Posts tagged Zuckerberg’s
A series of acquisitions, including buying Instagram and patents to defend against Yahoo, have occupied the attention of founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Executives reportedly have been unable to devote the time necessary to prepare for the launch.
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For Silicon Valley innovators and tech workers, the Wall Street Journal article with all the inside details of Facebook’s $1 billion acquisition of Instagram is, by and large, fodder for fantasy. But on the other coast, where investors and hedge fund managers are considering whether or not to purchase Facebook shares in next month’s initial public offering, the article raises a single, pressing question: Can they stomach big investments in a company where a CEO who is not quite 28 controls 57% of the voting shares?
“This was an obvious power play by Zuckerberg; the pre-IPO timing is no coincidence,” said Jordan Hudgens of software design firm MCW Services. “With all the commentary surrounding the reasons why Facebook has taken so long to go public, the number one factor for the delay has always been Zuckerberg’s reluctance to give up control. It’s clear that he is not relenting on his belief – and rightfully so – that he is the best person to lead his company.”
By now, the backstory to Facebook’s $1 billion acquisition of Instagram is becoming the stuff of M&A legend, complete with an initial asking price of $2 billion, and the latest revelation that Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg negotiated the deal over a three-day period with almost no influence from his company’s board of directors.
“The board, according to one person familiar with the matter, ‘Was told, not consulted’,” the Journal article said.
Factor in that, for as long as most of us have known his name, Zuckerberg has publicly stated he is more interested in connecting everyone in the world than worrying about profit-and-loss statements – and that he shunned the idea of going on the pre-IPO roadshows – and the idea of a Facebook investment becomes even more worrisome for investors who are used to dealing with traditional CEOs.
Traditional CEOs, notes Steve Leach, founder of Bigmouthmedia and chairman of the social agency Outside Line, are part politician and part diplomat. They rarely have as big of a hands-on approach as Zuckerberg has with Facebook.
“For me, Zuckerberg is certainly a bigger risk than your stereotype MBA CEO, but with risk can come great reward,” said Leach, who is planning to purchase Facebook shares following the IPO.
Still, Leach would be more comfortable if Zuckerberg didn’t take on the role of post-IPO CEO.
“It could rapidly kick the drive and enthusiasm out of him and ultimately his product,” he said. “After all, on a voting level, he will remain the overall decision maker without having to take any of the post-IPO heat.”
While the approach Zuckerberg took to acquire Instagram may have unsettled investors in traditional companies, many in Silicon Valley like the approach given the sector’s unique corporate culture. The approach keeps Web firms nimble, and according to the Journal, the acquisition may not have gone through if Zuckerberg had approached Instagram founder Kevin Systrom with a team of M&A lawyers instead of as a peer.
There are also precedents suggesting the Zuckerberg approach works. Startup expert Don Rainey of Grotech Ventures is on the board of LivingSocial, HelloWallet and other tech companies. He pointed to Zappos and CEO Tony Hsieh. Hsieh, Rainey said, is almost as famous for saying “If you get the culture right, most of the other stuff – like great customer service, or building a great long-term brand, or passionate employees and customers – will happen naturally on its own” as he is for selling shoes.
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In this week’s Search In Pictures, here are the latest images culled from the web, showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have, and more. Bing Drink In A Glass: Image via Flickr. Behind The Scenes On President…
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Zuckerberg’s Letter to Shareholders: “Personal Relationships Are the Fundamental Unit of Our Society”
Editor’s note: As part of Facebook’s initial public offering announcement today, founder Mark Zuckerberg included this letter to potential shareholders.
“Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission – to make the world more open and connected.
We think it’s important that everyone who invests in Facebook understands what this mission means to us, how we make decisions and why we do the things we do. I will try to outline our approach in this letter.
At Facebook, we’re inspired by technologies that have revolutionized how people spread and consume information. We often talk about inventions like the printing press and the television — by simply making communication more efficient, they led to a complete transformation of many important parts of society. They gave more people a voice. They encouraged progress. They changed the way society was organized. They brought us closer together.
Today, our society has reached another tipping point. We live at a moment when the majority of people in the world have access to the internet or mobile phones – the raw tools necessary to start sharing what they’re thinking, feeling and doing with whomever they want. Facebook aspires to build the services that give people the power to share and help them once again transform many of our core institutions and industries.
There is a huge need and a huge opportunity to get everyone in the world connected, to give everyone a voice and to help transform society for the future. The scale of the technology and infrastructure that must be built is unprecedented, and we believe this is the most important problem we can focus on.
We hope to strengthen how people relate to each other.
Even if our mission sounds big, it starts small – with the relationship between two people.
Personal relationships are the fundamental unit of our society. Relationships are how we discover new ideas, understand our world and ultimately derive long-term happiness.
At Facebook, we build tools to help people connect with the people they want and share what they want, and by doing this we are extending people’s capacity to build and maintain relationships.
People sharing more – even if just with their close friends or families – creates a more open culture and leads to a better understanding of the lives and perspectives of others. We believe that this creates a greater number of stronger relationships between people, and that it helps people get exposed to a greater number of diverse perspectives.
By helping people form these connections, we hope to rewire the way people spread and consume information. We think the world’s information infrastructure should resemble the social graph – a network built from the bottom up or peer-to-peer, rather than the monolithic, top-down structure that has existed to date. We also believe that giving people control over what they share is a fundamental principle of this rewiring.
We have already helped more than 800 million people map out more than 100 billion connections so far, and our goal is to help this rewiring accelerate.
We hope to improve how people connect to businesses and the economy.
We think a more open and connected world will help create a stronger economy with more authentic businesses that build better products and services.
As people share more, they have access to more opinions from the people they trust about the products and services they use. This makes it easier to discover the best products and improve the quality and efficiency of their lives.”
Photo by Silverisdead
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Blogger users now have the option to switch their Blogger profiles over to Google+. Google is also testing a one-touch Add to Circles button in selected users’ search results, as well. Google is trying to get more users onto the Google+ plat…
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