facebook bought instagram for $1 BILLION dollars. WHAT? it’s a f-ing photoshop filter built into a camera phone app. 30+ millions of people use it. why? because it’s the trendy photo app du jour … and it’s free and easy to use. i commend the creators — they seem like cool guys. they made something neat and grabbed the payday at the right time. but for facebook to pay $1 BILLION dollars seems so trivial. it reminds me of how Yahoo! and AOL used to be. everyone wanted a piece of them in the late 90s. now look at both companies — dogs with fleas.
the fact that money of that size can be laid out for something so ephemeral bugs me. it’s a vicious cycle. old dudes with deep pockets reach a point where they’ve at the top and worry that younger bucks are gunning for them. or they simply want to make money on the backs and energy of youth (it’s the way of the world, let’s face it).
either way, they see shadows of their leaner, younger, more badass selves reflected back at them in alpha male entrepreneurs and MBA types. so they bring them into the fold, giving them VC funds and/or hiring them to run a business. the young bucks give good presentations, make good smalltalk, and make old dudes feel like they have skin in the cool game.
consequently the young bucks cash in big. lawyers cash in big. people are hired and fired and shuffled around but is the value ever delivered? it depends on how you define value. if perception is reality, then perhaps. regardless, it seems like one endless mastubatory cycle to me.