Facebook: After 18 years of shoplifting ideas, a $230 billion haircut

From Kara Swisher's "Facebook’s stock crash points to a rocky path ahead as it goes all in on the metaverse" posted Thursday by the New York Times:

At some point, the jig is up for almost every highflying tech company (consider that Cisco was, for a time in 2000, the world’s most valuable company). That’s usually because executives put on blinders to one constant rule of innovation I’ve observed: The young devour the old.

So, are the worrisome quarterly results posted Wednesday by the outfit formerly known as Facebook an early sign of that? That seemed to be Wall Street’s conclusion, which until now has showered the social networking giant with unquestioning love, but nonetheless shaved more than $250 billion* off its market value, or 26 percent, the largest one-day dollar drop for a U.S. company in history.

That’s quite the indictment, since the money crowd has stuck beside the company despite a roiling series of controversies in the 18 years since its founding. Privacy violations, foreign interference, harmful impacts on teenage girls, data breaches, voluminous disinformation and misinformation, and the hosting of citizens charged with seditious conspiracy have made the company into the singular villain of this digital age. It has even supplanted the ire that was once aimed at Microsoft (ironically, seen today as the “good” tech company).

But until now, none of these myriad sins have seemed to matter to investors, who have cheered on Facebook’s digital advertising dominance that has yielded astonishing profits...

So Facebook is forced to be creative on its own, not always its strongest suit given how it is known for ham-handedly shoplifting ideas from others.

*According to Friday's NYT, Facebook got a $230 billion haircut. Much as I admire Kara Swisher, I'm going with the number that was fact-checked.

My take: I can't seem to get enough of Zuckerberg's comeuppance, maybe because was such a long time coming. And because Apple had a hand in it. 

3 Comments

  1. Jonny T said:
    Good take PED, feel the same as you about it. And as someone else put it, perhaps every social media tech company goes out of fashion after its turn in the limelight… fingers crossed the next one will be better, perhaps Apple’s… I have often wanted to turn my Instagram account into a shared public Photos Album. Not too big a stretch to imagine Apple Photos’ public shared albums having their own App is it?

    1
    February 4, 2022
  2. Romeo A Esparrago Jr said:
    Kara: “Blinders. Rocky path. Devour. Shoplifting. Showered. Shaved. And a haircut.”
    Is a bath next? Bloodbath?

    3
    February 4, 2022
  3. Jerry Doyle said:
    I always felt the Achilles’ heel for any social media platform is the very nature of its social networking and connecting of people. A social platform is a group of folk coming together to form cooperative and interdependent relationships with others to share personal information and ideas. People often tire of a social milieu or even tire of relationships and move on to other social surroundings for networking and connecting, often chasing something of which they themselves are not aware or leaving behind something they desire to flee. I suspect any social platform can last only so long before it begins to wither as participants move on to the next new thing. That’s the Achilles’ heel of any social media platform; people are not static. They always are searching.

    6
    February 4, 2022

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