Can anyone explain why this acquisition is a good idea, and why WhatsApp is worth $16bn? I feel like I must be missing something. My impression of WhatsApp is that the technology behind it would be fairly trivial to recreate. I understand they have a large user base, though I'm not sure why, and I'm unsure how and why Facebook would expect to take on that userbase.
Is there a good hidden reason, or is it just another one of those moments when a tech company doesn't know how to grow beyond their one profitable product, so they just go around buying companies without a real plan?
Except that, in the US at least, carriers have started making text messaging "free". Not actually free, but unlimited and included in the service. They've started charging for data usage instead. As much as people will complain, it makes a lot more sense than previous pricing structures.
You're right, but I still don't think it's a smart purchase, since I don't really see a method to hang on to those users other than, "providing good service". Insofar as Facebook is capable of doing that, they could have stolen the users without buying the company.
It would distort the free market and no one would take the risk or the very hard work like 70 hour work weeks, MBAs, and other things for dozens of years without the compensation.
Huh? People do work very hard for 70 hours a week without making 20 million dollars for it. It happens all the time. Sometimes because they have to, and sometimes because they enjoy their jobs. And getting MBAs? Do people actually need to get MBAs?
If someone is paid too much the market takes care of that with something called a firing.
Are you sure about that?
the shareholders need a return and who is the shareholder? Your elderly mom, YOU, etc.
Except often they're not, at least not to a meaningful degree. Your elderly mom probably has a 401k that gives her a 0.001% share in the company without knowing it. Mostly "the shareholders" are rich people.
The sky is the limit and the CEO didn't start out like this overnight. It was not luck. Even company founders are poor. It took Zuckerberg 10 years before he became very wealthy.
You're conflating some different issues here. The sky is the theoretical limit, in abstract, but not really so much for everyone. Zuckerberg did not start off poor. He started out upper-middle class. And he was lucky. He found himself with a good idea at the right place and at the right time and with the right help. Any number of things could have gone against him, resulting in Facebook never becoming the company that it is today.
So while it wouldn't be fair to claim that Zuckerberg sat around doing nothing and just happened across success, like finding the winning lottery ticket, it's also not fair to everyone else to paint the picture as though Zuckerberg created his own success through pure brilliance and hard work. He made smart decisions and worked hard, but others made equally smart decisions and worked equally hard without ever making a million dollars.
Some of that might depend on what you mean by "on the worker's time". If you're talking about hourly work, then lunch breaks often aren't included in determining pay, but other breaks may be. However, if you're talking about the "40 hour work week", the concept of it originally, and up until recently, included all breaks. It meant that you showed up, and then you left 8 hours later. I believe that was historically the idea even in Europe, but it was very definitely the idea in the US in the 70s and 80s.
Yes, breaks were supposed to be included in the 40 hour work-week. Not just a lunch break, but other ~15 minute breaks throughout the day. The expectation that people don't get to take breaks is recent.
Yes, the old "40 hour work week" was supposed to include breaks. Multiple breaks, not just lunch. The shift to include lunch is just part of a recent shift to change expectations to thinking that it's normal to work 50-60 hour weeks.
The 80s song "9 to 5" wasn't "9 to 6" or "8 to 5", because at the time, working 9am to 5pm was considered a normal 40 hour work-week.
And yet it happened!
Honestly, I don't know, but this certainly isn't a new idea. I actually had arguments about this idea back in 2004, though I don't know how to look that far back in my post history. The reason I know it was in 2004, though, is because I have a couple of blog posts about it that are still live. It wasn't a new idea back then, either.
I had a job for a while where 12 hour work-days were common, as well as work on weekends, "after hours" work, and on-call work. So yes, I'd say I typically worked 50-80 hours a week, probably averaging close to 65. All I really did was work, eat, and sleep, and I didn't get to take real vacations.
And yes, you're right, humans just aren't built for that. It was exhausting and miserable, and after about a year of it, I complained loudly to my boss. When he ignored me, I quit. As someone who has worked those kinds of hours, I'll tell you that not only do I think it's a miserable way to live, but I also think the work suffers. I was exhausted and frustrated all the time, and I could have done a much better job if they'd gotten me some help so that I could have gotten a little rest.