God Loves Facebook

Proof, if any were needed, that the world is no longer a suitable place for right-thinking people like you and me, blog snorkellers mine, in light of the fact that it has gone completely and utterly hatstand.

Here’s some numbers for you. $500m. $50bn. $2m minimum. Can you tell what it is yet? How about $850m and $10m (or less)?

Well, the first set of figures is what the workers of God (the lovely people at Goldman Sachs) have invested in Facebook (in conjunction with some Russian oligarch), the apparent valuation this puts on Facebook’s business and the amount of liquid lolly you would have to ante up to participate in God’s social media investment vehicle. The second set of figures is what the founder of Bebo sold his company for in 2008, and the amount of money that was paid for it by a venture capitalist in June last year.

Now Bebo, according to Google Trends (March 2010), had around 1.5m unique visitors. Facebook, according to the same Google Trends in the same period, had roughly 210m. At which point, if Bebo is to be valued at $10m (or less), then Facebook would have been worth a maximum $1.5bn. And now it’s worth $50bn.

Absolutely amazing growth. If only one could invest in it. But – hold on – now you can! And all thanks to those super and – by common acknowledgement of the very clever people on Wall Street – very clever people at Goldman Sachs. Fact is, of course, through the miracle of trading stuff of which I wot not, that one has been able to trade in social media ‘shares’ for some time – an option that will no longer be available to one if one throws one’s lot in with God. Along with the option of pulling one’s money out if it all goes tits up before 2013.

So, what is wrong with this picture, people? OK, I know you’re all embarrassed to put your hand up in front of so many people, so I’ll tell you. 

  • Facebook is not worth $50bn. It isn’t. End of. ( In the same way that tulip bulbs were never worth 50 gold coins, Skype and Friends Reunited were never worth billions and millions respectively and a one-bedroom flat overlooking Dublin’s M50 was never worth half a million euro)
  • Goldman Sachs are obviously angling for the right to handle the flotation of Facebook and the fees that would accrue from said flotation
  • The Busy Bees of God have shaped an investment vehicle that may well carry a bunch of high net worth individuals to their doom. As it crashes on the rocks of fiscal prudence, they will look to God’s Worker who should be in the driving seat. He (or indeed she) will probably, and conveniently, be somewhere else
  • Fabrice Tourre, Abacus 2007-AC1. ‘Nuff said

I think it is highly likely that Les Travailleurs de Dieu will get this one away. I think it is highly likely that many many investors will put their money into the phenomenon that is social. I think it highly likely that this headlong rush to make money out of the shiny thing will contage (hey, looky here! I made up a new word) and social media that exist on the very boundaries of understanding will become enormously valuable and a new generation of uber-geeks will become – if they sell at the right time – hideously wealthy. I think it highly likely that, despute the recent opportunity to learn from our mistakes, another bubble will expand and burst, leaving far more losers than winners. God – through his Workers – will be, most likely, a winner.

As someone who has some knowledge of these things said to me: “if they float, short them. Short the shit out of them.” Sounds sensible to me.

Anyway – as evidence that you can always find someone to support any argument – here’s a piece that’s probably more rational than my post. Enjoy!

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Filed under Communications Strategy, Corporate Religion, Public Relations, Social Media

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