Nothing is real anyway. So go ahead and buy that facebook stock and feed your virtual goat corndogs and caviar. You can pay for it with bubble money, using the time machine you found on skymall. All you have to do is believe the lies you tell yourself.
"Today, a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There's no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we're the imagination of ourselves. Here's Tom with the weather."
The IPO scandal notwithstanding, I doubt Facebook is going anywhere. It took the Internet 30 years to hit 750 million users, it took Facebook 8 years. there's no fighting inertia unless you're the new inertia...and so far no one seems able to truly compete with Facebook as people's destination on the web.
"Google may still be the worlds most visited website with users spending nearly 2 hours on the site in a given month. But the average U.S. Internet user spends nearly 4 times the amount of those hours on Facebook."
It has its starts and stops and what it will become is not really clear, but I would say once it gets clear of this, Facebook will be just fine.
I'll go one further - its what TV used to be. Now, on-demand, DVRs, Netflix, streaming, etc. have eroded the impact of commercials. What's more, TV has become so segmented that the idea of "broadcasting" a message to people has been replaced by niche advertising to specific audiences depending on where they wind up on the dial (Bravo one day, A&E the next, ABC sometimes).
Fall back on printed media? Daily newspapers are failing each year as less and less people subscribe, classifieds disappear and ad dollars abandon the medium. Radio? Good for some local plays, but satellite radio, ipods, etc. have eroded that medium.
What does it mean? Most people today are living life online. For companies that desperately need to appeal to buyers, they go where the eyes are...and right now, that's Google, Facebook, streaming content, etc.
So is it a fanciful billboard? Sure. But they all are, that's the point. Right now, its one of the few that can reach an audience.
There's advantages - Facebook knows A LOT about what we like, watch, read (as does Google for that matter) and makes it easier for advertisers to segment their message and reach an audience that will likely be interested in their product. There are lots of obstacles too - online ads are still not as effective as getting in our faces as network commercials and magazine ads were and are still to some degree.
But there is a sea change going on right now in media/advertising. Not liking/praying for its demise does not = it happening. The market has already shaken out the smaller players or they have been gobbled up (i.e. Instagram).
This message has been edited by orvis on May 23, 2012 4:01 PM
This morning when I was driving into work, I heard some DJs talking about this song about Facebook that is going viral on YouTube. They were dying laughing and played part of it. This song is intended to be serious.
You had me Pee Jay, right up until you said you wouldn't touch the stock. After all the good things you said about Facebook being around forever, why wouldn't you buy the stock now at the low low price it is?
Half joking. The IPO issues are real issues. Mostly, I'm not a buyer of individual equities, so I really wouldn't buy it anyway. But if I was, wouldn't you want to feel like the company was clear of this mess before you put anything into it?
In my interview this afternoon we were discussing appropriate risk management, and I said something about how I wouldn't trust a company that invested in facebook stock. Rousing laughter from all 3 of the interviewers.
401(k)s were thrust upon you so that companies could weasel out of pension plans, offering you instead something they reap the benefit of until you retire (because if YOU touch it sooner, the taxes will eat you alive), and when the bottom falls out of the stock market and your retirement is gone, the company you work for is certainly not going to be the one left holding the bag. So you worked here 30 years? So 40% of your 401(k) disappeared a year before you were slated to retire and now you have to greet at Walmart until you die? So what.
Pensions were killing companies, donchaknow. All of the majors - your banks, your financial firms, hell, even manufacturers now, are making record profits. But no soup for you, average guy!
They all say their employees are "family", team members, or their most important resource though.
And companies actually wonder why employee loyalty has plummeted over the years.
Can any MBAs out there confirm my suspicion that a lobotomy is required before you can get your degree? It seems like whenever the creators of a company sell out and the MBAs move in, the company has begun the inexorable downward spiral that almost always ends in bankruptcy, restructuring, or both. And that spiral almost always starts by fucking the regular employees right in the ass - metaphorically, of course.
It leads me to the conclusion that people with Business degrees are either incredibly stupid, completely amoral, or a little of both.
Completely amoral. The money talks and even somebody that charges in with good intentions is corrupted by it. Listen to some of those young executives that were responsible for the housing crash - they did it gleefully and walked about with millions in their 20s. Would you have said no, walked away? I wager most wouldn't.
Henry Ford's business model was to effeciently manufacture a product that his employees could afford to buy. So the circle continues. When the goal is to make money for investors, everybody else is losing.
Well, I got my lobotomy about 1999, and since then I've created more jobs than I've eliminated.
That said, many of my classmates saw labor as a commodity cost to be managed in much the same way as other production inputs like metals or cotton.
I wonder if we had a real national health care system that functioned (which we might have easily streamlined by now if we'd done it in 1992 when we should have) - if companies could still be offering pensions because they weren't required (unlike any of their other western competitor companies) to pay for their employee's health care.
This is what kills me about the political right - the utter selfishness of short term thinking. We could all probably get rich in the long term, but they don't want to wait. Keep the party going as long as you can even if that means the shit could come completely down - like it almost did in 2009. Even if that happens, they control most of the bombs and have more cash than they'd lose, so fuck the rest of us.
This isn't about political affiliation. Clinton signed away the regulations implemented after the Great Depression to keep banks from doing what they just did. Again. And it only took them 20 years this time.
Money talks, bullshit walks. Any politician in Washington would sell their grandmother for a Lear jet, R or D behind their name is meaningless.
Its a sad cycle that Wall St. and bankers have driven companies into. Whether its private equity, investment banks, shareholders, etc., they always seem to point to people first when they need to squeeze more profit out of the margins...not the people making insane amounts of money, just the high volume of people making a little bit of money.
I get it, companies are not successful unless they are profitable. They cannot grow and employ more people - they cannot compete - unless they are able to make hard choices about how money is spent. It all makes sense and we accept because the systems affords us all more opportunity when it works right.
But its not working right. A big obstacle for the economy has been the lack of increases in consumer spending. Hmm, I wonder why? Could it be that to manufacture the goods they are trying to sell us they shipped all of our jobs offshore? Could it be that we have a disproportionate amount of senior citizens that were left without any sizable assets after the real estate bubble eroded their retirement accounts? Yet as profits recover, the gains aren't shared?
Its not sustainable. The best thing corporate America could do for itself is help bolster a strong middle class. Instead they watch as the goverment tries to make up the difference then wonders why they come knocking on their doors for more tax dollars.
This message has been edited by orvis on May 24, 2012 9:49 AM
I don't understand the mentality the points to the underdog as the problem, the wage earner, the immigrant, the food stamp recipient, these people aren't the problem and I don't know how that lie is swallowed so completely.
I hear ya. The whole teacher debate kills me - and mind you, unions are not perfect and have their own corruption issues and lack accountability to the average worker - but in all of the economic craziness, how is the answer to reduce the incomes and/or benefits of teachers? Teachers?
If its such a lucrative, sweet heart of a deal, why aren't people lining up to teach?
the other one that kills me is people complaining when they see someone using food stamps and they are buying cookie mix or soda or some unhealthy food. "Look at that. I have to pay for my unhealthy food and they get it subsidized."
Really? You really think that person has a great life? Even if they are cheating the system, do you honestly think they are winning? Don't worry about what they are eating.
Right Appy - BY The people themselves! The entire concept of the Republican base carrying moronic signs around in support of the people raping them just boggles my mind.
Have you ever argued with a poor person about the inherritance tax? It's the strangest sensation in the world. What was it last time around - 35k people who were elliglible for the tax as written? Yet millions who would never pay it vociferously fought for the right of those 35k to dodge that tax?
And anon - I said 'political right' meaning fiscal conservatives. Note I did NOT use D or R. I agree - many D's have been eagerly sucking at the teat of our corporate masters since the Clinton era (and before - but they really got going then and openly adopted R strategies then).
I was the 2nd in command at two companies that put plans in place to grow that resulted in hiring more employees. So I didn't mean to take all of the credit, but I was hired to help places grow, and they did.
I've also had to lay people off, which utterly fucking sucks.