Facebook Monetization: Interesting, Early and At Least Well Conceived

November 28, 2012

So Facebook is finally launching a dedicated strategy to give its users a chance to access to the physical commercial world. Using its strength in Social Data collection it’s aiming to be the Amazon for Gift Giving. Not a bad place to start in concept.

My first reaction to the article belpw was to close my account and disappear forever. The more personal and financial data Facebook collects the more vulnerable my personal data becomes the target of hackers.

While I’m not ruling out changing my status to “Gone”, I am curious to see how this plays out.

This seemingly strategic and thoughtful approach, however gruff, is actually the right first step in the direction for a company whose culture was built on not monetizing the network which has a penchant for it annoying but not direct commercialism through ads.

A smarter first step would have been into the gift card or software (games, apps, productivity) business, items you are more likely to buy an acquaintance which is what most old friends on Facebook really are. Sending your buddy Joe from high school a cupcake pop is probably a bit personal, even if it is the gift HE wants.

In addition Facebook has been riddled with privacy and data security concerns. Do you really want them storing (by default) you credit card info and to have your home address on file. After all, with all those pictures of your kids up do you really want them to know where you live, beyond proximity?

All that said, I can’t see how in a decade of success with this new offering that Facebook catches up to its IPO valuation of $100B. At 15% on gifts alone, the estimated profit share on each purchase, a billion dollars in sales would only GROSS $150M dollars. They would need $5 – $10B in sales to make this a billion dollar business.

What’s more, the street may eventually be appalled to realize that hundreds of millions of reported Facebook users are nothing more than hackers and bots trolling for personal data. Such a revallation could be concluded from assessing the uptake of the gift platform. And this would only lower the revenue prospects for Facebook.

It’s an interesting dance Zuckerberg is doing. He’d better be ready to accept the commercial value of digital goodwill.

The Street wants its money back but they will be happy to see the company go bankrupt if they can’t earn early losses back. If capital markets can’t make money on the IPO, Investment Banks will make it on the backend through restructuring.

Status: Suspect but still online

CNBC.com Article: With a Billion Birthdays on File, Facebook Adds a Gift Store

The stock holdings of Prime Minister Wen Jiabao’s relatives took a solid jump after Ping An was granted a waiver to a rule that big financial companies be broken up. The NYT reports.

Full Story:


Movie Attack Plot Suspect “Born Different”

November 21, 2012

Such a heroic and tragic story. As any parent can admit this must have been a wildly difficult thing to do for the mom and it may be a decision that haunts the rest of her life.

On the flip-side we need more parents like this. We have a profound obligation to protect our children from society and to teach and coach them into adulthood. However, when something goes wrong it takes profound clarity to contemplate and choose to protect society from your child.

My heart goes out to this family. I hope someone writes the lesson and doesn’t just focus on the wreck.

Here’s a summary of an article from Wash. Examiner US: Mom: Movie attack plot suspect ‘born different’, http://summ.ly/6dmr

Magine Turns Your DVR Inside Out

November 21, 2012

Amazing concept. Doubt US cable companies would ever allow it though. Certainly a place for Apple or Google to step in.

Here’s a summary of an article from PandoDaily: Pardon the disruption: Magine reframes the future of TV to make it broadcaster-friendly, http://summ.ly/6116

Artic Ice Melting Breaks Records

November 19, 2012

Maybe you can argue if it’s man-made but how can anyone argue that the planet is not warming?

greenshield_normal.jpg Sustainable Harvard (@GreenHarvard)
11/19/12 1:04 AM
Amazing video from @NOAA visualizing the Arctic’s record breaking ice melt this year hvrd.me/ZLeYbW

Number One Reason Housing May Not Have Bottomed Yet

November 15, 2012

Shocking story…not sure how folks have gotten so comfy with a housing recovery.

NYT_Twitter_Business_normal.png NYT Business (@nytimesbusiness)
11/14/12 8:02 PM
The F.H.A. is expected to report that growing losses on mortgages it insures are depleting its reserves. nyti.ms/ZMzjxA

Goldman’s Headquarters, an Oasis of Electricity

November 3, 2012

The fact that Goldman Sachs remained fully lit in the aftermath of the hurricane is as puzzling as it is unnerving.

Not to mention Goldman’s NY HQ was built with proceeds from a municipal bond issuance supported by taxpayers.

What was it that Goldman built that insulated them from the lower Manhattan grid? What kind of a deal was worked out with ConEd and most importantly why does Goldman have a dedicated undisturbed line while the entire rest of lower manhattan went black.

Not to mention I have not seen an ounce of news of how Goldman opened their lobby to residents in need of shelter or a phone charge.

In fact I did hear one story this week of a Goldman employee complaining that their employee showers (yes your heard that correctly) did not have hot water. All the while thousands of people around has no power, water, and heat.

CNBC.com Article: Around Goldman’s Headquarters, an Oasis of Electricity

As many in Lower Manhattan spent the workweek without power, one area near the Hudson River was bustling: Goldman Alley. The New York Times reports.

Full Story:

Major Environmental Impacts Being Reporter in NYC Due to Sandy

November 2, 2012
SATCTwitter1_normal.GIF Stats and the City (@StatsAndTheCity)
11/2/12 8:13 AM
New York state received reports of more than 630 storm-related oil spills due to Superstorm #Sandy. cny.bz/PL8HfT