At Last

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by: Sigurd Rinde

Seems it has dawned upon the VCs that yet another social network might not be the thing.

And when two "Facebook widget applications" (heh, a category by itself) startups are valued at substantially more than Bear Stearns, well, how can you avoid being hit by a blinding flash of the obvious: Something is not quite right.

Still, the reason for the VCs getting cold feet seems to me to be for the wrong reasons. Mind you a good reason but not what I would see as the major reason.

The argument is that there is a consumer fatigue out there, how many times are we to recreate our social networks for another new and shiny place? How many places are we to go, how many apps and browser windows do we have to refresh to hear the same messages from the same friends? I’m a victim of the fatigue for sure.

But what about the good old "how to earn money" – slow, fast or no growth in users – in my view kind of the most important aspect.

And they’re all based on advertising, albeit with creative tweaks to exactly how, all touted as completely new and promising. Still the same source, internet advertising.

There are a few numbers around for the grand total spend on internet advertising world wide – I’ve seen 20 Bn $ up to 37 Bn. But whichever way you see it, it’s a sum where you simply can deduct 70%, as that’s what Google takes. Rest to be shared among all the Facebooks, Myspaces, Twitters, and… and 300 Mill $ valued Facebook apps.

Come on dear VCs, what about a bit of simple arithmetics? This simply does not add up.