Why Microsoft doesn’t deserve Facebook

First of all, think I’m the only one going gung-ho about Facebook? You’re nuts.

ReadWriteWeb is doing a week of nothing but Facebook.

I added a few more apps to my Facebook profile in the past day. My favorite application continues to be that Google Reader Shared Items one. It demonstrates the best value add that’s out there. It does something that could only be done on Facebook and with Facebook’s platform. Plus he’s been adding a new feature every day or so. Today he added groups to that app and it already is beating TechMeme on speed. I knew that when you study people’s reading behaviors that a new Digg or a new TechMeme is not only possible, but will bring something new to the table.

Anyway, back to my thesis. One of the things I found on the Google Reader facebook application was this post by Fred Wilson, A VC in NYC. In that post he tells why he believes Facebook won’t sell to anyone and if it did it’d get screwed up.

Now I used to advocate for all sorts of companies selling to Microsoft. Why? Well, for one, I thought it was smart for Microsoft to do. It would keep Microsoft part of the new Internet conversation and would bring some badly-needed fresh stream of ideas to its search team.

Now that I’m a Facebook nut case I am starting to care about what happens to Facebook and where it goes long term. I keep hearing that Microsoft is going to buy Facebook. That thought is starting to bum me out. Why? Microsoft doesn’t deserve Facebook.

Why do I say that? Well, Microsoft has remained on the sidelines in the new social services space for far too long. They haven’t bought best-of-breed anything in social software. Not in blogging. Not in photosharing. Not in bookmarking. Not in wiki’ing. Not in live search. Nothing. Not one best-of-breed company purchased.

So, they have no track record that would demonstrate that someone at Microsoft in leadership there “gets it.”

I’m sure they have lots of money to start throwing around, if they wanted to. It’s pretty obvious to me and most of the smart people in the tech industry that Facebook has value. You can argue about whether it’s $2 billion or $10 billion, but it clearly has value that lots of companies would love to have inhouse.

I personally hope it goes somewhere that the leadership will CARE about owning it, feeding it, and taking care of it. To me that means going someplace that has bought other social services. My top choice? Yahoo. Then Google. Yahoo has made a few mistakes with Flickr and its other services, for instance, but they are minor ones. For the most part they haven’t messed with those services after they bought them.

Microsoft has NO track record of buying best of breed social services on the Web and leaving them alone to mature.

The problem is that Microsoft has the money. They can outbid anyone. But I don’t think they deserve Facebook.

I vote for IPO since Yahoo isn’t able to put enough money on the table to close the deal. Readers over on Fred’s blog post say that Facebook should stay private.

What would you do if you ran Facebook?

Comments

  1. What would I do? Milk it for all I can before that flash in the pan goes out. It will never survive on its own in its current form. Their heads are swelling too much with all this valuation and IPO hype that they will continue to expand in employees and hardware to the point that the pittance of revenue they’re making won’t cover operating costs, let alone continued expansion.

  2. What would I do? Milk it for all I can before that flash in the pan goes out. It will never survive on its own in its current form. Their heads are swelling too much with all this valuation and IPO hype that they will continue to expand in employees and hardware to the point that the pittance of revenue they’re making won’t cover operating costs, let alone continued expansion.

  3. I think anyone could do a good job at screwing over facebook, though microsoft might excel better in that field though ;p. The difference is that Mark Zuckerburg doesn’t give a rip about business and solely cares for the community, something that no business man would understand.

    I’d rather see mark stay where he is, not affiliated with any company. Going public might be good for them, but I would bet mark would want to hold on to most of the stock.

    If I ran facebook? Probably up the bar on the facebook apps, on the stability/quality issue. Also, get more music into it. One of my favorite bits of myspace is that I find a lot of bands there through the flash player on there, thats actually legal. It’s a nice no hassle way to find new music.

  4. I think anyone could do a good job at screwing over facebook, though microsoft might excel better in that field though ;p. The difference is that Mark Zuckerburg doesn’t give a rip about business and solely cares for the community, something that no business man would understand.

    I’d rather see mark stay where he is, not affiliated with any company. Going public might be good for them, but I would bet mark would want to hold on to most of the stock.

    If I ran facebook? Probably up the bar on the facebook apps, on the stability/quality issue. Also, get more music into it. One of my favorite bits of myspace is that I find a lot of bands there through the flash player on there, thats actually legal. It’s a nice no hassle way to find new music.

  5. if i ran facebook, i’d sell it to the highest bidder, go buy a tropical island (not a smelly oil rig like the pirate bay wanted) with the rest I would spend half on booze and women, and blow the other half…

  6. Hype it up, hire a few PR firms, let loose the puffery VCs, get dimwit journalists and bloggers all a twittering, claiming it’s the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, then sell off quick, and run for the border, Mark Cuban style…

  7. if i ran facebook, i’d sell it to the highest bidder, go buy a tropical island (not a smelly oil rig like the pirate bay wanted) with the rest I would spend half on booze and women, and blow the other half…

  8. Hype it up, hire a few PR firms, let loose the puffery VCs, get dimwit journalists and bloggers all a twittering, claiming it’s the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, then sell off quick, and run for the border, Mark Cuban style…

  9. I agree that they should keep massaging the quality on the apps issue and create new functionality that have been popular on other sites (including RSS for pictures – I don’t like the pictures module on facebook, i use Picasa). Anyhoo… I have been on Facebook since 2005, but I have a lot of friends that have been on it since its inception going back to 2003 if I remember correctly. I don’t think it is a flash in the pan. In fact, I think it could keep moving up in value if they keep focusing on the community. So, should they sell out? Hell no! Would I? Probably :)

  10. I agree that they should keep massaging the quality on the apps issue and create new functionality that have been popular on other sites (including RSS for pictures – I don’t like the pictures module on facebook, i use Picasa). Anyhoo… I have been on Facebook since 2005, but I have a lot of friends that have been on it since its inception going back to 2003 if I remember correctly. I don’t think it is a flash in the pan. In fact, I think it could keep moving up in value if they keep focusing on the community. So, should they sell out? Hell no! Would I? Probably :)

  11. What I want from Facebook and what I’d doif I had Facebook are really at the opposite ends of the spectrum. Dude, if someone offered me a billion for my soul, it’d be packaged with a ribbon on it before the ink was dry on the contract. A web app would be easy to let go. That’s reality right?

    As a user, Facebook has really grown on me in the last couple of weeks. I’ve added a few friends which helps, but the Killer App is the apps. I want Facebook to be the centre of my online world – it isn’t yet, but it could be. Bring my blog, Gmail, Flickr and all the other accounts I have out there into an interactive one screen package, where I can manage and operate it all. That would be cool.

  12. What I want from Facebook and what I’d doif I had Facebook are really at the opposite ends of the spectrum. Dude, if someone offered me a billion for my soul, it’d be packaged with a ribbon on it before the ink was dry on the contract. A web app would be easy to let go. That’s reality right?

    As a user, Facebook has really grown on me in the last couple of weeks. I’ve added a few friends which helps, but the Killer App is the apps. I want Facebook to be the centre of my online world – it isn’t yet, but it could be. Bring my blog, Gmail, Flickr and all the other accounts I have out there into an interactive one screen package, where I can manage and operate it all. That would be cool.

  13. I would like to see Facebook stay private. They’re hungry! I’d like to see it stay that way.

    Selling to one of the big boys will take away that fire…it’s inevitable. And a hungrier start-up will rise up to take Facebook’s place.

  14. I would like to see Facebook stay private. They’re hungry! I’d like to see it stay that way.

    Selling to one of the big boys will take away that fire…it’s inevitable. And a hungrier start-up will rise up to take Facebook’s place.

  15. As a twentysomething who was a part of Facebook before it was even considered a possible business commodity that Yahoo and Google and Microsoft were going to fight tooth and nail over, I still hold a candle that it will stay as private and independent as humanly possible. MySpace went downhill after it was bought, and I have a feeling that too many fiftysomething-year-old men who just discovered Facebook in the last year and now want to use it as a come-on for marketing are going to destroy what’s good and alienate the majority of constituents (college-aged and the recently-graduated).

  16. As a twentysomething who was a part of Facebook before it was even considered a possible business commodity that Yahoo and Google and Microsoft were going to fight tooth and nail over, I still hold a candle that it will stay as private and independent as humanly possible. MySpace went downhill after it was bought, and I have a feeling that too many fiftysomething-year-old men who just discovered Facebook in the last year and now want to use it as a come-on for marketing are going to destroy what’s good and alienate the majority of constituents (college-aged and the recently-graduated).

  17. If I thought I could make good money with Facebook I’d keep it private. Only if I thought it was going to tank would I sell it to anyone.

    As for Microsoft and social computing I agree there is a ways to go. I mean sure there are more users of Messenger than just about anything in its class, and more users of Spaces than just about anything in it’s class, and more users of Hotmail thant just about anything in its class but none of that is any indication that they can handle things that scale. :-)

  18. If I thought I could make good money with Facebook I’d keep it private. Only if I thought it was going to tank would I sell it to anyone.

    As for Microsoft and social computing I agree there is a ways to go. I mean sure there are more users of Messenger than just about anything in its class, and more users of Spaces than just about anything in it’s class, and more users of Hotmail thant just about anything in its class but none of that is any indication that they can handle things that scale. :-)

  19. Alfred, Robert said “best of breed” not “most scalable”. Though I think Robert needs to tell us by what criteria he determines that a particular service is “best of breed”

  20. Alfred, Robert said “best of breed” not “most scalable”. Though I think Robert needs to tell us by what criteria he determines that a particular service is “best of breed”

  21. What would I do? Sell to the highest bidder while the Web 2.0 bubble is at its speculative peak and laugh my way to the bank.

    From a user’s standpoint, I see the potential and use the service daily myself. From an advertiser’s standpoint though (my biz btw) I just don’t see the revenue potential – at least not at the level to justify the hype/speculation currently raging. People love to compare Facebook right now to where Google was 4-5 years ago. But Google already had a strong, proven revenue system in place that would scale wonderfully with any future growth. Facebook doesn’t have anything REMOTELY close to that right now. And all current and emerging ad models just won’t scale to match the current speculative valuation. A Google or Microsoft can afford to eat the loss to gain marketshare. But I think going it alone with an IPO will lead to a quick bubble that will quickly burst once actual revenues are realized.

    I’m with you on one thing, of all the major players capable of buying Facebook I’d like to see it be Yahoo. Partly to act as a counterbalance to Google in a growing online area (I’d rather see MS get it for the same reason) and partly because I think Yahoo has always been the epitome of a portal – something Facebook could easily morph into. I also like the way Yahoo has not meddled too much with other hot acquisitions. A lot of people complain that Yahoo doesn’t do as good a job as Google of folding their acquisitions like Flickr and Upcoming.org under the Yahoo brand. But most of Google’s most popular re-branded acquisitions have been utilities, not social networks. It’s MUCH easier to slap the Google name on Keyhole (Google Earth) or Writely/XL2Web (Google Docs) than it is to bring a popular, social network into the fold. Notice they still haven’t aggressively tried to fold their largest social site YouTube too much under the Google brand? Sometimes it’s better to leave a good thing alone and only slowly bring along closer ties.

  22. What would I do? Sell to the highest bidder while the Web 2.0 bubble is at its speculative peak and laugh my way to the bank.

    From a user’s standpoint, I see the potential and use the service daily myself. From an advertiser’s standpoint though (my biz btw) I just don’t see the revenue potential – at least not at the level to justify the hype/speculation currently raging. People love to compare Facebook right now to where Google was 4-5 years ago. But Google already had a strong, proven revenue system in place that would scale wonderfully with any future growth. Facebook doesn’t have anything REMOTELY close to that right now. And all current and emerging ad models just won’t scale to match the current speculative valuation. A Google or Microsoft can afford to eat the loss to gain marketshare. But I think going it alone with an IPO will lead to a quick bubble that will quickly burst once actual revenues are realized.

    I’m with you on one thing, of all the major players capable of buying Facebook I’d like to see it be Yahoo. Partly to act as a counterbalance to Google in a growing online area (I’d rather see MS get it for the same reason) and partly because I think Yahoo has always been the epitome of a portal – something Facebook could easily morph into. I also like the way Yahoo has not meddled too much with other hot acquisitions. A lot of people complain that Yahoo doesn’t do as good a job as Google of folding their acquisitions like Flickr and Upcoming.org under the Yahoo brand. But most of Google’s most popular re-branded acquisitions have been utilities, not social networks. It’s MUCH easier to slap the Google name on Keyhole (Google Earth) or Writely/XL2Web (Google Docs) than it is to bring a popular, social network into the fold. Notice they still haven’t aggressively tried to fold their largest social site YouTube too much under the Google brand? Sometimes it’s better to leave a good thing alone and only slowly bring along closer ties.

  23. Or could it be that they get it in another way?

    IMO, Facebook like any other social site, never stays on top for long. Yes their fun for a while especially when everyone you know is on it. But eventually (and it always happens, think geocites, myspace) the in crowd moves on to something else.

    Robert, you are liking Facebook because you can finally relate to what the “kids” have been experiencing with MySpace, but it wears thin eventually. Mark Zuckerburg is adding retention by opening it up as a platform, but even that will pass.

    I hope no company buys for the rumoured billions, since it is not econimically justifiable, unless we want to go back to the burning cash of the DotCom1.0??

  24. Or could it be that they get it in another way?

    IMO, Facebook like any other social site, never stays on top for long. Yes their fun for a while especially when everyone you know is on it. But eventually (and it always happens, think geocites, myspace) the in crowd moves on to something else.

    Robert, you are liking Facebook because you can finally relate to what the “kids” have been experiencing with MySpace, but it wears thin eventually. Mark Zuckerburg is adding retention by opening it up as a platform, but even that will pass.

    I hope no company buys for the rumoured billions, since it is not econimically justifiable, unless we want to go back to the burning cash of the DotCom1.0??

  25. > Well, Microsoft has remained on the sidelines in
    > the new social services space for far too long.

    Wouldn’t that mean it’d be ideal for MS to buy FB then? I agree that Y! has definitely led the way in adding stellar companies to their web 2.0 portfolio, but couldn’t it just mean that we’ve been waiting out to buy the most promising one?

    ai
    PS: I’m speaking for myself and not representing MS or MS’s stance in anyway.

  26. > Well, Microsoft has remained on the sidelines in
    > the new social services space for far too long.

    Wouldn’t that mean it’d be ideal for MS to buy FB then? I agree that Y! has definitely led the way in adding stellar companies to their web 2.0 portfolio, but couldn’t it just mean that we’ve been waiting out to buy the most promising one?

    ai
    PS: I’m speaking for myself and not representing MS or MS’s stance in anyway.

  27. Best of breed == things Scoble likes the best :)

    I don’t know why Microsoft has any bearing on this conversation other than making for a fun headline on TechMeme.

  28. Best of breed == things Scoble likes the best :)

    I don’t know why Microsoft has any bearing on this conversation other than making for a fun headline on TechMeme.

  29. Does Best Really matter anymore? I don’t think it does. I would like to see Microsoft buy Facebook Having that network would really boost thier AD sales and help promote Live Services. It would also be great intergrated with XBOX Live and Zune. It would nice to log onto my facebook account and see what friends are on XBOX live playing Gears of War. What if they came up with an app that by squirting someone a song on you zune they would also get an invite to be your friend? What if they intergrated it with Windows Mobile as a friend so you could send a mass SMS message with an invite to be your friend? With a 2 billion pricetag I think facebook would represnet a good value to Microsoft. The intergration with Live Space and a Silverlight based video system would rock!

  30. Does Best Really matter anymore? I don’t think it does. I would like to see Microsoft buy Facebook Having that network would really boost thier AD sales and help promote Live Services. It would also be great intergrated with XBOX Live and Zune. It would nice to log onto my facebook account and see what friends are on XBOX live playing Gears of War. What if they came up with an app that by squirting someone a song on you zune they would also get an invite to be your friend? What if they intergrated it with Windows Mobile as a friend so you could send a mass SMS message with an invite to be your friend? With a 2 billion pricetag I think facebook would represnet a good value to Microsoft. The intergration with Live Space and a Silverlight based video system would rock!

  31. “What would you do if you ran Facebook?”

    Figure out how to make money and build and exit strategy. It CANNOT survive on its on with the current model.

  32. “What would you do if you ran Facebook?”

    Figure out how to make money and build and exit strategy. It CANNOT survive on its on with the current model.

  33. @3 “Dude, if someone offered me a billion for my soul, it’d be packaged with a ribbon on it before the ink was dry on the contract. A web app would be easy to let go. That’s reality right?”

    No shit!! People that try to be all idealistic about not “selling their soul” are being dishonest. Everyone has a price. For some it may be unreasonable, but its a price nonetheless and they will do it for the money. So, when Scoble says he won’t “sacrifice his integrity”..well, at some $$$ amount he will, and companies will. Again, it might be a dollar amount only Buffet or Gates can afford, but it’s there.

  34. @3 “Dude, if someone offered me a billion for my soul, it’d be packaged with a ribbon on it before the ink was dry on the contract. A web app would be easy to let go. That’s reality right?”

    No shit!! People that try to be all idealistic about not “selling their soul” are being dishonest. Everyone has a price. For some it may be unreasonable, but its a price nonetheless and they will do it for the money. So, when Scoble says he won’t “sacrifice his integrity”..well, at some $$$ amount he will, and companies will. Again, it might be a dollar amount only Buffet or Gates can afford, but it’s there.

  35. You know what Scoble. I’m a softie and normally I disagree with you, for a number of non-Microsoft related reasons.

    But on this one, I agree with you 1000%. We don’t deserve a Facebook. Just like we don’t deserve many other things like this (Twitter, Pownce, etc.). Even if we can pay for it, the execs here just DON’T GET IT, and 6 months from purchase, all the buzz would be gone and the asset would be all but dead. Now, are there those of us in the trenches at MSFT that could figure out how to really pimp assets like these in the “new world that could be MSFT”…yes, but well, you know the rest (see also “MiniMSFT”)

    You’re spot on here.

  36. You know what Scoble. I’m a softie and normally I disagree with you, for a number of non-Microsoft related reasons.

    But on this one, I agree with you 1000%. We don’t deserve a Facebook. Just like we don’t deserve many other things like this (Twitter, Pownce, etc.). Even if we can pay for it, the execs here just DON’T GET IT, and 6 months from purchase, all the buzz would be gone and the asset would be all but dead. Now, are there those of us in the trenches at MSFT that could figure out how to really pimp assets like these in the “new world that could be MSFT”…yes, but well, you know the rest (see also “MiniMSFT”)

    You’re spot on here.

  37. Microsoft just can’t get any traction in the Web 2.0 arena: MS groupthink of decision making executives dictate EVERY element of their portfolio must “leverage” Windows.

    The only way MS could have a chance with Facebook is if they abandon this thinking. They sort of did it with XBox, although even that is appearing to have jumped the shark.

  38. Microsoft just can’t get any traction in the Web 2.0 arena: MS groupthink of decision making executives dictate EVERY element of their portfolio must “leverage” Windows.

    The only way MS could have a chance with Facebook is if they abandon this thinking. They sort of did it with XBox, although even that is appearing to have jumped the shark.

  39. Interesting take on things…

    I posted a similar analysis a few days ago:

    http://www.facebookblog.org/?postid=10000120

    Personally, I don’t think Facebook should sell to anyone…

    Ideally, users would start up some form of investment vehicle and could participate in owning the company while they add value to it by using it on a regular basis.

    Short of that scenario, I think they’d be wise to stay private and accept taxable donations.

  40. Interesting take on things…

    I posted a similar analysis a few days ago:

    http://www.facebookblog.org/?postid=10000120

    Personally, I don’t think Facebook should sell to anyone…

    Ideally, users would start up some form of investment vehicle and could participate in owning the company while they add value to it by using it on a regular basis.

    Short of that scenario, I think they’d be wise to stay private and accept taxable donations.

  41. I don’t feel like most people understand what facebook is trying to do– they’re trying to become the provider/manager/source of identity on the Internet, not unlike what Microsoft tried to do once upon a time with Passport and Hailstorm and all that. They’ve just gone about it in a much more clever way, and that’s what Microsoft is interested in.

    The social networking stuff, along with the long-time reliance on belonging to particular networks based on an email address, is the key to giving people the incentive to honestly represent themselves. And whereas MS tried to cajole/bribe/strong-arm companies into signing up for passport, facebook has companies and developers falling all over themselves to create apps whose primary identity requirement is a facebook login id. I think Dave Winer pointed this out on his blog the other day– this is the real opportunity for facebook, and the value is enormous.

    That being said, I don’t want FB to sell out to MS. I’m sure they would love to have access to all of that cash, but I hope they understand that what they’re trying to a very delicate thing, and MS hasn’t really shown any evidence that they get it– honestly, neither has Yahoo or Google. I think they should keep it private for as long as they can, and keep control after they go public.

  42. I don’t feel like most people understand what facebook is trying to do– they’re trying to become the provider/manager/source of identity on the Internet, not unlike what Microsoft tried to do once upon a time with Passport and Hailstorm and all that. They’ve just gone about it in a much more clever way, and that’s what Microsoft is interested in.

    The social networking stuff, along with the long-time reliance on belonging to particular networks based on an email address, is the key to giving people the incentive to honestly represent themselves. And whereas MS tried to cajole/bribe/strong-arm companies into signing up for passport, facebook has companies and developers falling all over themselves to create apps whose primary identity requirement is a facebook login id. I think Dave Winer pointed this out on his blog the other day– this is the real opportunity for facebook, and the value is enormous.

    That being said, I don’t want FB to sell out to MS. I’m sure they would love to have access to all of that cash, but I hope they understand that what they’re trying to a very delicate thing, and MS hasn’t really shown any evidence that they get it– honestly, neither has Yahoo or Google. I think they should keep it private for as long as they can, and keep control after they go public.

  43. Seems bizarre to say that if bought you’d want it to go to someone like Yahoo or Google. Neither are any better and Google is even worse when it comes to allowing a company they purchase to continue to innovate.

  44. Seems bizarre to say that if bought you’d want it to go to someone like Yahoo or Google. Neither are any better and Google is even worse when it comes to allowing a company they purchase to continue to innovate.

  45. At this point, if I ran Facebook, I would sell. Since thing move so fast, you never know what could happen before an IPO. And it would be quite enough money for a lifetime already.

    About the other points. I am not sure.

    I think Microsoft might be able to get it right. It’s exactly what they need. It’s a good platform to expand upon. Anyone in the tech industry you tries Facebook, gets it pretty fast on how it is powerful. For that reason, I would give them the benefit of the doubt to improve it. And, with the focus on the API and developers, that segment is at least something Microsoft understands well.

    In any case, if they do buy it, Microsoft really need to put all execs on Facebook for a month before touching anything.

  46. At this point, if I ran Facebook, I would sell. Since thing move so fast, you never know what could happen before an IPO. And it would be quite enough money for a lifetime already.

    About the other points. I am not sure.

    I think Microsoft might be able to get it right. It’s exactly what they need. It’s a good platform to expand upon. Anyone in the tech industry you tries Facebook, gets it pretty fast on how it is powerful. For that reason, I would give them the benefit of the doubt to improve it. And, with the focus on the API and developers, that segment is at least something Microsoft understands well.

    In any case, if they do buy it, Microsoft really need to put all execs on Facebook for a month before touching anything.

  47. Amen to Josh. Facebook should remain private as long as they can and then go public. But I would also like Facebook to open up a bit more. The idea that my data is held inside a proprietary system sends jitters through me.

  48. Amen to Josh. Facebook should remain private as long as they can and then go public. But I would also like Facebook to open up a bit more. The idea that my data is held inside a proprietary system sends jitters through me.

  49. Facebook, Facebook, Facebook. Come on Scoble, we get that Facebook is the next best thing to sliced bread but come on, there is other news besides Facebook, Facebook, Facebook. It’s getting to the point that I’m thinking you are being paid to hype Facebook. Which I’m sure is not true, but it almost seems that way.

  50. Facebook, Facebook, Facebook. Come on Scoble, we get that Facebook is the next best thing to sliced bread but come on, there is other news besides Facebook, Facebook, Facebook. It’s getting to the point that I’m thinking you are being paid to hype Facebook. Which I’m sure is not true, but it almost seems that way.

  51. If it were worth a billion, why wouldn’t you sell? how much more do you need? Seriously- greed is going to pummel these people. The lawyers will get the dough.

    Rocky-

  52. If it were worth a billion, why wouldn’t you sell? how much more do you need? Seriously- greed is going to pummel these people. The lawyers will get the dough.

    Rocky-

  53. @Scoble. Google reader is destroying value of blogs, because the most interesting part of blog is comment section, but Google reader makes you ignore that. So I’m surprising why do you praise it so often.

  54. @Scoble. Google reader is destroying value of blogs, because the most interesting part of blog is comment section, but Google reader makes you ignore that. So I’m surprising why do you praise it so often.

  55. @smorty71: It’s hard to think of such huge amounts of money, but yeah, I think it’s pretty safe to say if you want to lend me the money I’ll make an offer ;)

  56. @smorty71: It’s hard to think of such huge amounts of money, but yeah, I think it’s pretty safe to say if you want to lend me the money I’ll make an offer ;)

  57. Whether it’s Microsft, someone else, or if they stay private I would really like to see Facebook continue on its present course of becoming a platform and of facilatating community. I think that one of its biggest strengths is how it facilitates the creation of cross organizational communities in a relatively (for the web) secure and controlled environment. The addition of apps is great and needed but I think it is this community aspect that will help to really give it legs as it facilitates/fosters discourse and networking in a world where we are all scrambling to keep up with the technical churn, and where who you know is becoming as important, or more so, than what you know. Access, and interaction with many minds provides synergy beyond the individual and I think Facebook has really nailed tat aspect. Some added functionality is needed and some kinks to iron out but I think they are best positioned to provide this service that will grow in importance over the next several years technology developments continue to evolve the workplace at an ever quickining pace. If an organization was to purchase it I would hope they would continue to build on these aspects and not morph it in to something else with short sighted vision.

  58. Whether it’s Microsft, someone else, or if they stay private I would really like to see Facebook continue on its present course of becoming a platform and of facilatating community. I think that one of its biggest strengths is how it facilitates the creation of cross organizational communities in a relatively (for the web) secure and controlled environment. The addition of apps is great and needed but I think it is this community aspect that will help to really give it legs as it facilitates/fosters discourse and networking in a world where we are all scrambling to keep up with the technical churn, and where who you know is becoming as important, or more so, than what you know. Access, and interaction with many minds provides synergy beyond the individual and I think Facebook has really nailed tat aspect. Some added functionality is needed and some kinks to iron out but I think they are best positioned to provide this service that will grow in importance over the next several years technology developments continue to evolve the workplace at an ever quickining pace. If an organization was to purchase it I would hope they would continue to build on these aspects and not morph it in to something else with short sighted vision.

  59. As several folks mentioned, what I personally want and what I would do if I was Mark are two entirely different things.

    If I owned FB, it probably have been sold much earlier so that I could retire to some obscure little place in the mountains with no wires and low accessibility. As an enthusiastic user, I’m having spasms just thinking about what MS would do to FB. Please God, no. Mark should stay independent for as long as possible.

    I’m a big Google junkie and wouldn’t really mind them taking over most of the world, but I don’t want *anyone* touching FB.

  60. As several folks mentioned, what I personally want and what I would do if I was Mark are two entirely different things.

    If I owned FB, it probably have been sold much earlier so that I could retire to some obscure little place in the mountains with no wires and low accessibility. As an enthusiastic user, I’m having spasms just thinking about what MS would do to FB. Please God, no. Mark should stay independent for as long as possible.

    I’m a big Google junkie and wouldn’t really mind them taking over most of the world, but I don’t want *anyone* touching FB.

  61. Going public or selling out is just about cashing out. If Zuckerberg wants to change the world, Facebook should stay private. Google should have stayed private too: they could have been smaller, more secretive, moved faster and not had to answer to anyone.

    As for facebook, this has been done before with MySpace and geocities before that. The number of features have grown but the layout of facebook doesn’t really make it a “platform”. I’m not going to sign up for a facebook account to read RSS feeds.

    As for Microsoft, anytime they buy something it’s the kiss of death. Look what they did to hotmail after all these years. That had the potential to be a #1 platform… how it’s stagnated should be a case study in business school curriculum.

  62. Going public or selling out is just about cashing out. If Zuckerberg wants to change the world, Facebook should stay private. Google should have stayed private too: they could have been smaller, more secretive, moved faster and not had to answer to anyone.

    As for facebook, this has been done before with MySpace and geocities before that. The number of features have grown but the layout of facebook doesn’t really make it a “platform”. I’m not going to sign up for a facebook account to read RSS feeds.

    As for Microsoft, anytime they buy something it’s the kiss of death. Look what they did to hotmail after all these years. That had the potential to be a #1 platform… how it’s stagnated should be a case study in business school curriculum.

  63. @31 ““If you had $2B of your own money on the line, would you buy Facebook?”

    No, the real question is, would you get more than $2BB value out of it? Otherwise, why would you part with your $2BB. And for a business, if they bought Facebook, how soon would they make their money back, and then start MAKING money on it? If that wasn’t the goal, then why buy it?

  64. @31 ““If you had $2B of your own money on the line, would you buy Facebook?”

    No, the real question is, would you get more than $2BB value out of it? Otherwise, why would you part with your $2BB. And for a business, if they bought Facebook, how soon would they make their money back, and then start MAKING money on it? If that wasn’t the goal, then why buy it?

  65. I am a Microsoftie. But I have to sadly admit:
    Forget the Microsoft Execs killing Facebook. The Microsoft Office Org where Facebook might get shoved into is filled with feature-crazy dinosaurs. They will decide to strip widgets from Facebook and make them web-parts on Sharepoint!

  66. I am a Microsoftie. But I have to sadly admit:
    Forget the Microsoft Execs killing Facebook. The Microsoft Office Org where Facebook might get shoved into is filled with feature-crazy dinosaurs. They will decide to strip widgets from Facebook and make them web-parts on Sharepoint!

  67. I suspect Facebook will eventually get bought over by one of the 300 Pound gorrilas you mentioned Google/Yahoo!/Microsoft or even IAC. This however may not happen anytime soon but after all the hype has died down. Monetization of social networks is still a very nascent science and there in will lie Facebook’s challenge.

  68. I suspect Facebook will eventually get bought over by one of the 300 Pound gorrilas you mentioned Google/Yahoo!/Microsoft or even IAC. This however may not happen anytime soon but after all the hype has died down. Monetization of social networks is still a very nascent science and there in will lie Facebook’s challenge.

  69. Paul: Twitter hype is coming back later this week.

    >It’s getting to the point that I’m thinking you are being paid to hype Facebook. Which I’m sure is not true, but it almost seems that way.

    I’m not the only one hyping it up. Consensus at dinner tonight is it is THE THING to pay attention to on the Web right now.

    Until someone convinces me there’s something more important (I note you didn’t try to do that) then I’ll keep talking about Facebook and iPhone.

  70. Paul: Twitter hype is coming back later this week.

    >It’s getting to the point that I’m thinking you are being paid to hype Facebook. Which I’m sure is not true, but it almost seems that way.

    I’m not the only one hyping it up. Consensus at dinner tonight is it is THE THING to pay attention to on the Web right now.

    Until someone convinces me there’s something more important (I note you didn’t try to do that) then I’ll keep talking about Facebook and iPhone.

  71. Make it a co-operative so that every member is a stakeholder and has a responsibility to ensure the safe and continued growth of the business, led by a facebook-member appointed committee with facebook election campaigns and erm…other things!

  72. Make it a co-operative so that every member is a stakeholder and has a responsibility to ensure the safe and continued growth of the business, led by a facebook-member appointed committee with facebook election campaigns and erm…other things!

  73. I couldn’t agree with you more, Robert! You have echoed EXACTLY the worry I have had since I read about the 6BN or however many BN phantom offer to buy Facebook. Microsoft is not able to even manage their own products and technologies in a forward-thinking, value-adding – – CUSTOMER SERVING – – way! How on earth would they be able to manage an acquisition this hot and still keep it hot and let it grow as it should? My only concern with your #1 pick is that you say YAHOO (OK, IPO, first; YAHOO, second). My hunch has been for some time is that Microsoft is trying to scoop up Yahoo. You can see small signs of it..lnot only in small press tidbits, but especially in how they are re-making Windows Live Messenger to look EXACTLY like Yahoo Messenger (OK, it’s still SLOW and too cluttery, but the similarities are too telling). So, where would we be if Yahoo bought Facebook and then Microsoft bought Yahoo? Ooooh, I don’t even want to contemplate it! Brings me back to my original idea to plead with Mr. Zuckerberg – – please! Don’t sell your soul to the devil! Sorry for the verbose comment…Keep up the good stuff, Robert! Cheers!

  74. I couldn’t agree with you more, Robert! You have echoed EXACTLY the worry I have had since I read about the 6BN or however many BN phantom offer to buy Facebook. Microsoft is not able to even manage their own products and technologies in a forward-thinking, value-adding – – CUSTOMER SERVING – – way! How on earth would they be able to manage an acquisition this hot and still keep it hot and let it grow as it should? My only concern with your #1 pick is that you say YAHOO (OK, IPO, first; YAHOO, second). My hunch has been for some time is that Microsoft is trying to scoop up Yahoo. You can see small signs of it..lnot only in small press tidbits, but especially in how they are re-making Windows Live Messenger to look EXACTLY like Yahoo Messenger (OK, it’s still SLOW and too cluttery, but the similarities are too telling). So, where would we be if Yahoo bought Facebook and then Microsoft bought Yahoo? Ooooh, I don’t even want to contemplate it! Brings me back to my original idea to plead with Mr. Zuckerberg – – please! Don’t sell your soul to the devil! Sorry for the verbose comment…Keep up the good stuff, Robert! Cheers!

  75. Between this:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6388273.stm
    1.5B to alcotel-lucent

    9 Billion for the anti-trust crap from 2002-2005
    http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=24621

    And a nice 7 Billion for facebook

    That should total close to 20 Billion in the past 5 years in investments with little or no return.
    Had the claria deal went through, you could have tacked on 500M to that ongoing total. I secretly wished it did.

    What does that mean for MSFT investors?
    No more divend payouts. A drop in confidence, and Ballmer finally booted out the door, with somebody telling him not to let the door hit him in the *ss on the way out. And a slow decent for MSFT in the same way borland did a few years ago.

    I hope MSFT does buy facebook. I wish it.

  76. Between this:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6388273.stm
    1.5B to alcotel-lucent

    9 Billion for the anti-trust crap from 2002-2005
    http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=24621

    And a nice 7 Billion for facebook

    That should total close to 20 Billion in the past 5 years in investments with little or no return.
    Had the claria deal went through, you could have tacked on 500M to that ongoing total. I secretly wished it did.

    What does that mean for MSFT investors?
    No more divend payouts. A drop in confidence, and Ballmer finally booted out the door, with somebody telling him not to let the door hit him in the *ss on the way out. And a slow decent for MSFT in the same way borland did a few years ago.

    I hope MSFT does buy facebook. I wish it.

  77. What would I do?

    I would not sell. I would either go public or stay private if I were them. So far, they have proven to be masters of innovation.

    Although, Facebook Apps might have been their last original idea and now they are just going to ride it for all it’s worth. If that is the case, then *they* know that they should sell, but I bet they have many more cards up their sleeves.

  78. What would I do?

    I would not sell. I would either go public or stay private if I were them. So far, they have proven to be masters of innovation.

    Although, Facebook Apps might have been their last original idea and now they are just going to ride it for all it’s worth. If that is the case, then *they* know that they should sell, but I bet they have many more cards up their sleeves.

  79. What would I do?

    I would buy and integrate both Linked In and Geni, creating 3 classes of ‘friends’.
    Business, Friends (true social friends), and Family

  80. What would I do?

    I would buy and integrate both Linked In and Geni, creating 3 classes of ‘friends’.
    Business, Friends (true social friends), and Family

  81. Anybody using TED.com ? It seems to be the social networking site for thinkers and doers!

  82. Well first off – MS did buy tell me and leave them alone for the most part (or so it appears), so dont completely give up on that end…

    Facebook? I say go at it alone – create the platform for the web – take on MS and google!!

  83. Well first off – MS did buy tell me and leave them alone for the most part (or so it appears), so dont completely give up on that end…

    Facebook? I say go at it alone – create the platform for the web – take on MS and google!!

  84. I have been horribly depressed since FB opened up to everyone. So much for being an academic social network. As far as I am concerned FB is doomed to become another MySpace.

    Although, I like Westy’s idea: classes of friends

  85. I have been horribly depressed since FB opened up to everyone. So much for being an academic social network. As far as I am concerned FB is doomed to become another MySpace.

    Although, I like Westy’s idea: classes of friends

  86. Microsoft really needs to get it’s act together. Slipping further away from usefulness and becoming a hassle to work around.

  87. Microsoft really needs to get it’s act together. Slipping further away from usefulness and becoming a hassle to work around.