This article is not about Facebook. Nor is it a slam on Mr. Zuckerberg. What I’m writing about are the cross winds, and undertones that might seem harmless to most at first blush, but are deadly serious in the world of business. Here’s what I mean…
Facebook is currently the newest and greatest interface the web has seen since the early days of AOL. Remember “You got mail?” However what Facebook is now navigating that is different than ever before since its inception, is the world of “Big Business.” And that my friends is the real story to watch.
Facebook today is estimated to be valued at more than 60 BILLION dollars at the time of this article. Just a month or so earlier it was valued at approximately 30 to 40 BILLION dollars. No matter how you slice folks, we’re talking real money here, and money from people who will not ask, but demand that every single waking moment of your time be dedicated to not only give a return on their investments, but what is your exact plan to make even more money tomorrow. Trust me, they don’t care about how Mr. Zuckerberg public profile page on Facebook is doing. Neither do they care about his new-found puppy love. He is now swimming with sharks. Need I say more about their feelings?
Since the movie “Social Network” came out, Mr .Zuckerberg seems to have taken a lot of criticism for either being cold, single-minded, ruthless, and many other choice terms that are for others to discuss. People are people. And after a while it gets to anyone. But when you’re in the public eye, you get your share served on a much colder plate, cut with a much sharper knife. So what’s one to do? Public relations 101 says…Do something that makes you appear warm and fuzzy to the public and to help silence your detractors. So without further ado (camera please) a warm, and fuzzy puppy. All we need is the puppy eating apple pie out of his doggie dish and one could argue brilliant! But I think maybe not. Whether getting the puppy was a real heartfelt endeavor or a publicity stunt doesn’t matter in my argument. It’s how the “Sharks'” view the waters, not how Facebook fans feel about it.
Investors are a fickle bunch, they have this peculiar way of pulling the rug right out from under the feet of founders. Most founders think they’ll be able to deal with theirs differently. However history shows they can’t. You can go down the list of internet giants where the founders were either asked, or it was implied they had better let someone else be in charge or investors (money) would be leaving. A few examples are Google, and Apple. Remember how brilliant Steve Jobs is? Didn’t matter a few years ago. Enter Mr. Scully. Google brought on Eric Schmidt to quell investor fears, and as of the last few months since the founders said “we’re in charge once again” have you seen Google’s share price? When you are dealing with a company that is growing in dollars exponentially, you had better have warmer and fuzzier feeling for the sharks than you have for a new puppy, because the fish have much sharper teeth when they bite. And they don’t care about your status page. They only care about what you did for them today, forget about yesterday, and what’s your plan to do even more tomorrow? Oh? You had to take an hour off to bring the puppy to the vet? What did you do to make sure that hour was made up for in Facebook business? Sounds over the top, but trust me, the inferences are not that far off when you are dealing in the realm of “Big Business.”
Make no mistake about it. As the “Jump the Shark” analogy was made famous from the last-ditch effort to revive sagging rating of the TV show “Happy Days.” Like it or not, in todays’ world, more attention would be garnered if an update was of someone not clearing the shark tank, but actually falling in.
Big business is a dog eat dog world, or sharks eating……oh well.
© 2011 Mark St.Cyr All Rights Reserved