Hey GUNNAR Fans! With all of the amazing press we picked up from CES, check out this article from the NY Times HERE
50 Cent: Facebook Is Worth $50 Billion, Maybe More
Curtis Jackson, more commonly known as 50 Cent, has parlayed his career as a hip-hop artist into a multi-faceted business and a tidy personal personal fortune. His minority investment in Glacéau turned into a windfall when Coca-Cola purchased the maker of Vitamin Water for $4.1 billion in 2007.
Mr. Jackson has plowed the proceeds and other earnings into new investments, like Gunnar, a company that makes eyeglasses for heavy computer users to reduce eye strain. One of Facebook’s early backers, Peter Thiel, is also an investor.
He spoke with DealBook on Friday from Las Vegas, where he is promoting his latest business venture, a line of headphones he’s co-created with Sleek Audio: “Sleek By 50 Cent.” He has not invested in Facebook like Mr. Thiel. Still he speculates on the value of the social networking behemoth, saying its worth $50 billion, if not more.
Q.Why are you increasing your investments in the technology sector?
A.Well I’m just aware of things changing around me. As far as social networking goes, I developed ThisIs50.com. It has over 700,000 registered members and 30 million uniques per month. While a good idea is not really hard to find, finance to support those ideas is difficult. I have an aura, a business man’s aura. People know I’m conscientious, and I will make investments.
Q.What is your average investment size these days?
A.It depends on the actual company, and how much I believe in the growth of it. Like Gunnar, this could potentially be a billion dollar, profitable company.
Q.How much did you invest?
A.You want to know exactly how much money I invest? I’m not going to tell you that. If you come to work for me…
Q.Are you worried about things getting overheated in tech?
A.Well, nawh. Even in advertisement, you see more online advertisement than physical ads being purchased. When you see the things that were part of the traditional market no longer having the same value and you see where the shift is, where its growing versus where it is deteriorating, I think it’s clear what area you should be focused on.
Q.Do you think Facebook is worth $50 billion?
A.They brought in $2 billion in revenues this year. So how many years before it phases out or if it phases out? They just have to do different things to keep it advanced. I’m sure people are working on it.
Q.What do you think it’s actually worth?
A.Why isn’t there two Facebooks or three? Because it’s difficult to get that many people in one place and comfortable with the functions of that network. So I think it is worth that kind of money, maybe more, because everyone is aware of how to utilize it. The kids are converting to the web and computers, so easy, that it’s unbelievable. Things that I got to sit and have explained to me three or four times, my son is doing the first time, because he’s learning at a different rate. I’ll be honest in that area. I’ve seen him doing things and I go: how you do that, show me that again.
Q.How many hours do you spend on social media sites per day?
A.An hour, an hour and a half.
Q.Did you try to invest in Facebook?
A.No. I’ve had some money in Goldman.
Q.How do you make investment decisions? Is there a group?
A.They present ideas to me, and I make the decision. In the beginning, I’d rather invest in a dice game than the stock market. At least when the dice got rolling, I knew whether I won or I lost. When you’re not informed on it, you stay away from it. But I got a good group of people around me now, to explain things.