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Twenty-Three Year-Old Facebook Founder worth $5 billion

Discussion in 'Lessons from Success/Failure' started by WheelsRCool, Oct 25, 2007.

In your opinion, will Facebook.com be around in 5 years?

  1. Yes

    20 vote(s)
    62.5%
  2. No

    12 vote(s)
    37.5%
  1. JScott
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    JScott Legendary Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    He was completely non-descript, and you probably wouldn't have noticed him in the crowd. In fact, I would have described him as a typical PhD (though he wasn't working on his PhD at the time)...

    I agree with your assessment of FB vs. Windows. But, I think you'd be surprised how many people feel the opposite way these days (they could live without Windows but not without FB)...
     
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  2. Milan
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    Well seeing as I'm in college, I can speak on this.

    Apple (Mac's) are the new "cool" thing. Nobody cares if you own a PC laptop, but if you own an iBook or a MacBook you become part of the special Mac owning club. Now obviously there is no official club, but Apple is selling an image, as well as a computer. People can hate on Apple as much as they want, but it's not going to change the fact that among America's youth they are dominating the market.

    As for Facebook, I can count on one hand the number of people I know who DON'T check theirs AT LEAST 3 times a day.
     
  3. Z5 FILMS
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    Z5 FILMS Contributor

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    :coco:

    Not true at all. Microftsoft almost has a monopoly and sells a "must have" product.

    Facebook sells no product that I know of and could easily be a fad. Next year, Shizoobo.com could easily be the next hot new networking site leaving the Facebook user base to dry up and blow away in the wind like an old dog turd.

    The Facebooks founders will never hold a candle to Bill Gates. Gate will always be able to buy all of them with loose change in his wallet. As time goes on, it will only get cheaper.
     
  4. Peter2
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    Peter2 Fastane Legend. RIP.

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    AOL could say the same thing 6 or 7 years ago. :smxB:

    These sites are like night clubs. They are only popular for maximum a few years. The only way to make money is to sell while you are still on top, or be worth nothing soon after.
     
  5. Z5 FILMS
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    Z5 FILMS Contributor

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    Same could be said about Geocites back in 1999. Now you're probably saying "What's Geocities?". In 2014 you will be saying "What's Facebook?".
     
  6. JScott
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    JScott Legendary Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Same could be said of Yahoo! and Amazon.com back in 1999. Now you're probably saying "What's Yahoo! and Amazon.com?"

    Oh wait...

    My point is, making a random comparison of FB to Geocities (or Y! or Amazon.com) is meaningless. If you really believe FB won't be around in 10 years, let's hear a well-thought-out analysis of why you believe that.

    Do you know something about FB management that leads you to believe they aren't smart enough to keep their business relevant? Do you know something about the business model that leads you to believe it will fail at some point? Do you know something about the customers that indicate that will migrate away at some point?

    I know quite a bit about FB (including a number of senior employees), and even I have no idea where they'll be in 10 years (and have yet to hear any convincing arguments one way or another).
     
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  7. Z5 FILMS
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    Z5 FILMS Contributor

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    I have no proof either way, as nor does anyone else. Just my opinion based on what I have seen and a little common sense. The internet is evolving at a very rapid pace. What's hot one year is old the next year. Sites get bought out, models change, user base grows up, technology changes, fads fade, opinions change.

    Social networking sites who sell entertainment that's not a need, and cater to a user base who's tastes and opinions change direction like a hummingbird, I think would be the easiet victims.

    Just my opinion.
     
  8. MJ DeMarco
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    MJ DeMarco Raving Lunatic Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Admin Post
    Broadcast.com was sold by Mark Cuban. The last time I heard about that property was circa 1999.
     
  9. JScott
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    The problem is that "common sense" isn't always so reliable...

    Common sense would have said that eBay would never make it (trust issues).

    Common sense would have said that Yahoo! would never make it (their business model isn't obvious).

    Common sense would have said that Google would never make it (they'd get replaced by something better).

    Common sense would have said that Wikipedia would never make it (too much crap, and no oversight).

    Of course, most people would now say that it was obvious that all these companies would be wildly successful, but that's just because "common sense" works better in hindsight... :)
     
  10. MJ DeMarco
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    Admin Post
    Gentleman, I've added a poll to this thread ... "Will Facebook be around in 5 years?"

    Please vote and lets gauge the community's opinion!
     
  11. Yankees338
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    Yankees338 Bronze Contributor

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    I'd definitely guess it'd be around in 5 years. It may not be the craze it is today, but I believe it'll still be there. Unless something comes out that truly blows it out of the water, there's little reason to believe it will die off.

    Every year, high school and college students graduate and want to keep in touch with those they knew for so long. Facebook provides a very good way to do so. I see no reason why people would stop using it. Just my $0.02.
     
  12. JScott
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    JScott Legendary Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    You should add a selection for:

    "Because nobody really understands exactly how social memes are created, propagated and destroyed, and because the ability of the Facebook management to adapt to needs and demands of their customers has yet to be tested, and because the definition of 'around' is too vague, I believe it's impossible to answer this question with anything other than a pure guess that has no factual basis."

    Oh, and I vote for that one... ;)
     
  13. Rawr
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    Rawr Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    You forgot to add:

    Something that helps tens of thousands of students with papers, research and tests (yes, tests ;) )
    Something that is immensely useful for discovering new things and expanding horizons. A cool learning thing that isn't considered dorky.
    Something that replaced all your encyclopedias.

    I agree with you that I don't see how Wiki is making money besides donations - I have nothing against them adding a link or two as long as I get my information fast and easy.



    Sergei - I'd figure he was discreet. Probably one of those shy quiet guys working on a master plan when people are out drinking. Good for him.
     
  14. JScott
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    JScott Legendary Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Actually, I would argue that you have it completely backwards...

    First, Wikipedia makes more money than it spends (specifically, in 2006, its net assets increased by $736,000).

    Second, the fact that wikipedia has no business model and must rely on 100% donations to keep it running indicates that it must create immense value (much more than typical businesses!) to it's users, who are paying for a service that they don't need to pay for.

    I challenge anyone on this forum to create enough value that they can generate over $1M per year solely based on the value it's user's perceive (in other words, don't force users to pay anything unless they feel compelled to). Trust me, it's a lot *harder* than building a business like Yahoo! or Google...
     
  15. Milan
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    Facebook could pass as a fad, but I honestly think it won't.

    I think it will become something like email, everybody is going to have a facebook (or maybe myspace) account just like how everyone has an email account.

    You can make the argument about Geocities, AOL, etc. all you want but the fact of the matter is, Facebook and Myspace already have a lot of competition out there, but the two you hear about 24/7 are facebook and myspace, and most people have both, and it seems like virtually everyone (in my social circle as a student) is at least on one of the sites.

    Facebook already has a mobile version of their site, and as having the internet on things like your phone and ipod consumes more of the population of the US (especially the youth), I think you will see sites like facebook GAINING popularity.

    P.S. Obviously there is an older crowd here (compared to myself), but how many of you on here actually have a facebook account? What about myspace?
     
  16. Rawr
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    Rawr Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    <snip>
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2007
  17. CRBFL
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    CRBFL New Contributor

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    I started looking into Facebook more after all of this was being discussed so heavily. All I know is that there are some Facebook app developers going seriously Fastlane ($1 mil in a week.)
     
  18. Rawr
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    Rawr Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    That's a thing I was wondering about as well. We have all these new apps in Facebook now like "Where you've been" or "Who likes you?" or even "Vampires!" - how are they getting paid?

    That whole gift thing is hilarious as well. For those that don't know you can buy a gift for $1 for a person - and the gift changes every day (it is basically a picture that appears on a person's profile once you give it to them). How much money do you make selling pictures!?


    And.. honestly, how can anyone else top this

    WARNING: You might weep for the future generation (also mildly NSFW)
     
  19. CRBFL
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    CRBFL New Contributor

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    Just One Way:
    There are companies out there that want other people to pimp their software. Think affiliate marketing based on pay per install; they package a tool bar that gets them $1 per install, bundle it with something trendy/attractive/a cause and distribute away. I'll post the extended explanation when I figure out where I saw it, but it works.
     
  20. JScott
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    I'm not quite sure what you mean by "prove its economic value?"

    Wikipedia *does* have to prove its economic value; if it didn't, it wouldn't be able to stay in business (it has no other revenue stream other than donations by satisfied users).

    If by "prove its economic value" you mean "prove to Wall Street its economic value," then Facebook doesn't need to prove it's economic value either (it's a private company).

    Perhaps I just don't know what you mean by "prove its economic value"...can you clarify in a way that makes it clear how Facebook proves its economic value but Wikipedia doesn't?


    Yes, charities *are* huge businesses. This is why they attempt to hire top CEOs, and pay their executive staff very large sums of money.

    I'd be surprised if anyone were to argue that big charities weren't big business.

    Though it sounds like you might... :)
     
  21. dhuang
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    dhuang New Contributor

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    As a college student and internet marketer, I use Facebook a lot. Considering that they reconstructed their advertising application and launched about an hour ago, goes to show that Facebook is shifting their goals. I'm currently using Facebook Ads, and while buggy, Facebook has been good about ironing out bugs.

    However, Facebook has not held on to the creed that they set forth in the beginning. They claim to be a "Technology" company, yet the path they are taking is leading them to MySpace territory.

    Soon, Facebook will be launching several other applications that will track user purchasing behavior to be relayed to advertisers. I've been using Facebook before the Minifeed, and let me just say that this will lead to "Stalker-feed" complaints once again.

    I do not believe that Facebook application developers are making ANY money. Period. Valuation is far from "Making money." One of the downfalls of developing on Facebook, is that YOU, as a developer, do not own your users. Facebook does.

    If Microsoft believes that Facebook is worth $15 Billion, they're not basing it on each user being worth $300, they're basing it on an advertising deal that will last them 4 years.
     
  22. AndrewG
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    Application developers don't get paid by Facebook. But Facebook allows them to place ads on their canvas pages to earn money. But they don't let developers place ads in people's profiles.

    Some popular applications like Sticky Notes are making great money. Sticky notes is popular but not one of the top 10 applications and they are still earning $45,000 a month!
     
  23. JScott
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  24. rico
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    Firstly - I'm a huge Facebook fan.

    I think people can be a bit too quick to call Zuckerberg the next Gates or Google guys. He's basically a one-hit-wonder. Maybe in the future he'll provide other services and sites, but at the moment, his CV says 'facebook' and thats about it (to my knowledge).

    He's been lucky. Afterall, he didn't intend for Facebook to be a worldwide phenomenom, he meant it to be for uni students to keep in touch, originally Harvard I believe, then Ivy League... then expanded from then.

    Then lots of people jump on the bandwagon, investors come in, applications are made etc etc and the site grows.

    He's basically had a great idea, executed it well, and fair play to the guy, but I think he'll be an interesting guy to watch in the future, but I wouldn't be surprised if he became just another dotcom one-hit-wonder.

    Talking of youngsters... Alex Tew (milliondollarhomepage.com) has pretty much disappeared hasn't he? Haven't seen any major news reports of him recently...
     
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