Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Worshipping false idols

Ah facebook. After all the hub-bub surrounding the company (apparently) being worth hundreds of billions of dollars, it is heartening to see that the stock investors are not as unrealistic in their assessment. After floating at $42 dollars a share, it is now sitting at just over $30, with a one-day drop of 9%. I'm the first to question the 'value' in facebook and, despite using it, don't see where their revenue stream is sourced. I've yet to see/know of one of my friends ever clicking on a link or purchasing a virtual whatever on one of their integrated games. Sure, it's polished but I just don't believe there's that much to it.

The only place that there is any actual value is in collecting data about its users. This is their value ... and is probably worth maybe 5-10 billion dollars for that. My profile's value is apparently around a few cents although my profile is probably not indicative of the average user. The only way that the company is worth 100+ billion is if every person's profile is worth over $200 which I find a little hard to swallow.

GM apparently agrees with me, because they've dropped their 40 million (!) advertising campaign with FB because they saw little-to-no return. I would personally have fired the person that decided to push that much in a market where the users don't focus on adverts ... but I guess I don't have a few million dollars sitting around gathering dust. They can always get a few more billion pushed their way from the US Government if things turn sour once again.

Whether the emperor's new clothes will remain transparent is anyone's guess but I'd rather keep my cotton duds. A realistic value would be around $15 and unless facebook brings a new compelling revenue model, that's where it should and will remain. Update: for my 5-10 billion dollar value to be true, apparently the stock price would have to be around $5. Interesting ...