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Posts Tagged ‘Initial public offering’

#Facebook and the New Frontier


As we all should have heard by now, Facebook is going public. If you are not sure what that means, pieces or “shares” of the company can be bought and sold on the open stock market by anyone in the world – hopefully for a profit. The valuation – amount of money a company is estimated to be worth when it hits the stock market – has been speculated to be as high as $100 Billion dollars. Needless to say, that’s a lot of money folks. People all across the globe believe in Mr. Zuckerberg‘s vision of creating a more “connected” world. He is certainly doing that at an unprecedented pace that will truthfully, never be matched again in our lifetime – perhaps in any lifetime. The advertising revenues have grown exponentially, and this could be the biggest initial public offering a private company’s stock in the history of our modern capitalist society.

Still, it could be stated that Facebook’s entire business model is based off of perception, or what investors would called “perceived ROI” – return on investment. This means basically the business model that has been making a few people lots of money over a very short period of time, may not give the shareholders the same type of return over a long period of time. Without a subscription price model, Facebook’s business could eventually regress and see a decline in revenue sales dollars and ultimately profits, because what is to stop some other Zuckerberg from coming up with another new innovative way of sharing information and connecting the world over the next 10 to 20 years – a model that could redefine the way we seek out and digest products and services as consumers just as Facebook has done?

Facebook will be best served to mimic the success of some of it’s peers in regards to overcoming the pending plateau of their business model growth – an issue that all businesses face at some point. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and even Google, have stepped outside of their traditional business models to pursue the frontier that technology consumers seem to always embrace – hardware. The success of the Kindle, the Nook, and Google’s newly developing hardware platform that will support seamless integration between Android and Motorola phones architecture is an idea Facebook should consider exploiting. Imagine a Facebook Tablet, one that supports it’s own browser and apps designed to integrate with your current Facebook account and applications. We already know Facebook has millions of applications. We can read the news on Facebook, chat with friends, video conference, play poker – what else could be next? A Facebook tablet would provide the revenue dollars and profit margin to support the advertising income from the company’s original business model as the transition through an IPO and into the next decade continues. It would also help cut into the profits of companies who are making millions of dollars indirectly, because of Facebook. Imagine if Facebook was unavailable on the iPhone, Android, Kindle, or Nook, and only available on a 6.5 inch Quad-Core powered tablet that would compete with all of the devices above as far as media content, apps, and communication capability. The Facebook Faithful might consider a switch, and the companies mentioned above to some degree, would have to play ball to satisfy the new desires of the consumer.

Some of you may say, “the next decade? 2012 just started!” What you must understand, is that when your company is private, you can follow whatever timeline you see fit to a certain extent. But when your company is owned by the public, institutional investors, private equity firms and the like, you have a lot more questions to answer in regards to where the company is going, where is the vision taking us, and why should we keep our money around during that process.

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