Only morons didn't see this coming
by Soulbender on Wed 5th Sep 2012 05:57 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

But didn't you know?

Stock prices ALWAYS reflect the true worth of a company! ALWAYS!

* Shout out to galvanash.

Reply Score: 3

Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

But didn't you know?

Stock prices ALWAYS reflect the true worth of a company! ALWAYS!

* Shout out to galvanash.
You are right to be sarcastic.

Even at 18$, Facebook stock price are still too high.

Reply Score: 5

comrad Member since:
2009-01-21

Indeed, when faced with a natural disaster or any other disaster scenario, facebook would be the company that needs to be saved for rebuilding the cities.

Screw those farmers, those banks are system relevant.

Reply Score: 2

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

BTW farmers... what are you doing, in your avatar, to this poor sheep?

Edited 2012-09-08 12:09 UTC

Reply Score: 2

UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

I honestly don't feel like going over my complete thoughts, but Facebook is such a crooked company and an extreme violator of its users' privacy, I would love to see them struggle themselves and either get stronger competition, or just flop like a fish on land and slowly die. I'm just glad that after all these years, although so many of my friends and other people I know use Facebook and their profiles can only be seen by creating a Facebook account myself, I always valued my privacy and distrusted Facebook enough that I always refused to create a profile--every time I was tempted.

Reply Score: 5

benali72 Member since:
2008-05-03

I'll party with you! I'm just hoping the FB juggernaut slows down before we're all forced to participate in it to have what everyone else will call a "normal" life. Living a life that is not dominated by a social network is actually pretty satisfying.

Reply Score: 4

UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Hey, I got the beer. ;) But I agree completely--so many people I know moved from MySpace to Facebook which is where they remain today, despite all of the moves Facebook is pulling on all of their users' privacy behind their backs. I really don't think they even realize it. For years, I've been annoyed by all of the pages my friends put up, how they require you to get a Facebook user account just to look at. Still, I always refused. It only got worse, and began tracking "anonymous" users, when they announced the Facebook "Like" button. Unfortunately, Google's +1 button is also a tracking button, but I don't need to say which company I would trust more between the two. Either way, I block them all with various plugins, and all Facebook domains that I know of I usually have blocked by OpenDNS.

A friend of mine likes to slam Google when it comes to privacy, and you know... Google is pretty bad too when it comes to "privacy" (they tend to "know" everything about you based on what you do on all of your services), but compared to Facebook... they're not even on the same level of invasiveness. They do mention that they will not give any information away to a third-party company, that they do not make changes violating users' rights at random and just say "oops" when caught. They even give their users some very fine-grained control over what is available to just themselves, just a friend or two, one or more groups of people, or fully public.

Facebook did away with all of this one-by-one over the last several years, silently, behind everyone's backs--and I hope Google remains trustworthy enough to not follow their footsteps if Google+ does get big. Yet somehow, in my friend's mind Google is to be completely mistrusted, while he has a Facebook page himself, completely oblivious to what they are doing with his information, and claiming Facebook's great.

Edited 2012-09-05 06:56 UTC

Reply Score: 4

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Does he also think that Microsoft and Apple don't collect user data?

Edited 2012-09-05 11:30 UTC

Reply Score: 2

UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Does he also think that Microsoft and Apple don't collect user data?

I don't know for sure, but he really seems to just be anti-Google for some reason. He seems to just not care when I bring up any such companies' privacy issues and news--whether it's Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook or some other company, but he seems to like slamming Google. And he does use products and services from almost all of those companies (probably even Google, I wouldn't be surprised).

Between Microsoft, Apple and Facebook, I don't know what the order would be from least to most invasive on their users' privacy, but I think it's safe to say that Facebook would be the absolute worst of the bunch. Their history of blatant invasion of their users' privacy and silently stripping it away and just claiming "oops" every time they get caught is just that bad.

Edited 2012-09-05 22:01 UTC

Reply Score: 2

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Well.... duh!!! Facebook's main goal is to collect user data.

Reply Score: 2

UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Yes, but is that not one of Google's main goals as well? Google goes about it much better than Facebook. Facebook is just downright sleazy; they really don't give a damn whose hands their users' personal data comes into. They've been repeatedly making the news for their questionable tactics over the last several years for a reason.

Reply Score: 2

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

They (Google) do mention that they will not give any information away to a third-party company, that they do not make changes violating users' rights at random and just say "oops" when caught.


No, they don't say 'oops'... they just claim it was an accident, like when they got busted driving vans down city streets and slurping data from public wifi access points. Look, I don't trust Facebook. I don't trust Google either. Trying to argue over which you should trust less is like arguing which of the neighborhood pedophiles you should let babysit your children.

Reply Score: 3

sbenitezb Member since:
2005-07-22

I'll party with you! I'm just hoping the FB juggernaut slows down before we're all forced to participate in it to have what everyone else will call a "normal" life. Living a life that is not dominated by a social network is actually pretty satisfying.


And yet here you are, in a social "network", agreeing on partying with other people bringing beer.

Reply Score: 2

UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

I wouldn't exactly consider a news discussion forum a "social networking" site in the strictest sense. Loosely, maybe, but it's more about the discussions than it is about helping you find new (or old) friends to meet in real life or keep up-to-date on their daily activities. Big damn difference there. I never was much into social networking crap, but I've been a member of several Internet forums over the years.

Why? Not to meet new people--but instead to talk about the things that interest me. The interest is in the discussion topics; not necessarily the people. This is reinforced by the tendency of forums to create unique user names for each user, instead of sticking their real names right beside every one of their posts. Sure, such information may or may not actually be in a user's profile (up to the user), but the big point is discussion forums have a focus on something *other* than on the people directly.

I'll put it this way: Social networking helps you find and keep tabs on real-life friends. Forums provide a place of discussion. Simple as that.

Reply Score: 2

Facebook not in crisis, far from it.
by spiderman on Wed 5th Sep 2012 06:40 UTC
spiderman
Member since:
2008-10-23

Whoever is taking the stock price as a sign of crisis is a fool and doesn't understand what Facebook is.
The gamblers (also called "investors" in some circles) lost big time, and that makes me laugh my ass out but don't confuse their crisis with a Facebook crisis.
Facebook is making big profits and big revenues. The gamblers just beted wrong on the profit and I laugh at them, let them rot in hell. I hope they all loose big.
Facebook is doing very well in the mean time, which is a good thing.

Reply Score: 4

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I'd mod you up but alas....
Yes, Facebook is not in crisis. Facebook is in it for the long-haul and the only ones who has a crisis are the people who didn't use their head and thought they could make a quick buck.
Facebook going public was not, and is not, a problem. Heck, they raised 10 billions with their IPO. If that's a problem I'd like to have one.
The problem is people with unrealistic expectations.

Reply Score: 4

unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13


Facebook is making big profits and big revenues.


Completely incorrect. Facebook has very low revenues (<$6Billion) and operates at a loss. As a business it is a complete and utter failure.

Reply Score: 4

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

On the one hand, it's encouraging to see normal developers at the top of the company instead of regular businessmen, but on the other hand...I wish Zuckerberg could be a better leader and get his cards in order.

From all the interviews I've ever seen, Mark Zuckerberg is a competent developer, but he has no idea how to run a profitable company. He hit it big time, but it looks like he was exceptionally lucky rather than exceptionally skilled. He has tons of opportunities with his company's wealth and connections, but I don't think he actually knows where he is going to go from here. My guess is that he's just going to continue with existing momentum, which is fine for him, but probably not good for stock market investors.

Reply Score: 2

kateline Member since:
2011-05-19

FB is in crisis because it is a public company now. Investors ultimately dictate its fate. If the stock price doesn't recover somewhat you can bet there will be big changes.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by stabbyjones
by stabbyjones on Wed 5th Sep 2012 08:39 UTC
stabbyjones
Member since:
2008-04-15

There's nothing wrong with Facebook from a business point. It's more that idiots didn't realise that they were just there to help people cash out rather than make a shrewd investment.

Anyone who thought the ipo was a good buy either has no idea what they were doing with or were the guys selling the shares.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by stabbyjones
by unclefester on Wed 5th Sep 2012 11:04 UTC in reply to "Comment by stabbyjones"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

There's nothing wrong with Facebook from a business point.


The purpose of a business is to earn a strong return on the capital invested. By this definition Facebook is a dismal failure.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by stabbyjones
by JAlexoid on Wed 5th Sep 2012 11:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by stabbyjones"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

No. The stock was a total failure of an investment. Facebook is a total success of an investment so far.

But Facebook is not a business and Zuk seems to not realize that. Just like search is not a business at Google. Facebook just needs a better monetization strategy, because it's too average at the moment.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by stabbyjones
by unclefester on Wed 5th Sep 2012 12:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by stabbyjones"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Facebook just needs a better monetization strategy, because it's too average at the moment.


The fact is that most "tech" companies like Facebook, (Twitter, Amazon, Groupon, Zynga, Yahoo, Myspace etc) are basically elaborate Ponzi schemes. Their "business plan" is to make a lot of money for the founders and venture capitalists by floating the company. They don't really have a plan for long term profitability and simply cash out before the company eventually collapses.

Edited 2012-09-05 12:42 UTC

Reply Score: 7

RE[4]: Comment by stabbyjones
by Soulbender on Wed 5th Sep 2012 13:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by stabbyjones"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

They don't really have a plan for long term profitability and simply cash out before the company eventually collapses.


I don't think Amazon fits in this category since they actually have products and services that they're selling.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Comment by stabbyjones
by unclefester on Thu 6th Sep 2012 00:48 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by stabbyjones"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

I don't think Amazon fits in this category since they actually have products and services that they're selling.


Amazon has a valuation of $112b. Yet it has only $370m earnings and no profits (after 14 years!). If Amazon was a real world business the management would be immediately fired and the company wound up.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by stabbyjones
by marafaka on Thu 6th Sep 2012 10:26 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by stabbyjones"
marafaka Member since:
2006-01-03

Yeah! My aunt buys eggs for 2 bucks and sells them for 1 and she often complains: I sell them dirt cheap but still there is no profit!

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by stabbyjones
by vaette on Wed 5th Sep 2012 13:40 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by stabbyjones"
vaette Member since:
2008-08-09

The costs of running Facebook are small (great scale, not terribly complex software involved) and they have something like a billion active and rather deeply engaged users. They also know more about their users than just about any other service in the world. If Facebook cannot make money on advertising then the advertising model for services on the internet is truly and finally dead.

Which is a possibility, but I am more likely to bet that Facebook will in the end be reasonably profitable.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Comment by stabbyjones
by unclefester on Thu 6th Sep 2012 00:53 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by stabbyjones"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

If Facebook cannot make money on advertising then the advertising model for services on the internet is truly and finally dead.


That's the reality.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by stabbyjones
by Alfman on Wed 5th Sep 2012 14:07 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by stabbyjones"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

unclefester,

"The fact is that most 'tech' companies like Facebook, (Twitter, Amazon, Groupon, Zynga, Yahoo, Myspace etc) are basically elaborate Ponzi schemes. Their 'business plan' is to make a lot of money for the founders and venture capitalists by floating the company."

No denying any of that. I feel like calling it "business 2.0".

Reply Score: 6

Haha
by peteo on Wed 5th Sep 2012 09:41 UTC
peteo
Member since:
2011-10-05

Mark is already a billionaire, no matter how the Facebook saga ends. I don't think he worries too much. This is mostly sad for the later employees who hoped to get rich, and screwed-over investors.

Edited 2012-09-05 09:41 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Re:
by kurkosdr on Wed 5th Sep 2012 16:55 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

"
The gamblers (also called "investors" in some circles) lost big time, and that makes me laugh my ass out but don't confuse their crisis with a Facebook crisis."

This is true only if Zuck has retained more than 50% of the stocks (too lazy to check). If he hasn't, and the investors become frustrated because Facebook's growth rate doesn't meet their arbitary expectations, they can always axe Zuck and replace him with some waterhead CEO (as it so often happens).
Also, the reason a company goes public is to raise cash (IPO means "a part of the company for your cash, in plain english"). So, a low stock price means Facebook is taking in less cash for the same amount of part of the company it sells.

But I agree, in this case the investors (gamblers) are the ones losing the most. Isn't it fun when the bubble bursts before the weasels have time to make any money? Wish it had happened in the dot-com bubble too. Facebook will keep being a strong and profitable company, but the bubble has been bust.

Edited 2012-09-05 17:01 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Re:
by unclefester on Thu 6th Sep 2012 03:01 UTC in reply to "Re:"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

The majority of those "gamblers" were completely unaware they even invested in Facebook. Their pension funds and banks decided it was a good idea.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Re:
by zima on Sun 9th Sep 2012 04:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Re:"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Still, they are the people demanding the highest returns WRT their pension plans or savings ...and, if not satisfied, they go elsewhere with their money, to those who promise more satisfying returns (and subsequently are often more risky, aggressive, exploitative, and so on); those "gamblers" largely promote it all.

Reply Score: 2

Did people really have faith in Facebook?
by tuaris on Wed 5th Sep 2012 21:41 UTC
tuaris
Member since:
2007-08-05

Anyone who invested in facebook thinking it was going to make them overnight millionaires deserves to suffer heavy losses.

It makes me wonder how anyone could think that facebook was worth something?

Facebook has and always will be useless, unless of course you are one of thousands of spammers owning the millions of fake accounts.

Reply Score: 1

Facebook
by hackus on Wed 5th Sep 2012 22:16 UTC
hackus
Member since:
2006-06-28

Don't you worry your little heads about Facebook. I guarantee it won't be going anywhere. It never was capitalized on the premise it would make a profit. It was capitalized and runs wholly as a subsidiary of the intelligence community. If Facebook does go away there will be a reason and that reason will be that it has become obsolete.

Profit is its last concern.

-Hack

Reply Score: 2

a great idea but a lousy business
by unclefester on Thu 6th Sep 2012 01:03 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

Facebook could have been a brilliant non-profit FOSS social network. However it evolved into a monster.

Facebook as a business plan it is spectacularly stupid because there is no logical way to make money from it.

Reply Score: 1