so lots of folks are frowning about facebook. the social media network built in mark zuckerberg’s harvard university dorm room in 2004 offered up its shares to the public in may. at the opening bell, it was trading at $38 per share and expectations were high. it was the most anticipated of ipo’s!
since then, share prices have plummeted to less than $20 as i write. board member and one of facebook’s biggest investors peter thiel sold off 80% of his shares today and that’s gotta hurt. thiel was an early angel to the company, with a $500,000 check. he’s going to end up with over a billion dollars. that is so much more of a return on investment than i netted when my ex husband and i sold the family home this summer. and i don’t see any articles on cnn.com about what a lousy investment the presser family made in real estate.
dustin moskovitz, one of facebook’s cofounders, is selling 7 million shares today, netting him about $9 million. that sounds like a defection, like a friendship issue. but it’s not. moskovitz still has 126 million shares, or about $2.4 billion in the company. so mark, don’ t hit the “defriend” button!
but let’s look at mark’s summer. and facebook’s summer.
mark and his girlfriend priscilla chan married a few days after the ipo in may. contrary to the storyline of “the social network” mark and priscilla were an item beginning even before facebook was started. he’ll always know she loves him for himself! and she graduated from medical school this year and is pursuing her own dream of being a pediatrician. what a happy couple! i have no idea where my “save the date” postcard and my invite went. but that engraved toaster i got you at bloomingdale’s is on its way!
so on a personal note, mark is having a great summer. and professionally? well, he’s young and he’s created something so amazing that he could walk away and everybody would still think he’s a genius.
but is he going to walk away? no. just because facebook (and the other social network systems) have been overvalued doesn’t mean there’s a fundamental problem. it just means that some people were a little overenthusiastic. a social network’s only asset is information about its users. the only thing facebook owns is information about you–your pictures, your posts, that status update–that it can sell to advertisers. there’s never been a company model quite like facebook, groupon, zynga, linkedin before. it’s to be expected some mistakes would happen in figuring out how to value information about its users.
but with mistakes comes opportunity. the price is dropping. some analysts think facebook is going to settle around $12 a share and that still leaves mark zuckerberg incredibly wealthy.
mark and priscilla have lived in this home for quite a while. it’s big, to be sure, but not quite what you would expect for a gazillionaire. and i respect that the two of them handed out candy at halloween on their own. they’re pretty regular, all things considered.
and here’s the great thing about the shares settling in the teens–it means that mark can look forward to regular type folks investing in facebook. including me!
see you at the board meeting, mark!