Everybody Has a Price

Fred Wilson is commenting this morning on Jim Breyer’s words at Fortune’s iMeme conference last week on unfounded blogosphere rumors of a multi-billion dollar Facebook acquisition.

Barron’s quotes Breyer, the Facebook director and Accel VC,

Part of it is always price…The company will do well over $100 million in revenue, and profitable, and significant EBITDA positive this year. Right now our job is to build out the company as significantly as possible. In our case, sold best companies too early…sold Perabit to various networking companies, a series of our networking companies that today would have been possible IPO candidates.

Fred adds,

But selling the Company would be a huge mistake. First and foremost for the users. Any buyer will screw up Facebook. It’s greatness comes from the fact that the people who run the company live inside the service, they built if for themselves and it works because of that. They have their pulse on the community and they are not likely to screw it up too badly…So why do companies sell? Because of fear, boredom, and personal financial issues.

It’s great when companies and investors have aligned needs and timing–if that’s the case, perhaps Facebook will IPO in the next year or two indeed. But Facebook’s investors ultimately have a responsibility to generate a return for their investors, and thus will always be promoting their portfolio while saying they’re not for sale at the same time, just like Breyer did at iMeme last week.