Zuckerberg’s Complaint

Facebook last week announced its Initial Public Offering — exactly the event I said wouldn’t happen in one of my controversial predictions for 2012. But I’m sticking with my call on this one since we’re 2-3 months from the actual event and a lot can happen to screw things up between now and then. I’m pretty sure Facebook shares will be trading sometime this year, I just don’t think the company will have a traditional IPO.

Companies go public for three reasons: 1) to raise capital for various corporate purposes like acquisitions and paying down debt; 2) to secure the wealth of founders, giving their kids something to fight over, and; 3) because they have over […]

The Cringely Internet Civility Plan

A reader came to me this week with a problem. He was being sued in federal court by a company claiming he had defamed them online.  That will be $75,000, please.  I’m not getting into who the reader is, which company is suing, even what jurisdiction, because none of that matters here.  But the case is real and I feel for the reader. So let’s come up with a way to make sure this doesn’t have to happen again.

America is a very litigious society. We love to get all riled up and sue each other, whether our claims are valid or not.  In this reader’s case he is accused of making improper comments […]

The Decline and Fall of Facebook

Roger McNamee is a smart guy and a very successful investor as a co-founder of Elevation Partners. He made a breakfast presentation last month at the Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles that is well worth watching. I could probably get half a dozen columns out of this one speech, but the part I want to concentrate on here is McNamee’s claim that when it comes to social media, Facebook (in which he was an early investor) has already won. I’m not here to say Roger is wrong, just that I am not exactly sure what Facebook is winning.

The core of McNamee’s speech didn’t have to do so much with Facebook as with Microsoft, Apple, Google, and […]

Metternich and Mubarak

There is supposed to be something of an Internet revolution going on right now in Egypt, but have you noticed that the Internet isn’t directly involved? Oh there’s plenty of Twittering going-on, but it is all about the demonstrations and civil unrest in Cairo — not from those crowds. The Internet was turned off, you say, along with the mobile phone networks, but that misses my point. I think the Internet component of this social movement is being overblown. While it may be easy for a reporter to say that the Internet or texting or Facebook or Twitter is at the heart of what appears to be a multinational revolutionary juggernaut, I don’t think that’s […]

2011 prediction #5: Facebook forks

Facebook now claims more than 500 million members. Facebook is too big. Already we’re seeing Facebook defections by, well, me. And others, there are other people than me who are put-off by the simple fact that this social network is becoming as ubiquitous as bad breath in dogs.

LinkedIn, at only 80 million members, is already having success with its branding as the working professional’s Facebook. Well the real Facebook can’t allow that, can they?

So expect this year a Facebook fork with the social network offering premium services to get back all those high earners over at LinkedIn. We may see several Facebook channels in fact. How else can Zuckerberg appeal to those of us who, like Groucho Marx, “refuse to join any club that […]