SOCIAL NETWORKING entrepreneur Mark Zuckerberg pursued and bought the $1bn photo upload company Instagram pretty much all on his own, according to a report.
The Instagram purchase raised eyebrows when it was announced, particularly because of its price, and surprised a lot of people. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, news of it probably had the same effect at Facebook.
A source told the newspaper that Zuckerberg went out alone to meet with Instagram and managed to knock down the firm's price of $2bn to $1bn. It's hard to imagine dealing in those sorts of numbers, and that's a pretty good reduction, but even today $1bn is still a lot of money.
Having sorted that out the young CEO then went to Facebook's board of directors and told them what he had done and that they were buying the firm. Later that same day it became a fact.
This is a very different way of doing business, of course. Large firms can't so much as fart in the direction of other companies without first getting three lawyers to hold the door open for them, and for Zuckerberg this could be a last burst of unrestrained youthful exuberance.
A Facebook IPO is looming and when the firm has a raft of shareholders and a formal multi-billion dollar valuation of its own, Zuckerberg could find himself having to work a lot more closely with the company's board. µ