Facebook has agreed to allow Goldman Sachs to sell $1.5 billion worth of its stock at a $50 billion valuation to high net worth Goldman clients. This means, according to people much smarter than me, that Facebook is going public and it will happen fairly soon.
Those with shares are smiling as the company is reportedly worth $50 billion, yes, billion with a "B". And, those that have shares will get rich (or richer) at some point.
The irony in all of this and what most reports are missing is that these riches come at the expense of those that who probably aren't going to get rich off the social networking king -- consumers.
You see, consumers feed the beast. That's us -- you, me, my friends, co-workers, business associates, the guy next door, your mother, etc. -- all of us. We update our statuses frequently; we "like" a website, news article or product; and, we share what we think of a variety of things.
All of these actions turn into little ones and zeros that live on a server farm somewhere in the Mecca that is Facebook and eventually turns into advertising opportunities for brands. Of course, I'm talking about the data that we "allow" Facebook to use because all of us are so well in-tune with the privacy settings (note the sarcasm).
So yippie ki yay to Goldman, Facebook and other investors; enjoy your future fortunes. Just don't forget to thank the little people that helped you get there -- one status update at a time.
Article first published as Dear Facebook Investors, Don't Forget to Thank Consumers for Your Richeson Technorati.