It seems that Mark Zuckerberg keeps on delaying the Facebook IPO, the last time I checked he said it’s going to take place sometime in 2012. His argument is that Facebook is not ready for an IPO, his real argument is that the whole world is going through a financial crisis, and that an IPO now will not make him (and his investors) as much money as it would in 2012. I think he’s wrong, and here’s why:
- Facebook is a website after all: Not only Facebook is a website, it is a website that can be cloned (although not easily cloned, but still cloning Facebook is feasible). Facebook, unlike Google, doesn’t have ultra intelligent algorithms (such as the famous PageRank algorithm developed by Google and powering its search engine). Some people think that it magically knows who your friends are and suggests them to you in the “People you may know” box, but in reality, there is no magic there, those profiles listed in the “People you may know box” are either friends of friends or just people that searched for you and viewed your profile on Facebook.
People may get sick of Facebook: Although many good things happen on Facebook (such as meeting your future wife), there are so many bad things that happen there, such as harassment, stalking, etc… Not to mention that people may just lose interest (MySpace, anyone?)…
Facebook may be replaced by another concept: The whole concept of social networking may be replaced with another concept that might be much more interesting to people. It is very possible in this truly dynamic world.
Google wants a piece of the pie: Google has created Google+, and although I have said before that it has already failed, it seems that Google is very aggressive in pushing their new social platform and stealing some market share from Facebook. Google has the money, after all, to promote anything that it wants, the way it wants. I remember that they even advertised Google+ on their homepage (which receives millions of impressions per hour) for a few days before removing the ad.
Facebook is currently valued at P/E of 50: Which is very scary for a website. I don’t know, will the whole concept of a website still exists 50 years from now? Unless Facebook is planning how to adapt for the next big technological advance, I think it’s safe to say that a P/E of 50 is considered to be a huge overvaluation.
Facebook is valued at a $100 billion by the market, and that’s because there is so much hype about it at the moment. Everyone wants to be part of this phenomenon. But will it still be the case in a year from now? Or will it not? Will investors still think that Facebook is a good deal at $100 billion? Or will they not?
I think they will not… And again, I think Mark Zuckerberg is wrong in delaying Facebook’s IPO, but I might be wrong myself…
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