So Facebook is likely to go public next year at a $100 billion valuation. And this is the moment I became a grandpa who didn’t understand anything, because I can’t wrap my head around how a company made of people sitting at computers might be worth three times as much as, say, General Motors, a company that makes fuckin’ cars, with machines and factories and tools.
Facebook would be bigger than Disney, which makes movies and TV and has a fleet of theme parks with rides that could sometimes kill you. It’d be bigger than Amazon, which has warehouses full of stuff to ship.
At least Apple makes its money off things I can throw against a wall. They’ve got factories. In China.
Google doesn’t count. I get that Google is huge enough to run on ad sales. They’ve… they’ve been around long enough. I’ve seen their campus. It’s very big. And they’ve got buildings full of just computer servers, out in the desert.
But Facebook, in my mind, is still this single office with about a hundred people running around. I read that they have over 3,000 employees and I’m like “Nope, most of those must not count.” What are they doing all day? Somehow I’ve convinced myself that while Google’s operations really do require 30,000 people (see? Ten times the employees and after this IPO they’d only be worth twice as much), but that Facebook could be run by Jesse Eisenberg and a college class.
I think the core belief here — money should flow directly proportional to the amount of impressive physical operations you’ve built — comes from my sheer failure on this spectrum, from making my living putting words on screens from my living room. The biggest physical thing I’ve ever built was a couch fort. The very idea of motivating people to move shit around, build things and ship things, is like a magical power to me.
I think logically, this means I should short tech companies and buy… real estate. Holy shit, you guys. I just figured out the housing bubble. Everyone actually thinks like my stupid joke essays.