This story was written by Staci D. Kramer.
And for his next trick, Mark Zuckerberg will boost the size of Facebook’s 1,000-person staff by as much as 50 percent this year while trying to stay in start-up mode and reach positive cash flow next year.
During an interview with Bloomberg News, at least the published part, Zuckerberg almost sounds like a public company CEO bragging about running a lean ship to make investors and analysts feel better about prospects in tough times. Facebook claims more than 250 million registered users globally but, like Google’s YouTube, has yet to convert all of that to the kind of revenue needed for a company with $600-plus million in funding and a $10 billion funding-based valuation. Installing your own cable to save money doesn’t mean you can make money—well, make enough money.
—Concrete status symbol: The Facebook CEO’s start-up status symbol: a massive cement-floored HQ in Palo Alto. Zuckerberg told Bloomberg News he wants his staff to remember “were way closer to the beginning than the end. A lot of times buildings can be a signal that youve made it. I would rather that our building feel much more like a very large garage. A large garage where you can get three free meals a day and play games.
—Funding: In May, Facebook took a $200 million investment from Russian PE firm Digital Sky Technologies, valuing the company at $10 billion. At the time, DST’s Alexander Tamas told paidContent: “The company does not need the money but I think its good for a company to have ‘optionality.’ You dont want to be constrained by funding if you want to move quickly on something.” Zuckerberg told Bloomberg: “We think of that mostly as a buffer. ... We didnt take that round of financing with any particular goal in mind. Facebook acquired FriendFeed earlier this month but the price, reported to be nearly $50 million, was said to only include $15 million in cash
By Staci D. Kramer