With the movie, The Social Network, Man of the Year Status, and now a $50 billion valuation, Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg are heading into rare air among campus launched ventures (Google, Yahoo!, etc.). Jennifer Valentine-DeVries has nice, balanced by the numbers article at WSJ.com that compares the $50 billion Facebook valuation to some other public firms (Google and Yahoo! among them). From Valentine-DeVries:
Does that number make sense? First, let’s compare Facebook’s valuation to the market capitalization of other Internet companies — Yahoo, EBay, Amazon and Google. Yahoo comes in at $21 billion, and Google is at about $190 billion. (Sure, it’s not apples to apples. Among other things, the other companies are more mature. And Amazon and EBay, as e-commerce companies, aren’t competing for Web surfers’ eyeballs the way Google and Yahoo are. But still. Worth a look.)
Funny, btw, that she doesn’t include Apple anywhere in her analysis. Lots of clear, simple charts.
Finally, lets not forget that Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg highlight many of the reasons that the campus is the new frontier for entrepreneurs: huge, ‘open-minded’ customer base. Availability of technology, access to technology, and comfort with technology among population. ‘Freedom’ of time ( or lack of institutional control — ie, living with parents, attending high school, or working) and also benefits of low-expectations (school as prep for ‘real world).
Is it any wonder that Facebook was created on a campus and spread wildly across campuses before entering the mainstream?
Is that student sitting next to you at the Union the next Mark Zuckerberg? Might there be a $50 billion company being formed on your campus right now?