back to article 'One-trick pony' Zuckerberg yet to prove CEO worth

Mark Zuckerberg’s CEO abilities are glorified and the Facebook boydroid is yet to prove his worth, according to IT analyst house Forrester. George Colony wrote on his 'The Counterintuitive CEO' blog yesterday that Zuckerberg was “a one-trick pony – a leader who has expertly refined and polished one very, very big idea – …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    I cant get this "worth" thing the americans sell us

    Gates has M$, it has assets and as such, a value

    Apple has plants and assets the same

    facebook has information on people, and as such isnt worth shite...if he got sued for 20 mill tomorrow, does he have that as cash in the bank? companies with brick and mortar assets can

    so as I asked, is he worth anything in value, or do they assume the information his company holds, that people have freely given, is worth something?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Remember the South Sea Bubble

      As any estate agent will tell you, it's worth whatever you can get for it.

    2. Bilgepipe


      It all sounds very nebulous to me - vaporvalue, if you will. What is Facebook worth? It's worth what someone might be prepared to pay for it, or what Zukerberk might be prepared to sell it for. But it's all theoretical - as you say, one mighty lawsuit will change these notional values overnight.

      Whatever cash Zukerberk has in the bank, I still can't understand where it came from. I mean, I'm sure he isn't selling information on his userbase, fr'instance.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        A swing and a miss

      2. rvt


        I guess he makes a lot of money through advertisements and using that game system thet implemented.

        I have yet to visit his webpages one day to see what's it all about.

    3. Asiren
      IT Angle

      Isn't his worth what's "agreed"?

      He still retains x% shareholding of Facepalm.

      AppGooSoft have offered a gazzilion apples for y% of Facepalm.

      Therefore x% is worth a bajillion oranges.



      Or something.

      Where's the IT angle in all this?

    4. Anonymous Coward

      ...a net worth of $6.9bn, of which $4bn was dropped into his piggy bank this year

      See title then RTFA.

  2. Rogerborg

    Speculation vs investment

    Facebook is only worth what one bunch of stupid greedy tossers think another bunch of even more stupid greedy tossers might pay for it. It's effectively formed its own mini bubble. Best bit is, the most stupid greediest tossers will lose out when it inevitably falls apart. Huzzah!

    1. The Indomitable Gall

      But unfortunately...

      Unfortunately the übertosser himself, big Z... bitch! ... will still walk away with a nice healthy bank balance for the bits he's sold up to that point. Clever move not going to IPO -- he sells to people desperate to buy and unlikely to sell. That way he remains the sole supplier of snake oil futures on the market and gets ridiculously high prices for it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      The other "bunch of even more stupid greedy tossers" in this instance happen to be pension funds and banks and, possibly venture capitalists - but I doubt the latter. There are very few people speculating with their own money. The end result is that all these 'Boy Wonders' investing your pension and mutual funds in the likes of Facebook are speculating with your money! I don't find that very funny at all.

      At the end of the day the market is all about what people will pay. Sufficient 'investors' must believe that either there is advertising revenue available or the assets (your information) owned by Facebook et al can be monetised to yield a return so they are prepared to ramp the price. If/when it transpire that it can't get the advertising or monetise yor information then it is your bank or pension/mutual fund which will loose your shirt. Hope they've got it right or get while the getting is good - or least bad.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    So in reality

    His only income is from click through ads, Facebook itself neither buys nor sells anything solid, just buys rackspace and bandwidth

  4. Alastair 7

    Just sounds like jealousy.

    He's not a proper CEO! He's, uh, a geek! He just got lucky! He's done a better job than all of us but he doesn't do it /properly/! Waah, etc.

    I'm not saying that Facebook is greatest thing ever created, but looking at the site's worth and Zuckerberg's worth.. I'm not sure how he's supposed to be terrible at his job.

    1. Charles Manning

      While you sound like a Zucker-sucker

      They said he is an unproven CEO, not that he is not capable.

      Zucker-lad has so far had a pretty easy cruise with Facebook. He has not yet had to navigate any fierce storms or endure the wrath of shareholders etc. Private ownership means he does not really have typical CEO challenges.

      When he has been through those trials we can say whether he is CEO material or not.

    2. The Fuzzy Wotnot

      Fair enough

      I have to agree I think he's business genius but only for being the right person, right place and right time. He made the right contacts and pushed the right buttons, he's happy and so are his users.

      However I despise the man for being arogant, obnoxious and a pitiful specimen of human life. We can't all be Picasso or Agnes Gonxha (Mother Teresa), but doing something just a little helpful for others with no personal gain, is a start. Then again if you really want a billion dollar bank balance you don't get it by being Nice Guy.

      1. Alastair 7

        @The Fuzzy Wotnot

        "However I despise the man for being arogant, obnoxious and a pitiful specimen of human life."

        He sounds like a phenomenal CEO.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Because advertising is like throwing money to the wind, advertisers demand as much detailed information they can get about what they're spending on. Zuckerberg's magic is to collect the astonishingly detailed minutiae of some half a billion individuals' habits and flog them for targeted advertising. That's why nothing you do on Facebook is private, and that's why Zuckerberg is thought to be worth a fortune.

    So far, it's working, as evidenced by recent claims that Facebook places more ads than any other US web advertising medium. Whether it continues to work depends on how much revenue those ads generate for (a) Facebook and (b) the advertisers.

    Whether it works for Zuckerberg in person depends on whether he can keep up his momentously successful image long enough to sell his shareholding for what he wants investors to think it's worth. It could go either way, because investors aren't anything like as shrewd as they like to think they are, which is exactly why we've sunk into a global financial crisis.

    As for Zuckerberg's capabilities as a CEO, anyone who makes enough cash to get into a Forbes list is bound to be held in immensely high esteem ... by the same investors.

  6. alwarming

    Middle ages called...!

    They want their economists back.

    Most of the commentards seem to struggle with the concept of how "potential value in future" can translate in "real money" today.

    Yes, sometimes these "potential valuations" are over-hyped/over-priced(more likely)...

    But so could be your "real assets" like a house/gold/bag of dollars (tho less likely).

    Go read stuff.

  7. J 3

    One trick...

    I wouldn't be sad if I myself got all that money for one trick. Generations without working, I could spend, lived I many lives...

  8. Mike Street

    Not New

    Nothing new in that Forrester assessment. Unproven CEO is, er, unproven. Maybe he's the real deal, maybe not. Too early to say.

    The sad thing about Mark Z though, is that however much money he has, you still wouldn't want to change places with him - to be him.

    Be nice to have all the loot, but not if I have to become Mark Z.

  9. Adam T

    Financiers never learn

    It's valuations like this that underscore stock market crashes. If it's not in your wallet, it's not yours.

  10. skeptical i

    But with a trick like that, maybe one is all ya' need.

    As long as the company is privately held (i.e. does not have a fiduciary duty to return maximum profit to stockholders), his ability (or lack thereof) would seem relevant only to the company staff who value job security. He'll make a pile when he cashes in (I'll leave it to others to argue "unjust enrichment"), however he ranks in the pantheon of CEO-dom.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One trick pony...

    Now don't get me wrong, I think the guy is a 1st class prick, but I wouldn't mind having 'one trick' that set me up for life at his age.

    And if I had, I'm sure I too wouldn't give a shit what anyone thought. I'd be too busy laughing my ass off.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whatever he's worth... more than all of us 'bitches' put together.

    Good CEO? Not good CEO? Does anyone actually think he cares? I know I fucking wouldn't.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    It's funny how money speeds up the souring process...

  14. Yautja_Cetanu


    It feels a bit wierd when a journalist says "X largely dismissed it as fiction". There are connotations there that it isn't fictitious and that mark is just trying to dismiss himself from it.

    But the writer of the film also says its a fictitious account!

  15. MyHeadIsSpinning
    Paris Hilton

    Does he have money in the bank or not?

    The article says that $4 billion was dropped into his piggy bank this year: so is that real money or not?

    The article says that Facebook has made him this money - so is it a money generating entity or not?

    If Facebook is not a money generating entity, where is Zuck's money coming from? Also, if it is not making any money, and Zuck is still getting $ billions out of it dropped in his piggy bank, then how much more $ will he get when it actually does start making money?

    1. Zap

      Let's keep it simple

      1. People start private companies or corporations

      2. Private Companies have shares

      3. The original owners of the private company can issue as many shares as they like, every new issue of shares dilutes the value of the original shares.

      4. The owners of the shares have certain rights

      5. The issued shares are called the share capital

      6. The issued shares increase the risk to the owner’s liability until they are "paid up"

      7. One day they seek external finance so they issue some shares and sell them to a private investor (sometimes called a venture capitalist).

      8. The investor hopes one day to get a a return on his investment

      9. The investors shares have a value which may be £1 per share even though he may have paid a lot more or a lot less.

      10. This process can be repeated again and again, each new issue devalues all shares

      11. One day the company decides it wants to go public and hires a city firm to manage an "initial public offering" of share to be traded on the stock exchange. The shares offered may be any percentage of the company.

      12. The money raised goes to the owners and investors who sold a percentage of their holding to the market.

      13. Thereafter, every quarter the company issues results forecasting future results (profits)

      In between, all the investment banks, hedge funds and other investors employ analysts to guess the impact of daily events to each and every public company

      14. Sometimes the companies want more money from the market so they either release more shares or they create new ones which dilute those out there (which may upset investors),

      15. At other times they may buy back their own publicly traded shares.

      One day they may be bought in a "take over", the very thought of this sends the publicly quoted share price of the company being bought UP.

      16. So if they are bought their price goes up.

      17. and so it goes on.

      If you are a really good business owner, you manage your growth, reinvest your own profits, make good acquisitions and never go public. Going public means you have to cowtow to what the market wants or expects, it means if your competition fail your price is marked down. Ideally you don't sell up until you have built up enough hype, conquered your market and are ready to get out. Growing a company to worldwide status usually requires an IPO.

      Now if Mark was an owner of the original shares and has been at stage 7 above he could have been paid billions by a venture capitalist for a stake.

      Facebook sells ads, has income from games and is working on the monetisation of the site. It is no different from Google, before they bought YouTube, now you get ads.

      Mark is paid on the potential of the company to make money in the future, it is the same risk or gamble we all take when we buy any asset, from a gadget that we hope will not depreciate before we have got bored with it to a house we might hope to sell one day to old granny putting money in a post office savings account.

      The hype is measured by the number of users, so rather than bitching vote with your feet if you feel so bad. Goodness knows he has done enough for people to realise he will abuse their personal data. Now that might be a reason to hate him but not because his is rich.

      Personally I think all facebook users are sad twats who publish their life online and waste most spare moments reading the sad activities or looking at the naff photos of their "pretend friends".

      1. alwarming
        Paris Hilton

        Read Zap's post.



        PS: Paris, coz you would buy her a drink for a bull ride in her possible future.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You see that's just the problem

    "the world is still waiting for Zuckerberg to turn his business into a “monetary engine”."

    If you're not making money, you don't actually HAVE a business. You have a hobby.

    Maybe you are a slimey enough turd that you have taken 4 billion dollars worth of donations, sorry, "investments", but that doesn't make you a business man. Even televangelists rank higher up the business food chain than Zuckerberg in my estimation. If you're going to sell people turd (or in this case, the metaphysical idea of a turd), at least have the decency to charge a fair price and smile while you do it.

    And at least televangelists scam one distinct group of victims whereas Zuckerberg scams two, at the same time. The so-called "users" (i.e. the suckers) and the so-called "investors" (i.e. the sucker suckers).

  17. Zap

    Sour grapes

    You lot are all just jealous, why can't you aspire and admire? I don't care if he invented toilet rolls or tampax, the fact is a lot of people use facebook, that is a great achievement. Facebook employs a lot of people and a lot of people are employed who create apps, games etc to work with facebook.

    Just because you are pathetic a pathetic nobody, don't blame him, blame your parents or better still the person who is ultimately responsible for your lack of achievement, LOOK IN THE MIRROR!

    How much time a day or per week do you spend on ideas? Too busy watching TV or football or bitching down the pub.

    When you have created such a success, then you can judge, until then, learn some respect!

    The epic FAIL is for you bunch of FAILURES.

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