$2B for a virtual community of students

The Facebook is a babe in terms of years in business. But man have they cranked up the valuation. Turning down $750M is a big pass, but pocketing an extra $1.25B would be a nice bonus if Steve Rosenbush at BusinessWeek is correct.

I thought Facebook was cool when I first saw it. I was able to reach out to some friends attending other schools, including former employees like Ron Heinz at Villanova — sorry about the defeat during the sweet 16.

Last summer, Ron and I talked at length about how he used Facebook. As a Freshman, he found that he was able to meet other students on his time, and in a certain comfort zone. He could browse interests, classes, and groups. Ron also said that he connected with high school friends at other campuses.

I spoke with Kevin Colleran at Facebook last year to discuss some advertising/sponsorship opportunities for Agilix GoBinder and Blackboard Backpack. It was clear that Facebook was a fast growing web property with huge interest from advertisers targeting the lucrative youth audience. Kevin told me that the company was still under 25 employees. He postured that Facebook was very profitable and actually turning down advertisers that didn’t “fit” with Facebook. The $13M in funding was more of an alliance with a VC to get visibility on Wall Street.

Colleran was clear though. He believed the value of Facebook would continue to grow as long as it was an underground site where parents and “old people” didn’t venture in. Stay real and focused. By targeting high-school ages with a new property, they could continue to reach into the minds of the upcoming movers and shakers.

Adam Ashton, son of the founder of WordPerfect, was also an intern working with Ron last summer. It was a bit painful to think how different it was in funding and building Facebook vs. WordPerfect — my current office is one of probably 15 “buildings” on the former WordPerfect campus. We also discussed how cool it would be to come up with such a great idea and business at such a young age — hat’s off to Mark Zuckerberg.

Hard to imagine playing chicken with $750M. Personally, I’d probably agree with Rob Hof, a coworker of Rosenbush’s at BusinessWeek. I’d probably pocket the $750M and gladly move onto the next thing.


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