Dear Mark – AKA Zuck,
I know we haven’t formally met IRL but we hang out in similar circles. You see, the four of us are all a part of the Internet and we’re getting a little worried with everything that’s been going on. SOPA is kind of freaking us out and the guys who torpedoed the global economy (rhymes with Mold-Can Cracks) keep flirting with all our friends. We hear you’re a reasonable guy so we thought we’d write you a little letter.
There is little doubt that you’ve done some real notable things for our society. You’ve connected and reconnected us. You took us from a state of superficial digital portrayals and gave us the chance to share our thoughts and opinions. You even unveiled a “timeline” which lets us download our entire life, permanently immortalizing our history for the world to see.
On the flip side, we have used you in some interesting and unexpected ways. We’ve spurred revolts, riots, and movements. We’ve made companies change their stance and business practices. We’ve even started using Facebook as a digital cemetery for those that we’ve lost. It’s been a great journey so far and we want to be in it for the long haul but we don’t like what we’re hearing through the grapevine.
No matter how many times you refute it we know there’s an IPO coming. And while we know that you have a ton of engineers that are eyeing those Virgin Galactic seats we worry about what’s going to happen to the rest of us. You see, to quote Jefferson Starship, “we built this city” and we’re nervous about the crazies crashing the party. To be frank, we don’t particularly like the idea of being told what we can do by a consortium of Wall Street freaks that have a $75 million favor owed to the Russians. Seriously though Zuck, what in the world do you need all that cash for?
To be transparent, we all work for the Internet and some of us actually invest quite a lot of money with you. We know technology scales really well and it’s pretty easy to keep costs low and margins high. While we love the new servers we all know those don’t cost that much. And it’s not like you have huge production costs because all the content on Facebook is ours. It’s not like you have to write those millions of articles, shoot those millions of videos and snap those billions of photos. So what’s the cash for? Don’t you already have close to $24 billion?
When you think about it, one might argue that you already have a public company. You’ve got almost 1 billion shareholders and you’re in a position to run the most public, most transparent, most community-driven company ever. And an ad hoc position notwithstanding, you can do a lot with the money you have now. You can create your own board, scale your team the way you want to and continue to build a culture based on innovation and critical thinking. You can build all the value you want into this company and you can do it without all the quarterly meetings, negligent bankers and absurd p/e ratios.
You see Zuck, this isn’t about an “exit,” this is about a new beginning. To do what Google didn’t do (build a search engine truly for the people) and what Amazon couldn’t avoid (commoditizing its own workforce). So c’mon man, step up and be different. Think different, to borrow from one of your accidental mentors. Do the right thing, the public thing, the transformational thing.
The bottom line is we need you on our side. Our beloved Internet is under attack and you have a ton of credibility and clout. You went to Harvard, for a bit, and you know the president. You’re an important player on our team and you’ll be hard to replace should you join The Wall Street Stealers.
We hope we don’t come across too harshly in our letter but to be honest we’re scared. Because unlike the times before the foundations of what we believe and what made Facebook so successful is up for sale and we don’t like the buyers at all.
Warmest regards Zuck,
Sasha, Len, Siobhan and Gunther
Image borrowed from: http://www.vogelsocialmedia.com/