Forget Instagram’s billion-dollar payday. Forget IPOs, past and future, from Facebook, Groupon, LinkedIn and the like. And ignore, please, the online ramblings of attention-hungry venture capitalists and narcissistic Silicon Valley journalists with the off-putting habit of making their inside-baseball sound like the World Series. Their stories, to paraphrase Shakespeare, are tales told by idiots, full of sound and fury, but signifying very little about the impact of technology on most of our lives.
While this is probably directed to my ilk, I take no offense. Most people, including myself, don’t particularly know what they’re talking about with this deal. And we’re all guessing on the future impact of technology.
But do feel compelled to point out to you that the Facebook-Instagram deal is significantly bigger than the World Series by every conceivable measure: economic, number of people effected, societal, cultural. The most profitable world series ever raked in about $50 million in ad revenue and attendance revenue: 1/20th the economics of this single deal. The largest viewership ever totalled 25 million: 1/40th the number of people involved this deal. Americans spend about 12 times more time per year on Facebook than they do watching even a 7 game series. Even in terms of games, Zynga makes forty times more money per year than the World Series does. Most of that is on Facebook. Though sadly they do not have a baseball game yet.
With all due respect, the World Series is child’s play compared to this deal. A poor metaphor.