Dissent Is Dead At Facebook, Employees Complain

mark-zuckerberg-4-2

via Business Insider

Facebook and CFO Gideon Yu did not part ways because the company needs a CFO with public company experience. A source familiar with Facebook admits that’s just spin.

We don’t know exactly why Facebook and Gideon parted ways, but after talking to several sources inside and outside the company, we believe it basically happened for a reason that contributed to several top executives — specifically including Owen Van Natta and Matt Cohler — quitting the company in the past 13 months.

Mark Zuckerberg no longer tolerates open disagreement or challenging discussion in meetings from his top lieutenants.

“There’s no dissent in meetings,” says a source. “It’s basically like we’re at GM or GE.”

It wasn’t always like that, one of the disgruntled former Facebook employees tells us:

The reason why we were good in the early days was that dissent was allowed and encouraged. That’s the reason you go to a startup. That early team was amazing.

That early team is gone. Many of its members planned to leave eventually, but not as soon as they did. We hear that Matt Cohler, for example, left “several millions” on the table when he quit Facebook to become a Benchmark Capital partner earlier than he planned to.

So what happened? A couple of explanations: Continue reading

Facebook’s Value: $3.7 Billion and Dropping

Facebook Friendly Marketing

via Gawker

What’s Facebook really worth? The fast-growing social network is adding to its 150 million users effortlessly. But revenues aren’t growing as easily. And that has Mark Zuckerberg‘s company tied up in legal and financial knots.

Last summer, the company settled a dispute with a rival social network, ConnectU, that dates back to the founding of Facebook in CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard dorm room. ConnectU’s lawyers — whom the site’s founders have since fired — revealed that the case was settled for $65 million in a newsletter bragging about their firm’s accomplishments. And now the Associated Press has obtained a court filing which shows the exact breakdown of cash and stock Facebook used to settle the case: $20 million in cash, and 1,253,326 shares of Facebook stock.

That’s no mere detail. ConnectU’s ex-lawyers at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges are pursuing legal action against ConnectU’s founders — Divya Narendra and Olympic-rower twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss — to get them to pay $13 million. In other words, a 20 percent cut of the supposed $65 million settlement. But is the settlement really worth $65 million?

In October 2007, Microsoft paid $35.90 a share for $240 million in Facebook preferred stock, which only garnered it a 1.6 percent stake in the company. Preferred stock, the kind usually purchased by venture capitalists, have more rights and protections than common stock, which is the type owned by founders and issued to employees. And when a company is private, it’s typical for preferred shares to have a higher value than common shares.

ConnectU’s settlement was issued in common shares. And an appraisal Facebook conducted to value the shares it issued to employees valued the company at $3.7 billion, or $8.88 a share — making the stock part of ConnectU’s payment only worth $11 million, and the total $31 million. Continue reading

Investors Forced to Ask, ‘How Much Is Facebook Really Worth?”

via NY Times

There has been some speculation recently about what is being called an “internal Facebook” valuation – a value the company has assigned to its own common stock that is dramatically lower than the $15 billion valuation set so publicly last year by Microsoft’s investment.

According to the transcript of a June 13 case management conference in the lawsuit settled last week between Facebook and ConnectU—one of the few documents in the case not under seal— that number is one-quarter the Microsoft valuation, or $3.75 billion.
Continue reading

The Battle For Facebook

Rolling Stone has an excellent in-depth look into the controversy behind the creation of social networking behemoth FACEBOOK. Mark Zuckerman, the twenty something billionaire who is recognized as the youngest richest dude on the globe is under fire from four Harvard classmates that allege Mark stole their idea for FACEBOOK and never compensated them for the heist. Mark has also fell out with members of his inner-circle that allege that they too have been pushed out by Mark as he sets to fashion and mold the next Google. If the allegations are true Mark would gain admittance to an exclusive club though, the one that understands that every super successful American company is built on a crime.

In a lawsuit one judge describes as a “blood feud,” three fellow Harvard students claim Zuckerberg fleeced their idea after they hired him to code a social-networking site they were creating. “We got royally screwed,” Divya Narendra, one of the students, has testified. And in April, another classmate, Aaron Greenspan, filed a petition to cancel Facebook’s trademark, claiming he invented an online facebook months before Zuckerberg. Greenspan, who has compiled reams of e-mails chronicling his months of communication with Zuckerberg, bristles at equating the Facebook prodigy with Microsoft’s founder. “Gates was shrewd, calculating and insanely competitive, bordering on autistic,” Greenspan writes in his self-published autobiography. “Mark was inarticulate and naive.”

CLICK [HERE] for the rest of this story.

Facebook Gets A Facelift

facebook

Facebook is undergoing a sweeping facelift that programmers are convinced will change the face of the social network site forever. To clear the clutter that has stigmatized other social networking sites like Myspace, Facebook will be introducing tabs that will reclassify applications into easily accessible “categories” giving users more control over their profile page. The overhaul, which has been in the planning stages since January will be implemented in June. Read below for more info:

Having nearly tripled its audience and added about 20,000 new applications over the past year, Facebook Inc.’s popular online hangout is about to undergo a housecleaning.
Visitors who can’t stand the clutter that’s been piling up will be glad to see that the site’s new look sweeps disparate bits of information into categories marked by tabs at the top of each user’s customized home page.
Continue reading

Microsoft Sets Sites On Facebook After Yahoo! Bid Fizzles Out

Microsoft looking at Facebook

Source: TimesOnline

After publicly courting Yahoo! for three months, only to see their $47.5 billion offer rebuffed, Microsoft now has its sites set on Facebook, the social network behemoth according to the Wall Street Journal. Facebook, which Microsoft already has an 1.6 percent interest in is reportedly worth $15 billion. Microsoft, which shelled out $240 million for its stake reportedly asked Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg what he felt is company was worth.

Some are wondering whether this is a tactic to position Microsoft for yet another play to acquire Yahoo! sometime in the summer while others say an acquisition of Facebook is still an uphill battle, especially since the relatively young company hasn’t proved that it can generate the necessary revenue to make it a player on par with Google, the leader in the $40 billion online advertising market that is expected to double by 2010. For more on this story CLICK [HERE]

Hugh Hef Jumps Into the Social Networking Game

this will make any teenage pull an all-nighter

After Facebook abandoned its exclusive “college” students-only status for an open network Hugh Hefner and Playboy have picked up where Mark Zuckerburg left off, opening a social network that caters ONLY to the college crowd. Introducing Playboy U, a network shut out to parents, school officials, high schoolers, drop-outs and employers.

An active college email is required for membership and once you graduate you are out of the network. Oh yeah, unlike the flagship magazine there won’t be any nudity on the social network site, scantily clad females, but no nudity.