The next Google

This morning’s Wall Street Journal carried the front page article on Facebook and its founder, the 25 year old Mark Zuckerberg. Here are some facts in case you did not know.

– Digital Sky Technologies, a Russian private equity firm invested $200M last year in May at a valuation of $10B. That makes Mark the youngest billionaire ever with his 40% ownership.

– Facebook is likely to make $1.2 to $2B revenue this year. Quite astounding for a social networking company.  If that rate of growth continues, they will beat Google in just a few years.

– Facebook has 400m users, half of whom spend an average of almost an hour on the site every day. The viral aspect of this social networking site is unparalleled. Users are dubbed Gen Y.

– Facebook  is home to 40 billion photos. It monetizes from other web-commerce companies like Zynga using its social network fabric for their business.

– The 25 year old founder is a dropout from Harvard and started the company from the university dorms to link friends from ivy league schools.

– Disproving common wisdom that he is too young to be CEO of a multi-billion dollar company, Mark is building a strong executive team, getting counseling from valley veterans and not becoming greedy for cashing out via acquisition or an IPO.

What is most amazing is the potential for such social networking sites to make money. So, watch out folks! Such potential exists for another company, derided initially for “who cares for 140 character short messages” called Twitter. When Facebook goes through an IPO, this stock will be another Google phenomenon.

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