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Facebook was at ~$44 on the day it IPOed, and proceeded to fall over the next month to about $19. Today its at $187.

Facebook was also profitable and had about 10x the number of users compared to Uber pre IPO


Uber has paying users. Facebook had advertisement targets.

Doesn't make too much sense to conflate the two.

I think the sensible conclusion here is that the two companies have such different business models and goals that it doesn't make much sense to compare them at all.

Precisely my point. Advertising is a high margin industry with poorly understood issues.

Logistics is a low margin winner-takes-all industry which is fairly well understood.

Famously why we only have a single parcel delivery company, trucking company and warehouse provider.

Love to see your working on how logistics is winner takes all.

Agreed, though I don't think any rideshare company currently is poised to be the winner of their markets, or at least the profitable ones.

this was the smartest thing put in simplest terms on this thread.

wait what?

facebook had paying users AND advertisement targets AND an ability for the paying user to precisely target an ad at the product AND an extremely powerful incentive for the product to not move to competition (product's friend network).

out of the above uber has only paying users - who are ready to jump ship to competition for a penny per mile.

Yes, nuance.

Just saying Facebook had 10x the user as Uber is meaningless.

Yeah, I use whatever is cheapest form taxi whether it is uber, viavan or the tube ;)

Uber doesn't have paying customers, it has customers it pays for.

Am I the only one that feels that Uber has a ton of valuable location data? Aren't rides to a particular location similar to FourSquare checkins? "How many customers are likely to come to your restaurant every Saturday night? How has that changed over time?"

Is that really monetizable?

I feel like Uber's biggest revenue generator would be putting a small smartboard in front of passengers and selling targeted ads.

Data isn't valuable. Using that data to create a product that people will pay for is (e.g. showing an ad to someone en route to the restaurants across the street).

Hah, I guess they'll do that within the next year (the ads thing). Tell drivers they'll earn more if they did that, or the passenger can hit a button on their phonw to turn the thing off for a "premium ride". Just xx cents per ad-free minute!

Or most likely the driver will agree to put the running gadget in the glove compartment for an off-the-app tip.

"Please verify your ride by pointing your camera at the information screen"

"Uber needs to access your microphone to communicate with the information screen"

"I can't communicate with the information screen Dave. It's voice sounds muffled. Have you done something with it?"

But you don't say directly which of the two is more desireable, the market unfortunately looks like it prefers advertising targets.

I think there's been a decade or more or irrational fixation on data-driven advertising at this point.

The market is convinced building these huge treasuries of consumer data, at any expense in cost and creepiness, will result in wildly better advertising performance. We've given Google and Facebook 12-digit valuations on that principle.

But advertising is a 80/80 problem: You can get to 80% of potential results easily, and spend 80% of your money, effort, and goodwill chasing the rest. Content-based ads (think the early era of Google AdSense when the ads would be text or fall back to PSAs) sell pretty well, considering you didn't need an exabyte of profile data to build them.

Eventually, fundamentals have to come into play-- these companies need the revenue numbers to justify the valuation-- and the only way to get there is to charge premium prices for their advertising services. At that point, the music stops, when advertisers realize the cost-per-acquisition is poor compared to much cheaper, more scattershot technology, or even just earlier stops on the targeting continuum.

No, what the market likes is profit.

Arguably, the market seems to like revenue more than profit, at least for young-ish companies.

Uber is more than ten years old...

Wait until drivers can make money by having in-ride advertising screens.

(I kid.)

They already can. I've seen this in 2 cities now. One of the reasons why I prefer Uber/Lyft is to _not_ see the cab ads display.

I've been in an Uber in Boston where this was the case. They had a tablet hanging off the front passenger seat that alternated between trivia questions and ads.

That sounds more like the app they were using had ads built in?

At least Facebook isn't paying for its users. I think that Uber is still losing money on every ride, on average. That might not be the case in a few mature, highly urban markets, but if Uber dropped all unprofitable markets, I doubt their market cap would be what it's at.

I think Uber had better hope that this isn't the relevant comparison. Facebook stayed low for 5 quarters and then was buoyed back into growth by like 33% or so operating margins.

It feels like Uber is a really fucking long way from 33% operating margins.

The Facebook IPO broke the stock market. Literally broke it. They had to stop trading it for a while. That affected the stock.

Facebook has very little overhead compared to uber

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