Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

The Idiot’s Guide to Valuing Snapchat

crystal ball shutterstock everett collectionHow do you put a value on Snapchat?

I’m no expert! But I do have access to a keyboard, and you’re reading, so I’ll keep typing.

The way I figure it: Snapchat is worth a lot to Facebook, which is worried that it has gone from the most popular kid in high school to Wooderson; it is probably worth the same to Google, which is also worried, with good reason, that it isn’t cool, either. It is also worth a bunch to an Asian investor like Tencent that likes the idea of owning all or part of a big U.S.-based Web company.

And to everyone else, who might reasonably conclude that it is a teen-centric fad with little hope of generating significant revenue, let alone a profit, before it evaporates, it’s worth next to nothing.

Precise, right? But that’s why you’re paying top dollar for this analysis.

Bonus tip: Do not, under any circumstance, pay attention to this moron, who confidently explained in 2008 that:

  • MySpace was worth $5 billion,
  • “No one [besides Microsoft] actually believes Facebook is worth $15 billion,”
  • and AOL may have gotten Bebo for a steal when it paid $850 million.

Seriously. If that guy is still typing somewhere, take his keyboard away.

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock / Everett Collection)

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik