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Is Facebook getting ready to float?

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The Equity Fingerprint of Facebook is a social network on its own and has just been increased by those nice people from ConnectU who claim to have come up with the idea in the first place.  However the “office boy” went on to fame and fortune (see my earlier post) with Facebook.  As part of a court settlement, the “office boy” has settled a lawsuit with his former Harvard college room-mates, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, receiving $20million in cash and 1,253,326 shares worth a further $11million based on the company’s own valuation.  Facebook was valued at $3.7bn, down from the$15bn when Microsoft bought in for $240million.  If Facebook floats at the higher valuation, the founders of ConnectU will do very, very well and not by half.

It reminds me of the Google float when paper was issued to thank people who had “helped” the company get going.

So many companies that go the Active Equity Company route do have to keep shuffling the equity to keep it rewarding the current people and, if all goes well, the ones who come out of the cupboard.

I remember when Reid “Glug” Hoffman of LinkedIn came to Cambridge and said that although websites looked similar, it is the attention to the small details that differentiate one from the crowd and Zuckerberg certainly has that skill.

Apart from all the history, do the ConnectU founders really deserve their cut?  Would their site have ever reached 150million users and more?  Their idea was great but could they execute?  How would you feel if you were the founder of ConnectU?  Or the “office boy”?  It would make a great case study.

Dave Morin, who runs Facebook’s app team, on friendfeed Tweets: “Today we gave our 175,000,000th user the power to share and be more open and connected through Facebook. Awesome.” One of the comments: “Congrats to Facebook on reaching 175 million users. Amazing growth. – Robert Scoble”.

So Facebook is going for the 200million mark (zuc……).

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Scrabulous may soon have the letters changed – they have!

Hasbro/Mattel/EA boycottImage by k1v1n via FlickrScrabulous is an app on Facebok set up by two Indian brothers – no need to learn the rules if you have played Scrabble.  But with 600,000 daily users (addicts) and income rumoured at $25,000 per month, the owners of Scrabble are calling time.  So Mattell and Hasbro have written to Facebook asking for the app to be removed – so much easier than dealing with the two brothers I guess.

However we learned from Reid “Glug” Hoffman of LinkedIn on his flying visit to the Cambridge Cluster earlier this year that it is a rare skill to make a social network that connects or an app that appeals to so many users.  Perhaps Mattell and Hasbro would be better bringing the two brothers in house and getting all their other games up and working as apps.

But as an inventor, I am on the side of the big boys this time – Scrabulous could have made more effort to make a new game but then no one would have known the rules!

They have!  The brothers closed the site down and re-launched it with big changes such as circular shapes instead of square.  But the test must be – do we know the rules from playing Scrabble?  The legal beavers must be relishing the fees.   So much better to buy the brothers out as I say above.   One lesson is that you do not have think of Equity Fingerprint, the business plan resource, if you “borrow” someone else’s ideas as your start-up costs are slashed – a triple letter score!  At least Bill Gates and Paul Allan paid for DOS and the global rights.

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