Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Facebook Quietly Losing Favor in Venture Community
Everybody loves Facebook. Almost
That's the impression you get if you spend any time in the world of technology (and likely many of you don't, so you'll just have to take my word for it). Software developers flock to hear CEO Mark Zuckerberg talk about the new tools the company will offer and users continue to sign-up for the service.
But there's strange rumblings happening.
The company has famously turned down massive buyout opportunities, content to stay private while it built up its valuation. However, insiders -- including Zuckerberg -- have quietly started selling off their shares through private brokerage houses for far less than original buyout offers.
I'm no economist, but something about that doesn't seem right.
Another confusing component to the company was its reliance on its open platform, which lets anyone develop any piece of software -- like Scabulicious, before it was shuttered -- that can be made available to all the Facebook users.
It's a great way to release a product.
Which means thousands of people are creating applications every day. Which means you have no idea which are the best. There are metrics used to measure popular applications, but that doesn't always translate to the best applications.
The private equity sale and the increasingly clogged development track aren't necessarily related; however, for a company that's billed itself as a platform for communication, it's interesting to watch insiders slowly hedge their bets on the long-term viability of that product.
By Brad at 12:54 PM | Comments (2)