MediaFile

All about the Benjamins, or How Mark Zuckerberg cemented control of Facebook $100 at a time

One hundred dollars doesn’t go very far these days.

But for Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, a C-Note was the key to cementing his control over the social networking phenomenon.

As we learned last week when Facebook filed its prospectus for a $5 billion initial public offering, Zuckerberg has the voting rights to shares owned by some of Facebook’s biggest stakeholders, including venture capital firm Accel Partners, Digital Sky Technologies and former Facebook President Sean Parker.

In an amended filing on Wednesday, Facebook provided a little more color about the agreements that contributed to Zuck’s controversial control of 57 percent of the company’s voting shares.

Most intriguing was the price that Zuckerberg paid each of the various shareholders in exchange for handing him their voting rights: $100 in cash.

That’s not a typo.

One hundred bucks may seem like a pittance for such an important right. But it’s possible that the $100 payment was merely a formality, and that forfeiting voting rights to Zuckerberg was the real price of admission for (the raging horde of) investors seeking to buy into Facebook.

Facebook makes us embrace creepy

By Kevin Kelleher
The opinions expressed are his own.

Sean Parker was looking edgy. Maybe it was because he was sitting in for Mark Pincus, who bowed out of this week’s Web 2.0 Summit because of Zynga’s pre-IPO quiet period. Or because this was a chance to show a large gathering of his peers that Justin Timberlake, no matter how smooth, could never be a Sean Parker. Or maybe it was just because he was Sean Parker.

He shifted nervously on a black leather sofa as he was asked about Facebook’s new power, a power that leads many to see the company as fearsome and a little creepy. His posture hunched, his expression murine, his black wardrobe gothic porn, his eyes shifting around the room as he hunted for the precisely evasive word. Parker’s reply finally came in the form of a couple of sentences that might stick with him for some time: “There’s good creepy and there’s bad creepy,” he said. “Today’s creepy is tomorrow’s… necessity?”

It sounds so unpalatable coming from Sean Parker, but it’s true. After all, more people are sharing more information on social networks than they were a few years ago. In a way, Parker was just channeling Zuckerberg, who said in early 2010 that people will grow more comfortable with sharing information about themselves; and more recently that people will want to share more of their lives as each year passes, and that “it’s going to be really, really good.”

What’s cooler than a Facebook conference? A Sean Parker after-party.

When somebody who was played by Justin Timberlake in a Hollywood movie decides to throw a party, the expectations are pretty high.

And Sean Parker, the man behind free music-sharing service Napster and an early Facebook advisor, clearly likes to give people what they want.

Parker, who is an investor in the music service Spotify, pulled out all the stops in a post-Facebook developers conference party on Thursday that was a cross between a backstage concert pass and Trimalchio’s feast.