The Facebook Bubble

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The past two days, on the front page of the New York Times, the latest investment (from none other than Goldman Sachs) in Facebook is featured. Nominally, the valuation of Facebook is now at $50 billion, a new record, making mid-20s Zuckerberg one of the richest people on the face of the Earth. (I would also note that today's Times also gives Facebook the majority of the front page of the Business section as well).

It wasn't that long ago that I remember passing by the little placard on a small downtown office in Palo Alto looking for people to come work at "TheFacebook.com". I've even seen Zuck downtown a few times back in the days of Prophet (they have hence moved from Palo Alto's little downtown to Stanford Industrial Park). So it's pretty amazing seeing how fast this company, led by this one youngster, has grown.

But, as the graph below indicates, Facebook is now nominally worth more than eBay and Yahoo (by a long shot). I think Facebook is elegantly designed, and it's inconceivable how any firm, no matter how well-funded, could push them off the top of the social networking heap any time in the next decade. But does this valuation make any sense, or is it just the 3,875th bubble we're witnessing in our lifetimes?

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