Mark Zuckerberg must be glad he's at the D6 conference in Carlsbad, where he has nothing to fear besides running into my boss. We've heard one of the reasons Zuckerberg left town in the first place was that he didn't want to be around when the company eased out CTO Adam D'Angelo, a high school friend of Zuckerberg's. Another the sensitive CEO skipped town? He may not have wanted to see the disappointment when his employees learned that the company would revoke a cherished $600 housing subsidy for those living near Facebook's downtown Palo Alto headquarters. Since reporting the news yesterday, more tipsters tell us the subsidy slash is real. According to one, new employees will get no housing subsidy and as soon as current employees sign new leases with their landlords or decide to move, they lose theirs too. "Something is going on at Facebook and it isn't good," observed commenter sggrf afer yesterday's news.
First they raise way more than any private Internet company —- ever! Then, they pre-announce via some strange conference call that they will have a flat to down revenue year, now they are cutting these rent subsidies.
Something is wrong with this picture. Does anyone recall these types of occurences as Google was making their climb? Nope, me neither.
My guess is that their expenses are running way ahead of plan and their revenues are way behind. Why? Because Beacon failed, which is probably why Owen [Van Natta] got fired, and they have no viable back-up plan. They also have a very high strike price so it's hard to raise traditional VC money at this point. Watch these guys closely —- their revenue and overall story doesn't match their growth/traffic numbers. Something is broken IMHO!
We should note that sggrf has several facts wrong; he persists in trotting out this notion that Facebook will have a "flat to down revenue year," which is not what Zuckerberg announced to employees earlier this year. (In fact, Zuckerberg said revenues will roughly double from 2007 to 2008.) But he's right in this much: Something has been going on at Facebook since COO Sheryl Sandberg joined.