Do you want to be compensated for helping Facebook get to a $100 billion valuation ? Sounds funny on the surface and be on the whole.
I read an interesting article by Nick Bilton on the blogs section of the New York Times. Bilton wants $50 from Facebook for all his time helping to build up the site. He was making a joke or maybe not.
Taken from the article:
Without me, and the other 844,999,999 people poking, liking and sharing on the site, Facebook would look like a scene from the postapocalyptic movie “The Day After Tomorrow”: bleak, desolate and really quite sad. (Or MySpace, if that is easier to imagine.) Facebook surely would never be valued at anything close to $100 billion, which it very well could be in its coming initial public offering.
In the company’s S-1 filing, submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission this week, Facebook boasts about its statistics: annually, people “like” one trillion things; 91 billion photos are uploaded; half a billion people use Facebook on mobile phones; and hundreds of millions are annoyingly “poked.”
So all this leaves me with a question: Where’s my cut? I helped build this thing, too. Facebook laid the foundation of the house and put in the plumbing, but we put up the walls, picked out the furniture, painted and hung photos, and invited everyone over for dinner parties.
Paul Carr from Pando Daily wrote an article hoping Bilton was kidding. The Carr article brought up some interesting points of why he thought it was outrageous for users to want their fair share.
Taken from the article:
Bilton is joking, of course. Or at least I hope he is. After all, only someone without even the most basic grasp of economics would think that users are owed a dime of Facebook’s big payday.
There’s no doubt that Facebook would be a dull place indeed without all those users sharing their ill-advised party photos, or stalking their ex-girlfriends or sharing their emo-angst status updates. Nor is it up for debate that Facebook’s crazy-high IPO valuation is a direct result of having attracted such a large number of addicts.
Equally, though, there’s no suggestion that Mark Zuckerberg sent stormtroopers to prospective users’ homes, threatening them with violence unless they signed up to his social network. People joined Facebook — in ludicrously large numbers — because they chose to. Because the package of free services that Facebook offers is so valuable (useful, fun, voyeuristically exciting…) that it outweighs the privacy costs and effort involved in constantly posting and liking and updating.
He also mentioned that unpaid bloggers filed a class action suit against the Huffington Post after they were acquired by AOL.
The gold lies in the comments of both of these articles. There were some that made a serious arguement for the position that Bilton took and that maybe Mark Zuckerberg does owe him $50.
Some mentioned how micro payments and crowd sourced content are the future and will grow bigger and bigger. Both articles are worth reading and give greater depth to what seemed like a joke.