John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

If Facebook’s Worth $15 Billion, Then My Stupid Idea’s Got to Be Good for $10 Mil

zuckerbarker.jpgApparently the vainglory from which Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appears to suffer is communicable and spreading rapidly throughout the social network’s developer community.

Encouraged by reports that Microsoft is considering a $500 million investment that would value Facebook at up to $15 billion, some software engineers are assigning hyperbolic valuations to the Facebook widgets they’ve developed, though the business models on which they’re based are even more unproven than those of Facebook itself.

To wit, RockYou CEO Lance Tokuda, who’s convinced his Super Wall widget, an enhanced version of Facebook’s Wall bulletin board, is guaranteed a not-at-all-widget-sized financial windfall. “If you told me you were going to write me a check for $10 million, I’d say, ‘Forget it,’ ” Tokuda told the New York Times of his asking price for Super Wall. “This is a completely new channel of delivering content to users and letting them communicate. Owning that over the long stretch can be worth a lot.”

No. Owning the “users” over the long stretch might be worth something. That’s why Facebook is being given these frothy valuations. Owning a widget easily replicated by the company that owns those users? If you get $10 million for that, you’re luckier than Zuckerberg.