The nature of the new tools coming out in the social media space shows that the world is changing. Not too long ago, Twitter was the domain of insiders, and the term “MySpace refugee,” the result of the migration to Facebook, had not yet entered the cultural lexicon. In garages across the country, new social media platforms were being developed and launched … and they had a fighting chance at survival. The change in innovation, however, indicates that we’re entering a new phase in the social media evolution.
If you’ve never been to a Century 21 store, you’re missing an experience. I picked up an Armani suit there on the cheap (leftover, damaged, some-damn-thing), not to mention a Ted Baker shirt for around $50. It’s where you go in Manhattan for discounts. Where do you go in Silicon Valley? Apparently, Facebook.
As I mentioned yesterday, Facebook has put together a deal to allow employees to cash out of some of their pre-IPO shares. It’s generous, and from a business perspective, it makes sense. The only problem is that it has called Facebook’s claimed (and probably bullshit) valuation into question. They are allowing employees to sell shares based on a $15 billion valuation, which is based on the last equity investment made in the company.
Today, ValleyWag has reported that many Facebook employees agree with my assessment of the company’s valuation. Plenty of employees are trying to dump their holdings, several at a third of the company’s “perceived” value. Some could look at this cynically, perhaps as a lack of faith in Facebook. I get this. A year ago, we were talking about the invulnerability of MySpace, and now, the war appears to be long won.
But, I don’t think anything that jaded is at play.
Instead, I think employees want to take advantage of an opportunity to cash out, which is unsurprising when you figure that these guys probably have a shitload of compensation tied up in their equity holdings. And, I think they are being realistic about the value of the company. $15 billion is absurd; $5 billion is a thrid less absurd.
Again, I can’t shake my CMGi visions when I read this shit. It’s all coming back. At least I’ll have something to cover for a while.
Rupert Murdoch must have a hell of a strategy, because what he’s doing doesn’t seem to make a damned bit of sense. Yesterday, word got out that he is taking the Ottaway Newspaper chain off the market. With declining newspaper valuations– not to mention that Ottaway is one of the most profitable pieces of the Dow Jones empire (at least before they chopped it with a divestiture in late 2006)– this is probably not stupid. But, ValleyWag suggests that Murdoch is interested in picking up a piece of former internet giant Yahoo!.
Didn’t the Aussie learn something about new media when he bought MySpace, only to have it eclipsed almost immediately by Facebook? Yeah, smart. That was $500 million well-spent. So, now he’ll go after a Web 1.0 has-been, for some purpose that only he can understand. He’s either a genius or a complete moron. Buying MySpace and Yahoo! (which trail Facebook and Google) is like rooting for the Chicago Cubs or the Boston Bruins. You have to know that you’ll never hit the top.
But, Murdoch’s the rich one, not me. So, grain of salt and all that.