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Facebook...My rant. Sorry no Guitar content...but I felt compelled

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I have been sort of majorly focused on Facebook for awhile. *I still haven't seen the movie but I think that I have been watching in the last week the making of the sequel in real time …Social Network 2…this time starring Michael Douglas (Wall Street 3)….It could be called The Elephant in the Room…or the Emperor Has No Clothes……

Getting immersed in the e-commerce world with Big Poppa Smokers has been a blast. *One of the things that you are told to do is chase the almighty 'Like' button on Facebook…if you don't you cannot possibly be serious about e commerce. *I started working Facebook…Hard…I started chasing the like button…But I also reviewed my Google Analytics every morning. *Facebook was number nine. *Thats right number nine. *There were eight other traffic drivers ahead of Facebook. *So I say to myself…"I must be doing it wrong." So I check with the IT manager at Ernie Ball…"Where is Facebook in terms of traffic sources…(it ranks between 6-9 on our various sites) I asked my good buddy Meathead at Amazingribs.com, (number one BBQ blog and top food site) to check where Facebook stood as a referrer to his site and he said 15th.

When you sit with anyone that is trying to get your business in the advertising/marketing world they talk about the 'Like' button (like it is the touchdown, home run, the G spot, the key to eternal e-commerce
success.)*They look and sound like what I imagine guests describing Kool Aid at Jim Jones season ending party. *I get pitched ideas like "Lets have a contest driving traffic to Facebook and rewarding likes. *YIKES. Why are we blindly driving traffic away from our own sites? It's the yikes button. *They never tell you what happens after the likes but they bill you for it and include it in summaries of their success. I cant make payroll with likes and they haven’t shown me the conversion to sales. It's a wank. *

What happened to the the Buy button? That’s on my site.*I can take sales to the bank…I can take likes to cocktail parties.....*Now don't worry Im getting to the Emperor part…..maybe not

Even pre IPO I realized that Facebook is entertainment. *When someone wants to buy something they go to Google…Amazon. *Facebook is like a virtual cable box…hit the site and start going through your channels…. famous peoples pages, topics that you are interested in, relatives that you can stay in touch with without having to talk to, old friends you catch up with, ….(it is the number one divorce creation tool)

It's now 900 million sets of eyes…Simple…you have to be able to monetize those eyeballs…..the Field of Dreams is the eyeballs and if you have them then you can price the stock on the come hoping the revenue model magically appears. Forget that the IPO is being priced at exactly what the stock was trading at in the secondary market a year earlier..

Let's go public. But first lets watch the 28 year old CEO buy Instagram for a billion...(where is Instagram's revenue model?) According to reports he did it without checking with his board. But he controls even post IPO over 50% of the shares...there should be at least a ding on the stock for that.

Who wouldn't want to get the underwriting on Facebook. *Goldman and Morgan Stanley got it. *What happened? I believe they got it and it wasn’t what they wanted.

Greed…Hogs got slaughtered…How dare them not include a bump for the banks friends and good customers?…The CFO bumps it both in price and number of shares days before the offering. *They go out at 100 times earnings…and 25 times revenue.(Apple trades at 14X earnings) The institutional people don't care if it’s over priced as long as there is a bump for their pals...no bump, they are gone.*Hopefully the IPO bump will go away and future offerings will be priced without the bump and the workers and people who built the companies being offered will get the total value they created as a reward. I’m also hoping for people to play guitars in tune.

Now short term Morgan Stanley did the job for their client. One of their clients, Facebook. They got the most money delivered to them on the initial one but what’s the next one going to be priced at? What about the retail clients that they sold the stock to? What about the clients that they allegedly copped to the unrealistic crazy price and weakness in the stock and the ones they didn’t? Did they help those clients?

The bogus opening market cap lost 25 billion in the first 6 days...Ironically Morgan Stanley's market cap is 25 billion. They lost Morgan Stanley.

Short and long term they wiped the lipstick off the pig. They exposed them. Right side advertising doesn’t work. The newly bailed out GM tried to tell everyone that. They said why pay for a spot that nobody clicks on when you can have the page for free....

The capper was Letterman commenting on the Facebook IPO...“You have to wonder about a guy that goes public and gets married the NEXT day”

Now scrambling for viability maybe they will buy RIM? RIM? Opera? Opera has been on the block longer that a 40 year old street walker. Facebook may be the only buyer...dont worry they will pay a billion for that.

Rupert Murdoch paid 580 million for My Space only to sell it with flat tires for 35 million. I bet you he didn’t buy any Facebook.

It is web 2.1 or 2.7 or whatever and we still haven’t learned. A business has to have a product, customers, and margin. When Facebook gets all three I’ll consider it.

Sterling Ball

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