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Massive LinkedIn IPO Raises Dotcom Bubble Concerns

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the money-for-nothing dept.

Businesses 169

The Installer writes with news of yesterday's stock offering from LinkedIn, which shocked investors by closing at more than double the initial price. "Buyers crowded the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, and financial news networks flashed LinkedIn's stock price urgently all day. By the closing bell, the company had a market value of $9 billion, the highest for any Internet company since Google had its initial public offering seven years ago. Millionaires and even one billionaire were made, at least on paper. The stock, issued at $45, went as high as $122.70 just before noon and closed at $94.25 on a trading volume of 30 million shares." That price values the company at over 30 times its 2010 revenue, leading to speculation that this is either evidence of the second dotcom bubble (a possibility we discussed in February) or a "watershed moment for social media." Many experts are questioning the value of LinkedIn, while others are claiming intentional market manipulation.

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LinkedIn (3, Funny)

bleble (2183476) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193554)

LinkedIn is filled with professionals. That isn't your everyday farmville-playing soccer moms or pirates who just have free content and who have little market value. These are people who's value is highly over that and they can be offered professional, high paying services and advertising. This is very valuable user base.

Re:LinkedIn (4, Funny)

jo42 (227475) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193584)

I agree. Though, for some reason, it seems that almost every CV/Resume on LinkedIn should end with "And the sun shines out my butt."

Re:LinkedIn (5, Insightful)

softWare3ngineer (2007302) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193610)

I think that is just every resume

Re:LinkedIn (2)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194336)

You think that would be a good addition to a resume? Hmm....

*rewrites resume*

Re:LinkedIn (2)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193614)

True, however, it could also be argued that they probably didn't become successful and prosper by being so easily influenced that they buy all the crap that advertisers push. If anything, the value of this is more the social network it creates than the advertising potential, in my opinion.

Word-of-mouth advertising is the best kind. It's always ideal when people will actually come looking for your product or service rather than you having to go out and find them.

Re:LinkedIn (1)

yarnosh (2055818) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194356)

Value for whom, though? How does LinkdIn directly benefit from you having a professional network?

Re:LinkedIn (2)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193620)

I dont care how valuable you think a professional is (I can hire a professional lawn mower who might not even know how to spell his own name) but there is still little to no value in these things outside of potential advertising, and data farming

which might be ok, personally I think that once one of these awesome valuable companies goes bust, their only assets, userdata will flood the market making it near worthless, then you can watch them all fall one after another as none of these "services" are really doing anything of real value

Re:LinkedIn (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193942)

There's tremendous value in linkedin as a recruiting tool, and they are already making good money off that aspect. I think they could be profitable on that alone in the long run.

Re:LinkedIn (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193976)

I never bothered to join linkedin, but I know a few people who have recently quit because they kept getting spam from recruiters as a result of their linkedin profile. Lots of recruiters seem to be doing very rough matches based on published skills and sending them messages about jobs that they're neither interested in nor qualified for.

Re:LinkedIn (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194218)

That's interesting. I get almost no spam. The offers I get from recruiters are generally very well matched to my published skills.

Re:LinkedIn (1)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194318)

Mod the parent up. If you join Linkedin but you don't want to contacted by recruiters at all, then you're an idiot. I get an email about once a week, and I thank the recruiter for contacting me but politely tell them that I'm not interested. They usually follow up by becoming a connection. I also turn off all updates from recruiters who are connected to me, so that I don't get bothered by them. However, all of the contacts from recruiters have been mostly on target.

One day, I'll probably get laid off or sick of my currently workplace, and I'll have hundreds of people whom I can contact about finding an awesome new job.

Re:LinkedIn (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194464)

Mod the parent up. If you join Linkedin but you don't want to contacted by recruiters at all, then you're an idiot. I get an email about once a week, and I thank the recruiter for contacting me but politely tell them that I'm not interested. They usually follow up by becoming a connection. I also turn off all updates from recruiters who are connected to me, so that I don't get bothered by them. However, all of the contacts from recruiters have been mostly on target.

One day, I'll probably get laid off or sick of my currently workplace, and I'll have hundreds of people whom I can contact about finding an awesome new job.

Brought to you by LinkedIn, now with a valuation greater than GNP of Bermuda!

Re:LinkedIn (2, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194526)

So ... you'll be exactly like me, except I didn't need to get spammed by cold calling recruiters to do so.

Do you think for some reason there will be no recruiters available to you if you AREN'T on LinkedIn?

I'm guessing you think recruiters are some form of special person that finds 'talent' ... the reality of it is, recruiters are nothing more than head hunters, your relationship with them is irrelevant, you're nothing more than a resume. Any friendliness they show to you is simply to ensure they make the most possible amount off you when they whore your resume out.

When the time comes, you can accomplish the same thing yourself with a couple phone calls.

And you ad a connection to these people? Seriously? THAT IS WHY LINKEDIN IS POINTLESS. Your connections mean nothing, you add them just like people add Facebook friends, your connections are meaningless, again, underscoring how worthless LinkedIn actually is as you've proven yourself how meaningless the networking aspect of LinkedIn is since it too has turned into a popularity contest.

Re:LinkedIn (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194022)

recruting for what? as others have pointed out most people that activley use it do so cause they have nothing better to do during the day and are not out to find real work. Everyone else is months to years out of date and maybe use it once a quarter?

Re:LinkedIn (2)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194204)

You have to look at it from the other side, trying to fill jobs. You can look up resumes of a lot of really great people at linkedin. The ones who are not actively looking are pretty obvious. So you send them an invite, and wait to hear back. You hear back, you tell them about the opportunity, and hopefully proceed. The good people all have jobs, but that doesn't mean you can't convince them to make a change with enough money/other compensation.

Re:LinkedIn (2)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193960)


there is still little to no value in these things outside of potential advertising, and data farming

Can't agree with you, I've had offers based solely on my LinkedIn profile.

Re:LinkedIn (5, Insightful)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193642)

LinkedIn is filled with professionals. That isn't your everyday farmville-playing soccer moms or pirates who just have free content and who have little market value. These are people who's value is highly over that and they can be offered professional, high paying services and advertising. This is very valuable user base.

Maybe 5 years ago, but since then it's become a useless collection of unemployed strangers giving referrals to other unemployed strangers, and a collection of spam posters.

Almost nobody keeps their profile up to date, because the vast majority of its "users" don't even bother to use it any more.

Re:LinkedIn (1)

PIBM (588930) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194012)

That might be what your network looks like, but mine certainly isn't. (might also depend on where you live, cause if there's 30% unemployement rate, those who joins will most probably be the unemployed, while the employed don't really need to keep it up)

Re:LinkedIn (4, Interesting)

idji (984038) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194492)

I don't want to touch my profile in LinkedIn because 100 people will get an email saying "X has a new position" or "X has joined group Y", or "X is organizing a trip to Y via Z".

Re:LinkedIn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36194620)

LinkedIn is filled with professionals. That isn't your everyday farmville-playing soccer moms or pirates who just have free content and who have little market value. These are people who's value is highly over that and they can be offered professional, high paying services and advertising. This is very valuable user base.

Maybe 5 years ago, but since then it's become a useless collection of unemployed strangers giving referrals to other unemployed strangers, and a collection of spam posters.

Almost nobody keeps their profile up to date, because the vast majority of its "users" don't even bother to use it any more.

Same here, my network is very active and Linkedin has become a valuable resource for our hires at our little $9B company.

Re:LinkedIn (5, Interesting)

FileNotFound (85933) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193648)

LinkedIn may have a "valuable user base" but does it have an active one? How much time do people spend on LinkedIn? I have a LinkedIn account and I log in maybe once every few months to accept invitations. It's a resume with references attached. It's invaluable when you're searching for jobs, but it's not a true social site.

My point is that yes, you could use the information you have for me to direct highly effective advertisements at me - but only when I'm logged in.

Facebook, people are logged in every waking second it seems like. It's their email, their IM, their message board - it's their life, not just their resume.

Re:LinkedIn (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193994)

This.

I joined LinkedIn back in 2003 when I was laid off. I hardly use it except to update professional connections, in the event that ever happens again.

Re:LinkedIn (2)

marclar (1248648) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194566)

I am on LinkedIn every day. I work in publishing, and each magazine in my company has a group on LinkedIn specific to their publication. In addition, each publication has a group for each event they put on (executive summits). People have extended conversations about the goings-on in the industry in these groups (the industry I'm in is enterprise mobility). So yes, there is an active user base, but it's a lot smaller than the number of registered users who just post their resume and do nothing else with the site until they need to find a job.

Re:LinkedIn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36193662)

As a professional who has never heard of linkedin, no advertising list is worth 10 billion bucks.

Re:LinkedIn (4, Funny)

Spectre (1685) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193744)

Everyone on LinkedIn isn't a professional ... they're salespeople, selling themselves ...

Whether actually a salesman, attorney, real estate agent, consultant, or whatever ... it's just an advertisement for that person and their services.

Would you want to buy a list of people that are willing to publicly sell themselves?

There are terms for that, I think "Streetwalker" is one of the more polite ones.

Wait, I can buy a list of streetwalker's names, numbers, and services ... holy crap, you're right, it's a gold mine!

Re:LinkedIn (2)

ProppaT (557551) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193794)

The difference is, these high income users are less likely to be influenced by targeted advertisement and have less to draw from data mining wise than Joe Schmo on facebook. Joe Schmo is who the money is made off of on advertisement and data mining.

And, even if linkedin has a "valuable" user database, the site itself is mostly a joke. Lots of people doing very little and visiting infrequently.

Re:LinkedIn (3, Interesting)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193840)

Not everyone on linkedin is a professional. Just look at this listing [linkedin.com] , or this one [linkedin.com] . I'm sure this chick [linkedin.com] is legit, too,. . . And apparently, Osama bin Laden [linkedin.com] had an account on Linkedin, too. Once you weed out all the bogus accounts and practical jokes, I wonder how many seriously legitimate accounts are left? It makes one wonder if some of these accounts were deliberative created in secret by the company in order to boost their user numbers?

Re:LinkedIn (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193852)

I have a Linkedin account, and my concern is how is Linkedin going to make money. I am not going to pay linked for professional support when I already pay others for more targeted support. The ads may be more targeted, but all the ads I see are fly by night organizations. Uneducated person may fall prey to them, but these are supposed to be professionals.

The value of facebook, like the value of typicalTV, is that it targets kids and young adults whose future buying patterns can be more easily influenced, or, as you say, soccer moms who are necessarily spending significant money on a daily basis. The most valuable advertising is still used to build brand loyalty, to a product, to a retailers, to a manufacturer. Linked in is not doing that. It may be a way to get gigs, and may be a way to advertise for free, but I wonder if it will a way to make a profit for shareholders.

Re:LinkedIn (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193908)

Thanks for signing up to tell us this Mr. Shill.

Re:LinkedIn (2)

yarnosh (2055818) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194342)

I guess I just don't have a head for business but I just can't imagine how these sites are worth so much money. Of course, I also wonder why advertising in general is able to bring in so much money.

Re:LinkedIn (3, Insightful)

uniquename72 (1169497) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194670)

Business + "Social media" = Wall Street boner. In 5 years it'll be Webvan.

Is it? (4, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194430)

I must be visiting the wrong parts. At least the web development sections of it are filled with Indians showing exactly why outsourcing web development is a bad idea. The skill level is appalling.

I tried to use it for a while but there seems little point. The jobs offered are often "we post on a world wide forum but only want people within walking distance".

The tech discussion are often some Indian guy asking "what quickest way to do X without understanding anything". The bits of India that do space development are not on LinkedIn.

There is a lot of hype around the site but what is it delivering? At best it could become some kind of global job board with all of the problems of advertisers not properly restricting their ads from reaching everyone. Already think it is annoying that ads from other parts of the country come up? How about other continents?

It is big but what is its actual use? That is what has killed previous bubble companies. Not a lack of size but a lack of actual real world use that people want to pay for. Take the old one of home delivery. I got a home, I work during the day, so a delivery service that comes by would be useful. Useful but not economical. Lot of companies tried the

Re:LinkedIn (4, Interesting)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194484)

LinkedIn may have started out that way, but at this point its more or less another Monster.com with a friends network.

Everyone is on LinkedIn, it is no longer a sign of a higher quality professional. It means nothing any more.

The only thing you can be sure about someone on LinkedIn is that they are being spammed by LinkedIn's useless emails on a regular basis.

There are far cheaper ways to obtain a list of email addresses.

Re:LinkedIn (2)

idji (984038) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194524)

I was telephoned by a serious, global headhunter who had simply typed my profession and city into LinkedIn - It was a real IT job with >100k$ salary behind it.

Re:LinkedIn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36194604)

LinkedIn is filled with professionals. That isn't your everyday farmville-playing soccer moms or pirates who just have free content and who have little market value. These are people who's value is highly over that and they can be offered professional, high paying services and advertising. This is very valuable user base.

You're talking about the LinkedIn of almost ten years ago. Today, LinkedIn is about as professional as its inability to send non-HTMLized emails to Unix professionals.

Just give me one year... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36193560)

I really hope the bubble doesn't burst before I try to cash in on my big idea.

But, you know, I *had* to buy in (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193562)

There was this post on LinkedIn about how much money this was going to make for everybody!

Re:But, you know, I *had* to buy in (1)

mantis2009 (1557343) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193742)

You are SO stuck in the 20th century. Haven't you heard? "Money" is completely obsolete. I heard about it on all the Gawker Media websites yesterday -- BitCoin [lifehacker.com] is here!

Nah, there's no new dotcom bubble. Everything's fine! I'm going to go spend some Flooz on a stock option or two.

The DotCom Bubble was misunderstood... (0)

dryriver (1010635) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193580)

DotCommers had a fondness for chewing a lot of bubblegum, and blowing a lot of bubbles with said bubblegum. The rest of the story - bubbles having anything to do with 'stocks' and so on - was pure mainstream media distortion of what really went down. Honestly... ;)

Re:The DotCom Bubble was misunderstood... (1)

smelch (1988698) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193734)

Just what the hell are you getting at?

Gee I don't Know (2)

The O Rly Factor (1977536) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193612)

Goldman-Sachs claims that an online media and directory website written by some snot nosed 20something is worth over 50 billion dollars.

Bubble? Yeah.

Re:Gee I don't Know (2)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193786)

Goldman made money from the IPO. It's in their interest to hype it.

Re:Gee I don't Know (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193932)

It is really surprising [linuxtoday.com] that someone who stands to make money from an IPO would hype it. I can't seem someone in that position being wrong [slashdot.org] .

Well It Sure Set the Bar for Creepy (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193622)

Three years ago, I used to recieve endless "Come Join Us on LinkedIn" e-mails to several e-mail accounts. Because at some point an old boss had somehow gave LinkedIn access to his Hotmail or Outlook book or something and created a place holder for me with my first and last name (and also my e-mail address) because my boss had that and only that information in his address book for me. Creeped me right the %*#@ out.

It wasn't hard to get the e-mails to stop but I'd wager that shell of a profile is out there floating around linking my old coworkers in a web -- for any of them that added that profile or had one of the e-mail addresses in their book. At the time, no one seemed to find this alarming but me so whatever. And now Facebook and a lot of sites will harvest your address book for you from Hotmail or whatever and then it will aggressively market that person to come to said social networking site on your behalf. Each site wants to boast fifty billion users (or some factor higher than living human beings), right?

But LinkedIn is really outpacing those sites: an outlook plugin/hijacker [linkedin.com] , drupal integration [drupal.org] , actually a plugin for virtually anything [linkedin.com] and of course APIs [linkedin.com] to put it in your site.

So I was wondering what had gone wrong when I heard about its IPO the other day. After all, it's one of the creepiest spammiest social networking sites I've encountered. But that's just it, its methods are effective and so it is rewarded. If privacy abuser Facebook is "worth" the yearly GDP of a small nation, surely a website implementing the same APIs and plugins while experimenting with creepin' it up a notch is going to drive investors crazy. I think it's more a sign of overvaluation of a privacy abuse bubble--one I've been hoping to see pop for quite sometime now.

Re:Well It Sure Set the Bar for Creepy (1)

pvera (250260) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193778)

The part of LinkedIn that creeps me out is whenever (strangers) people I have had zero professional contact with contact me out of the blue to add them to my network. Or friends that are out of my professional life context annoyed that I won't add them. I am a programmer, I don't mind adding other programmers, project managers I have worked with in the past, that kind of thing, but adding a cousin or a friend that work in unrelated fields is just stupid. It completely defeats the purpose of the site.

Re:Well It Sure Set the Bar for Creepy (1)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193790)

The part of LinkedIn that creeps me out is whenever (strangers) people I have had zero professional contact with contact me out of the blue to add them to my network.

I think they call that a "sales personality"

Re:Well It Sure Set the Bar for Creepy (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193872)

Generally speaking, I agree with what you wrote. I try to only connect with people on LinkedIn with whom I've had a professional experience. That said, I do have some connections through family members in different industries, and those have come in handy a few times. You never know where your next job will come from, after all. Just because you're a programmer doesn't mean an accountant or salesman can't hear about a potential opening in your field down the road.

Re:Well It Sure Set the Bar for Creepy (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193988)

>> adding a cousin or a friend that work in unrelated fields is just stupid

That's why you add them to your alternate Linkedin account/identity. You know, the one where you're a fluffer in the donkey porn industry.

Re:Well It Sure Set the Bar for Creepy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36194014)

Excellent suggestion, "Anne Nonymous".

Re:Well It Sure Set the Bar for Creepy (1)

Jozza The Wick (1805012) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194442)

Surely you should just ignore their request, then? I the occasional request like that but just ignore it. I actually have added friends regardless of what field they're in. In fact you might be missing out since they may be able to help you get insider access to other companies, even if they're programmers themselves. Or, you may be able to help them out. Basically, I added anyone I would feel comfortable asking to forward a resume for me (or someone else in my network). That's a high proportiion of people I've worked with closely, but not everyone.

One of my former colleages asked me to forward a resume for a collegue of his, the classic 'friend of a friend' thing. Since I trusted his judgement, I felt comfortable doing so. Another friend has recently graduated college, so I told her to look through my network and let me know who she'd be interested in talking to as she decides how / where to start her career, and then made the introductions (after asking my connections if it was ok, of course)

I check in every couple of weeks - I get the profile change updates and will occasionally send messages to people in my network if I see something interesting that they've done.

Basically, I'm trying to build up my karma so than when I next am looking for a job I'll it'll come back around :) Plus, I am helping out my friends.

Re:Well It Sure Set the Bar for Creepy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36194458)

I made a LinkedIn account back when it first showed up on the behest of a friend ("It's the MyFace for professionals," he said). Being a recluse in terms of social networking sites I never did much of anything to it and forgot about it pretty much as soon as I set it up. I think I had one or two people "connected" or whatever the term is for LinkedIn. Some several years later they sent me an email with a title along the lines of "Do you know these people?" In the email were names and profile pictures of some half a dozen people. Not only did I, in fact, know every person on the list, but I also knew a couple of them have never met the one or two people I actually added in my LinkedIn account. One way or another they got information about me well beyond what I gave them, which is definitely creepy.

Re:Well It Sure Set the Bar for Creepy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36194632)

Nothing creepy, all they did was get the e-mail address-books of these other people, they matched the e-mail address you gave them for registration to the ones in the address-book, made the association, and then sent you an e-mail. Its the same process that pretty much every social network does when you register.

I have an account (1)

denshao2 (1515775) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193664)

And I never use it. I don't even know what it's for. It's like a limited purpose version of facebook.

Re:I have an account (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193914)

It's for keeping track of all those contractors, consultants, and former coworkers that I no longer have updated contact info for next time I go looking for a job.

Facebook for personal, LinkedIn for business (2)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193980)

And I never use it. I don't even know what it's for. It's like a limited purpose version of facebook.

The purpose of LinkedIn is to isolate two networks, one for friends and family and one for business and professional. When a co-worker, boss or other professional contact asks for or gives a facebook invite you should redirect them to linkedin. That way professional/business contacts do not see the pics from the weekend partying with your friends.

We have two lives, the fun/personal and the serious/professional. It makes sense to have separate social networks too. As a matter of fact in our minds we already have such a distinction, separate online social networks just mirrors how we are already thinking.

Re:Facebook for personal, LinkedIn for business (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194406)

I'm not quite buying the argument that it's easier to have them on two sites. What if you say don't want all your family to see your pics? Oh, "Familybook" for family, except maybe some likeminded ones actually go as friends as well. And maybe you have study mates that kinda fall inbetween, they're not really "professional" contacts yet you don't want them to see all the partying you do on the side so it's back to the original "Yearbook" style of Facebook. And maybe some things you'd share with the boys but isn't exactly a killer with the opposite sex. And the opposite sex can also be a big bag of complications too.

Now I don't feel very trusting of social sites looking to squeeze their 50 billion dollar worth out of me, but I'd rather actually have Chinese walls on one site. I add my aunt as my *family*, my buddy as *friend* and my colleague as work. Family sees pics from family, friends see pics from friends and work doesn't see anything at all. If I post myself I pick what social circles it's for. Instead all I get is a site that at every turn tries to publish more details about my life to more people. No thanks, I don't want to live on display. I don't want to be a social peeping tom on people I haven't met in 10 years or more. I just don't trust the current sites and that's while the bubble is still growing, what lows they'll sink to when it pops I don't want to think about.

Re:Facebook for personal, LinkedIn for business (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194510)

And maybe some things you'd share with the boys but isn't exactly a killer with the opposite sex. And the opposite sex can also be a big bag of complications too.

That actually just caused the thought to occur to me that now I'm going to make "M" and "F" friends lists and sort all my friends into their respective friends list. No idea if I'll ever restrict a post by one of those categories, but it'll be neat to have it there if I want it.

It'd be nice to be able to just use their listed gender to sort them but some people have no gender or the wrong gender listed - for what reasons I can't imagine.

Re:I have an account (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193986)

It's basically for recruiters to find you (and vice versa). It's a decent job board and a good site with plenty of potential and some solid revenue streams. It's a pretty sure thing that it's worth some money.

Now, whether it's $9 billion (or more) worth of company + potential is another thing. The $4 billion offering price was already pretty ambitious; a $9 billion price assumes all the best-case growth scenarios for years to come. It's still possible that it's a bet that will pay off! But it's a risky one, and the aphorism in question here is: when in doubt, assume that you're underpricing the risk.

What happens when it pops? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36193666)

This bubble is inflating without a matching increase in hiring. What happens when this bubble pops and the lay offs start? We'll have even more people out of work with nobody wanting to hire them.

Re:What happens when it pops? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193746)

That's a solid point, this site is likely to get more valuable in the near future when the current bubble in the equities market pops. Same for the housing market, the price of houses has gone down a lot, but it still hasn't hit the kind of rock bottom prices that were needed to get rid of the bubble. In the mean time Wall Street firms are making out like thieves borrowing at virtually 0% and lending that money back the US government at 3-4%.

It's going to get really ugly in the near future.

Re:What happens when it pops? (1)

ProppaT (557551) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193824)

I don't know where you live, but housing prices just can't get any lower here in Florida. Housing prices are currently under what they were in the mid 90s for a large portion of the state. It's not that difficult to find a 3 bedroom / 2000 sqft house for $75-85k.

Re:What happens when it pops? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194106)

Can I get ocean front (not view!) with good quality for that yet? I really want a nice retirement home, and I have about that much to spare.

Re:What happens when it pops? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36194504)

Yeah, but you have to life in Florida then.

lol- Prove yourself: crashing

Re:What happens when it pops? (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194052)

Overall equity valuations are reasonably close to their historical P/E ratios, and company profits have been growing fairly well over the past couple of years. It is very unlikely that there is an equity bubble right now.

Housing prices are have tremendous local variation. Some areas have probably already bottomed, others are still on the way down.

Wall Street firms holding US Government debt are insane. There is a real bubble in US Treasuries which will soon drive the value of these bonds down. Bond experts like Bill Gross at PIMCO have pretty much completely gotten out of US Debt.

Re:What happens when it pops? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194062)

It's not really connected to anything. LinkedIn won't notice much when it's share price drops a lot. The only people who will notice are the suckers that were persuaded to invest, who didn't sell early enough.

Once... (2)

theamarand (794542) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193682)

I'm pretty sure I had an account on LinkedIn once. Then I realized that it's just another way for a company to capitalize on what should probably be semi-private information: my work-history. Sure, with enough time and effort anyone could figure it out, but to give your entire business social network over to a third-party for data-mining purposes? Not sure I buy that.

Bubble bubble upon the wall (4, Insightful)

eddy (18759) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193690)

The amazing thing about these economic bubbles is that they continue to inflate even though virtually all participants know they're engaging in a bubble. This because they also believe that somewhere out there there's a greater fool, someone else who will, like themselves, ignore the fact that they value thing X below the actual cost of acquiring it

Re:Bubble bubble upon the wall (5, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193834)

This because they also believe that somewhere out there there's a greater fool, someone else who will, like themselves, ignore the fact that they value thing X below the actual cost of acquiring it.

The thing is, as bad as bubbles are for the system, for each individual caught up in them in modern times they are very much a winning proposition, for a bunch of reasons:
1. For almost all of them, there is a greater fool out there. For instance, on the bad subprime mortgage market, Goldman Sachs made darn sure that when it hit the fan that all of it was propelled in the direction of AIG.
2. If a bubble breaks, you're likely to get bailed out by Uncle Sam if you're big enough and stupid enough, so you really have nothing to worry about.
3. Even if your company has gone under, thanks to limited liability the person making the decision to buy bubble assets knows they won't be penalized too much by the loss.
4. Thanks to most corporate cultures in big Wall St firms, if you ever play it on the safe side and react to a bubble by staying out of it, you'll be penalized a great deal for performing below the market during the bubble.

So game theory gives our fund manager 2 options with some theoretical payoffs:
1. Play it safe: +10, or
2. Buy into the bubble: 90% chance of +100 / 10% chance of +0.
Any rational fund manager picks option 2.

Re:Bubble bubble upon the wall (2)

david_thornley (598059) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194682)

Of course, with regard to 2, if a big company and I wind up being the greatest fool and lose real big, what happens is that some of my tax dollars go to bailing out the company.

Re:Bubble bubble upon the wall (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194118)

And right up until the actual pop, they're right. And they can make money as long as they aren't the biggest fool.

I belive 30 Rock summed up my view quite nicely. (5, Funny)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193696)

"He's on LinkedIn, Lemon. He might as well be dead." -Jack Donaghy

Counting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36193702)

I thought we've already been through a second, and possibly a third dot com bubble. Remember myspace selling for some ridiculous amount? Or youtube being bought out? Or Facebook not wanting to reveal its financials, and still selling to people through a convoluted arrangement of not-shares that'd be illegal in the U.S.?

I swear that in the last fifteen years people's ability to remember previous bubbles, and their ability to notice that new "opportunities" are the tiniest of tweaks on old bubbles, has been at historically dismal levels.

plans to depopulate planet abandoned? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36193720)

business is literally booming, shaking things up, all wet?

fortunately, there continues to be only one version of the truth, & history has raced up to deliver it in time. the native elders teepeeleaks etchings for example, contain no(0) misinformation.

never a better time to demand disarmament, & some sensible exit plan for our military-industrial-religious-political regime, as both of our rulers said that control of rouge gov't by public protest is required in a civil society, from time to time, or whenever the citizens decide. so that's good news too. never mind the weather?

you know what that means... (1)

snoop.daub (1093313) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193764)

SELL!!!!

No short selling..... (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194002)

Saddly you can't short sell the stock for the first 30 days.

Facebook for people with no social lives (1)

vinn (4370) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193814)

Ok, I'm a big fan of networking with people. It's probably led to every job I've ever had.

But, it doesn't get around the fact the LinkedIn SUCKS. I mean, do you really want to drag your job into your social media? Hell no. Connecting with friends = fun. Connecting with friends you happen to work with = fun. Connecting with that brown-nosing, tattletale bitch down the hall = not fun. So, as almost useful of a purpose LinkedIn serves, it will never outgrow what it already is. It's hopes, dreams and aspirations are limited. Oh, you want me to post a status update about how I drank a case of beer and pissed on the neighbor's lawn? Maybe on Facebook, certainly not on LinkedIn.

This valuation is definitely bullshit.

No, to separate social life from business life (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194134)

So, as almost useful of a purpose LinkedIn serves, it will never outgrow what it already is. It's hopes, dreams and aspirations are limited. ... This valuation is definitely bullshit.

Absolutely agreed.

Oh, you want me to post a status update about how I drank a case of beer and pissed on the neighbor's lawn? Maybe on Facebook, certainly not on LinkedIn.

That summarizes the reason for LinkedIn. It's not as your original subject line suggested, a social network for people with no social lives. Rather it is a social network for those who do not need to be aware of your social life. We already categorize people as friends or business contacts in our minds and in our real world social networks, it makes sense to have separate online social networks to match.

Re:Facebook for people with no social lives (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194158)

What linkedin does, as far as I'm concerned, is get me relevant interview offers. A surprisingly relevant, amazing flood of interview offers. Jobs that, frankly, would be difficult for me to find searching painfully through something like monster/dice/jobs, if they are even advertised on those sites any more. Instead of me finding jobs, the jobs find me. Since I have little interest in being an expert job finder, I think it's great.

I thought the Bubble was a Good Thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36193884)

I thought everyone had a really great time during the tech bubble.

Re:I thought the Bubble was a Good Thing (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194100)

Yeah I'm sad that I didn't make any money on this one. Maybe in another decade another one will come around, but my dreams of owning a sports car while young are dashed :-(

BREAKING NEWS: (-1, Troll)

Awkward Engineer (2178204) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193892)

BREAKING NEWS: People who are NOT experts also question the value of linked in. And I am one of them. - www.awkwardengineer.com [awkwardengineer.com]

Re:BREAKING NEWS: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36194176)

Fuck off, spammer.

Bring it on (1)

Kickstart70 (531316) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193896)

The bubble, I mean. Yes, it caused serious issues at the end, but during the run up of the bubble, all of the major technology we currently used was developed by that massive influx of capital. Slashdot could not have become what it is without the bubble, and you could say the same about just about every other major technology player in the current market. As for LinkedIn specifically, I'm a bit stunned by the IPO. My LinkedIn account was the 2530th created. That's even better than my Slashdot and ICQ account numbers.

Either use LinkedIn or pay recruiters big $ (1)

vinn01 (178295) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193924)

I know of two companies that saved a lot of cash by mining LinkedIn for filling vacant positions rather than paying the standard commission rates they used to pay recruiters (a placement fee of between 25 and 30 percent of the associate's starting yearly salary). Firms *hate* paying recruiters. In fact, some HR people hate recruiters on a professional and a personal level.

There used to be good money in recruiting. If a big chuck of recruiting money moves to LinkedIn, that's a tidal wave of change. I would bet on LinkedIn.

Re:Either use LinkedIn or pay recruiters big $ (1)

gander666 (723553) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194422)

Your observations are correct, but I might add that the quality of the recruiters that reach out to me from my LinkedIn profile are lazy, unprofessional, and apparently can't read my details.

Case in point. I am a product manager. A good one. Been doing it a long time. But I am a SW or instrumentation guy. Lately, I keep getting hit with inquiries for medical devices (you know, FDA certification, GLP, and other things), stuff that is clearly NOT in my history. It takes a 5 minute conversation to convince them that they are wasting their time. And my time. And this has happened 4 times in the last three months (two times for the same position, but different recruiters).

I lament the days when recruiters were pro's, worked and groomed their network, and didn't waste your time (hiring or seeking) in the process. Yep, they cost a lot of money, but they brought quality. Sigh.

I deleted my LinkedIn account. (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193926)

I had an interview with them last year, and concluded that I wanted nothing at all to do with them. I cancelled my account (about 250 connections), and they got all spammy on me. It reminded me of that classic AOL "delete my account" recording.

-jcr

removing accounts.. (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193952)

For the record, I am at 3 months, and still waiting for the email that will have a link that will let me finish the account removal page of Linked In. (you will be getting an email in the next 24 hours......) Nobody cares there.. I mark every single one of their emails as spam, just to make me feel better...

Re:removing accounts.. (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193978)

In the meantime, have you replaced the entire profile with something off FakeNameGenerator?

Re:removing accounts.. (1)

nathanbeach (1056196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194482)

I do the same thing! They will not stop sending me "Network Update" emails, even though I have turned them off in mail settings. No response to two support requests. That site is such a pain in the ass.

I dont get it (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193958)

Why would anyone want an account on linked in? More importantly, how on earth is Linked in going to make any money? Ever? Who are the idiots investing in this garbage?

Re:I dont get it (1)

boristdog (133725) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194126)

Why would anyone want an account on Facebook? More importantly, how on earth is Facebook going to make any money? Ever? Who are the idiots investing in this garbage?

That's what a lot of people were saying a few years back.

Re:I dont get it (1)

sstamps (39313) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194646)

Still saying that now, really.

Re:I dont get it (3, Insightful)

eepok (545733) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194202)

It's not investment. It's speculation.

The only investors are ignorant of the lack of genuine value of LinkedIn. (Which is much less than their original price.)

The majority of the people are looking to get rich off of the hype and dump the stock ASAP.

Re:I dont get it (1)

sstamps (39313) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194338)

It's really simple:

Create a site that chases a fad, get a decent-sized following by any means necessary (usually by providing some nearly-useless service and spamming it all over the place), don't ever let anyone out of it (keep those numbers up!), convince a bunch of speculators that it is solid gold just waiting to be dug up, IPO, live high on the hog while the speculators eat each other buying and selling your vapor, then either sell out to some other starry-eyed wannabee who has more money than sense (or just needs a tax write-off) or sell off a large portion of the stock as people begin to realize that they've been had and before the stock tanks. Retire or Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

The only people making any money on pyramid/ponzi schemes like this are the owners, anyone to whom they gave stock options, the smart/quick speculators (who take the money of the slow/stupid ones), and anyone who soaks the company for products/services whilst they have more FAR more money than sense ("We have this AWESOME combination CMS/CRM/B2B/ISAH product that would make your entire service 1000% more awesome! Only $5,000,000!" "What a bargain! We'll take three!").

The real losers are the people who actually use the service for the (supposedly) intended purpose.

Professionals, LinkedIn and spam (1)

grapeape (137008) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193990)

While I understand the concept, I have yet to really find the value. I actually have more client asking me how they ended up on Linkedin and how to get off of it than I do ones asking how to join. What usually ends up happening is one of their clients or contacts sends out Linkedin requests (usually unknowingly) and they more often than not sign up thinking its a legitimate request and some way to exchange documents or keep in contact, the result seems to be spam semi related to their business. I myself still get at least one Linkedin request a week usually from people who have only corresponded with me via an email through craigslist or a forum I am a member of. I have a feeling their "subscriber" base is grossly different from the number of people who actually use it.

Everyone is missing the real point (5, Insightful)

slashdot_commentator (444053) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193996)

It should be obvious that the "public" stock markets are a crooked casino run by the investment banks. They own the cops; all the alphabet agencies that claim to "regulate" trading activity. They own all the politicians, who make the laws that determine whether illicit activity is permitted. They even own the Supreme Court, who says a batch of numbers controlled by an oligarchy is a human being in the eyes of the law and the courts. If you're a single person who raises a flag, the SEC will freeze your assets and try to haul you into court. If you're big enough to be a Madoff, then you get to run your scam until you piss off the wrong people. If you're Goldman Sachs, you're untouchable.

The "public" stock market is meaningless. Its not even where all the "big" action is happening. All the real money making is in the derivatives floor. And most of that are private transactions between banks. That doesn't even include the shadow stock market located outside of NY. That's the place where thousands of transactions are being made at hundredths of a second. What is the economic utility in making trading decisions faster than 1 second, before a human being can even initiate a buy/sell decision? And finally, the real money is made on the commodities floor, where collusion between the oil companies, investment banks, and high end speculators can drive up the price of consumer oil by $1/gal. in the middle of an oil GLUT.

Who gives a damn about Linkedin getting an overvalued IPO? The "public" stock market is meaningless compared the trading activity happening outside of the exchanges. The Facebook IPO didn't even happen on the trading floor! It was a "private" sale to avoid gov't regulators. The NYSE significance is trivial to the global economy. That's why the US gov't is going to allow it to be bought by foreign owners. You can pore through company statements, do your due diligence, read the Wall Street Journal, it doesn't matter. What you and the peons think a company's valuation and quality of its leadership is irrelevant. It'll get wiped down to peanuts by the single flick of an unreported derivatives trade.

Re:Everyone is missing the real point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36194668)

Overvalued? Its worth exactly what you can get somebody to pay for it.

i still have a pets.com sock puppet (0)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194042)

i think i even have a cuecat somewhere. no flooz though

so where's my bubble 2.0 swag?

i need to have my museum contributions ready for 2040

$45 to $94.25 - but $80 to (1)

edxwelch (600979) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194236)

Yeah, it went from $45 to $94.25, but the average investor couldn't buy the stock until it already had reached $80.
Glad to see that we are both creating a new bubble *and* lining the pockets of the same investment firms responsible for the subprime mortage crash.

Companies with ~$10B market cap (1)

tukang (1209392) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194284)

Other companies that have ~$10B valuation: Cablevision, Whole Foods, Nordstrom, Southwest Airlines, NYSE, Dr Pepper/Snapple, Clorox, Mattel.

I would purchase any of these companies, which are all profitable, before I would purchase LinkedIn. LinkedIn is clearly overvalued and I suspect people will get burned within the next 3 months. There's also the risk of facebook killing this company in one fell swoop just like they killed Digg with their Like button and that risk is not reflected in the company's valuation.

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