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Just a Few More Questions on Facebook

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 24, 2007

… in the wake of stories about Microsoft’s play for a piece of the company. There are probably perfectly good answers, but I don’t have them yet. Feel free to jump right in….

* If Facebook is doing so well, why does it keep trying to raise more money? (To scale up? Maybe, but I thought servers and bandwidth were cheap. Insurance for a bear market ahead? I suppose, but if anyone could go public now, it’s Facebook. Because it can? Sure, but again, for what?)

* Why not just IPO? (Because it can’t get nearly as high a valuation from the public as from companies with money burning a hole in their pockets as they watch an upstart challenge their dominance? Probably. Because Mark Zuckerberg is a control freak? Could be, and who can blame him with so many idiots telling him to sell out for the past year for a whole lot less money? OK, I guess that one’s answered.)

* Where’s Yahoo!?

* What does it have in the way of an ad strategy that that could rival Google’s AdWords—which it must, or the valuation doesn’t make any sense? (I don’t think simply the ability to target more narrowly is quite enough, at least as described here.)

* If you know the answer to that one, why are you wasting your time reading this blog instead of developing a Facebook application you can retire on in a few months?

* Why is everyone assuming Facebook will be the last word in everything social on the Net? (Seems hard to believe anything will be the last word on the Net anytime soon.)

* Do I ever want to play poker with Mark Zuckerberg? (No.)

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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