Sunday, March 6, 2011

Facebook

Cast of Rent
I remember when my wife took me to the Broadway play 'Rent' and I sat there stewing in my seat. The only character I could connect with the 'evil' landlord who wanted to kick out all the low-lifes and drug users squatting rent-free in the building he OWNED so that he could sell it.

I'm getting deja vu now with the popularity of 'The Social Network'. Am I really supposed to root for the slimy thief who stole the Winklevosses idea while pretending to work for them? Just because they are tall, great-looking, aryan, olympic athletes with rich parents? Sorry but I can't.

Reading the story in the Times reveals that the Winklevosses have a legitmate claim to a settlement, especially since they sold their competing site to Facebook as part of the settlement. But Zuckerberg screwed them again during the settlement by lying about the company's valuation when converting their settlement dollars into shares.

Here's an excerpt from the article:
...according to court documents, the parties agreed to settle for a sum of $65 million. The Winklevosses then asked whether they could receive part of it in Facebook shares and agreed to a price of $35.90 for each share, based on an investment Microsoft made nearly five months earlier that pegged Facebook’s total value at $15 billion. Under that valuation, they received 1.25 million shares, putting the stock portion of the agreement at $45 million.
Yet days before the settlement, Facebook’s board signed off on an expert’s valuation that put a price of $8.88 on its shares. Facebook did not disclose that valuation, which would have given the shares a worth of $11 million. The ConnectU founders contend that Facebook’s omission was deceptive and amounted to securities fraud.
Read the whole article here:

Watching the movie made me sicker and sicker as I saw this jerk screwing people over, one after the other. I know that the story about the Winklevosses was true from the articles I read and the interviews I've seen. The co-founder, Eduardo Saverin seems to own a 5% stake in the company now, down from the 30% he owned at the founding. That story hurt the most, watching Zuckerberg screw over his only friend for money. I don't know if his motivation was jealousy over the popularity of his friend as the movie suggests.

Fro those who want to see more, here is a video of the Winklevosses explaining their argument with Zuckerberg:
video
And here is a video of the creep himself. Notice how he almost never blinks his eyes? That must be a true sign of an evil heart.
video
Finally, for a lighter view on the story, here is Saturday Night Live's spoof of Zuckerberg:

video

2 comments:

  1. Bruce, great post... one thing to keep in mind was that MySpace was already on the web at that time... so neither Facebook and the Winkelvosses were cutting edge. I think the film was meant to be dark, without any heroes. Zuckerberg was a jerk to other people with major character failings. Most galling to me about the film was the (accurate?) poor treatment of the women characters, except for the young attorney.

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  2. The film affected me, obviously so it did its job. I'll root for the talk Dutch guys over the sniveling sneak.
    As far as its depiction of women, I didn't notice at the time but, you're right, they were demeaned throughout. It's probably symtomatic of the IT industry.

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