Back when I used to host my TV show on Fox Business, I used to admonish Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg for not bringing his company public early enough so that the retail investors of the world could ride Facebook’s early stages of growth to riches for the broader public. When Microsoft invested $240 million into Facebook at a valuation of $15 billion in 2007, my co-anchors were shocked at the valuation. I on the other hand shocked my co-anchors even further when I proclaimed that Microsoft had gotten a steal of a deal and that they would make billions of that investment over the next decade.
At about the same time, Twitter was also raising money privately at “only” an $80 million valuation, and I was also adamant that its investors in those early days were going to make huge returns. In fact, I interviewed Biz Stone on my show days after he wrote that post and told him the same thing.
Twitter was just half Facebook’s age at the time, as Facebook was founded in July 2004 and Twitter in December 2006.
Well, fast forward to today and Facebook’s valuation is up 10-fold to more than $150 billion and Microsoft’s $240 billion investment is now worth more than $2 billion. Twitter’s valuation has skyrocketed even more as its valuation is up 300-fold, from $80 million to today’s $25 billion market cap.
I made Facebook my personal portfolio’s largest position when it crashed right after its IPO when Zuckerberg had maximized every potential dollar he could squeeze out of Wall Street and I got the opportunity to load up on it when its valuation was just under $50 billion. And since the day Twitter came public and left billions of dollars of shareholder capital on the table, I’ve been bearish and bashing in my analysis of the stock.
All that’s good information and interesting analysis, but what’s important now is what the future, not the past, of these stocks holds. The upshot is that I just bought some more FB and am still long a bunch of Facebook common stock but that I still don’t want to risk any of my money on Twitter’s stock. Why?
First off, Facebook’s innovations and continual pushing of the envelope with the layout and look and feel of their website and apps has led it to become, along with Apple and Google, the leading app company in the world. You know I have been big on the App Revolution for many years now, and as Google, Apple and Facebook will tell you, it’s a mobile future out there. Remember when the media and analysts were trying to keep you from buying Facebook because it had “no mobile strategy?” I’m no cult of personality kind of guy, but I do think that Zuckerberg has proven himself to be a visionary for this time and place in our technological and economic and societal cycles. We’re not talking about having a one hit wonder at Facebook anymore, as the company has literally led its userbase into the mobile and broadband future. More videos, more interactions, more innovations, more broadband, more offline….Zuckerberg and Facebook are creating “more.”
Meanwhile, did you hear the news that Twitter followed up their new background colors experiment/innovation from a few months ago with another one last week — changing the “Retweet” button to say “Share” instead of “Retweet.” Zzzz. Twitter’s still trying to force its users to stick with 140 characters for each post. Vine has been a bit of a hit for Twitter, but the novelty of watching a nine second loop of bad quality video and audio has worn off and now I, like a lot of other people, just find the whole idea of Vine to be annoying. As I’ve noted before, companies like my Scutify are taking advantage of Twitter’s stuck-in-last-decade’s mentality to innovate around and on top of Twitter’s own platform.
Facebook still has a huge revenue growth trajectory and is taking the kind of risks that I want a “young high tech” company that I invest in to be taking. You realize that Facebook just spent $19 billion to buy Whatsapp and that Facebook was valued at less than $19 billion back just five years ago? Amazing times for those who have been properly positioned for this Revolution Investing cycle.
Remember when I predicted that Facebook would join Apple, Google and Microsoft as one of the “Four Horsemen of Tech?” Funny video below about that here. Do you consider Facebook on of the “Four Horsemen of Tech” now too?
PS. I just recently started “Cody Underground: The Podcast” and here’s my fourth episode.