Zuck’s day of swine and poses
- Last Updated: 11:49 AM, May 31, 2012
- Posted: 12:10 AM, May 31, 2012
Let me introduce you to Facebook’s pig.
It seems particularly appropriate that the social-media company decided to roast a huge pig just a few days after its increasingly unsuccessful initial public stock offering.
The exclusive photo you see here was taken by an unknown photographer on May 23 at the company’s Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters.
Facebook’s employees were said to be celebrating hump day, which I assume referred to it being the middle of the workweek (although they could, I suppose, also have been commemorating all the humps at the company and on Wall Street who contributed to the stock’s disastrous start).
Why is a pig a fitting symbol of what’s going on at Facebook?
Because there’s a well-known saying on Wall Street that “bulls and bears make money, but pigs get slaughtered.”
This pig can attest to that — as Facebook insiders insisted on selling more and more shares to the public at a higher and higher price.
Facebook’s stock closed at $28.19 yesterday. It got as high as $45 a share on the first trading day after it was priced at $38.
Some Monday morning quarterbacks are now saying that Facebook is worth only $10 to $15 a share.
So why do so many investors suddenly hate this company?
There are a few reasons I can think of.
First, Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s founder, isn’t particularly likable. Add to that the fact that jealousy is bound to exist when someone only 28 years old realizes his $29 billion fortune.
Hatred of Facebook on Wall Street, you might say, was inevitable.
But there are more substantial reasons.
Right now Facebook is nothing more than a way to deliver advertising to the public. And while it has had moderate success in doing that (despite the desertion of General Motors two weeks ago) nobody is really sure if those ads will disappear once Facebook becomes predominantly used on mobile devices.
There’s also the fact that the Facebook phenomenon has all the hallmarks of a fad.
If what Facebook is offering is so valuable and indispensable, then the company should be able to charge users a fee. And any size fee on a supposed user base of 900 million people would be a substantial amount. (It would be, in fact, a good business.)
But Facebook can’t charge a fee, because it knows its users will bolt and stay in touch with their friends on some other social network. Other sites will pop up overnight to fill this need.
In the business world, the ability to compete with Facebook so easily means that there is a low barrier to entry in this segment of the Internet industry. And a low-entry barrier is the classic way for a company — and its investors — to get hurt.
Facebook didn’t have an initial public offering, it had an initial piggish offering — and unless this company does something quickly, it could be a carcass before long.
Happy Meals are apparently not making kids as happy anymore.
And that, says one parent (me), is a shame.
As you know, the health zanies are trying to get kids to eat healthier, a goal that I fully endorse — especially since my youngster daughter is a registered dietitian.
But my kids (now 30, 27 and 24 — or thereabouts) always enjoyed a Happy Meal or two, and it didn’t kill any of them. In fact, I remember those McDonald’s Swatch giveaways were pretty damn popular in my house.
The meals that were really deadly were in real restaurants where the Crudele kids had to actually sit there, behave and not kick one another under the table.
But apparently the recession and bad publicity are hurting the fun meals at fast-food joints.
According to a new report by NPD Group, which does consumer research, restaurant visits last year that included a kid’s meal with a toy declined by 6 percent from 2010 levels.
That decline occurred despite the fact that the same number of families with kids ate out.
I’ve been my family’s food shopper for a long time, and one thing has always puzzled me.
Why are Coke and Pepsi never on sale during the same week at the same store even though one or the other is always discounted?
What are the odds that back in corporate headquarters the soft- drink makers just happen to pick alternate weeks for their sales?