As the world's largest social network and most disappointing IPO of the year continues its downward stock slide, pundits are weighing in on what the answer to Facebook's
Still getting picked on
One would think after he invented the biggest website of our time, Zuckerberg wouldn't be getting bullied anymore. Unfortunately for him, it looks like the Winklevoss twins were nothing compared with the beating he's taking now. The Los Angeles Times recently ran an article interviewing four portfolio managers and consultants -- all who suggested Zuck step down but remain on staff as a creative director.
Something tells me Mark wouldn't take too kindly to that idea, but let's entertain it anyway. Following are my three picks for the new and improved Facebook.
1. Lou Gerstner
Lou Gerstner might not be a household name, but he should be. Gerstner took over technology giant IBM
Sure, Gerstner might be a little old for the job -- I doubt he even has a Facebook profile -- but he walked into IBM, an inbred bastion of groupthink, and treated it like a business.
I understand Zuckerberg's vision of building great products and watching the money follow suit, but this organization needs a leader who treats it the way it needs to be treated -- as a publicly traded company.
2. Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos is truly Internet royalty, along with ... well, I guess Al Gore and Chuck Norris. The founder and CEO of Amazon.com
Bezos keeps Amazon focused on offering as many products as possible, at the lowest prices possible, in the quickest time possible. Time is more of a luxury than a burden for Facebook, as we tend to waste so much of it on the website. But offering new products -- this is something the Facebook of the future needs, and I'm not talking about new News Feed features. To keep us interested, or from switching over to something more ... Pinteresting, we need products -- products we wouldn't mind paying for. Bezos suggests to figure out what consumers want, and work backwards. This means that having a room full of engineers putting new trinkets on the Facebook home page is not going to cut it. Facebook needs to figure out something we need, and then sell it to us.
3. Bill Nelson
No, not the Florida senator, though he's good, too. This Bill Nelson is the CEO of HBO, a division of Time Warner
HBO is the leader in quality original programming and premium-cable offerings. The company has innovated since day one, offering content you not only pay for, but you pay for on top of your already too-high cable bill. But the biggest reason I like Nelson for the Facebook job is the total domination HBO currently has in terms of original programming -- i.e., content.
Since the late '90s, HBO has offered quality original programming that slowly gained traction for a few years until exploding onto the mainstream circuit. Now, everybody wants HBO so they can watch "oh-my-gosh-it's-like-Melrose-Place-with-vampires" drama True Blood or "wow-it's-a-pornographic-Lord-of-the-Rings" series Game of Thrones. HBO knows what people want, and it gives it to them -- for a high price.
Facebook's content, while free for the company since the users create it, is of generally very low quality. My Facebook feed consists mainly of me yelling at the Internet via status updates, photos of girls I knew from college making kissy faces, and trending news stories -- which are usually about how Kim Kardashian made a wrong left turn the other day and accidentally ended up on the Internet again.
Under Bill Nelson's rule of HBO, the company has offered the absolute top tier of programming across a wide array of genres to an ever-increasing consumer base.
Bonus suggestion: Me
Ultimately, I think I should run Facebook.
I have a seasoned technical background. In fact, just last night I programmed my coffee maker to make coffee by itself at 5:30 a.m. -- every day. I have a universal remote control that talks to my TV, Blu-Ray, and home theater -- all because I typed in the effective code.
As the leader of a company with vast data reserves, I would put that information to work and sell it to corporations -- for money. Sure, there may be a lawsuit for privacy infringement, but that's already happening anyway. And if I have learned anything from corporations, it's that all problems can be solved with an infinite legal budget.
I'm young, I'm innovative, and I can eat an entire Papa John's large pizza in one sitting.
For more information
Will Facebook take my suggestions and dethrone Zuckerberg for someone more qualified -- like myself? Sure -- why not? But in the meantime, I would suggest looking at this premium report prepared by our analysts about the company. It will tell you what to expect from the social network -- both the opportunities and the hurdles. Read it here.
Fool contributor Michael Lewis owns none of the stocks mentioned above. You can follow him on Twitter, @MikeyLewy. The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com, IBM, and Facebook. Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Amazon.com and Facebook. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.