Hindsight is 20/20. And sometimes, it's just plain funny.

With Facebook's blockbuster IPO upon us, let's take a look back through the company's eight-year history at some of the people and companies who were doubters, haters, and nay-sayers.

Sure, in 2004, no one really expected the then-22-year-old Mark Zuckerberg's student-only social networking site to become a multi-billion dollar company with hundreds of millions of users. Or that that fledgeling start-up would someday grow to make a public stock offering bigger than that of Google.

But in the age of the Internet, it's so easy to say: "Told you so."

Check out some of the worst offenses.

1. Saying Facebook is So Last Year

"For many in the dotcom world, 2007 was dominated by one story: the rise of Facebook. The success of the social networking service has increased optimism about the internet industry. After all, if Microsoft is prepared to buy a 1.6% share for $240m (£121m), there is evidence that good ideas can be worth a lot of money. It is no surprise then that investors are looking for the next big thing--and these are some of the favourites." —The Guardian, 2007

2. Predicting Facebook Will Become Stagnant

"The context of Facebook is 'social networking.' It's all the rage right now--the novelty of connecting or reconnecting, of building your network, of watching the torrent of trivia flow to and from your network of peeps. But ultimately we as people--at least most of us-aren't social networking hobbyists....While it is likely that Facebook will find a viable and scalable business model somewhere within the monthly engagement of 200 million people, its future is anything but certain." —Jim Banister, SpectrumDNA CEO and entrepreneurship professor at UCLA, 2009

3. Listing the Top-10 Reasons Facebook Sucks 

"Facebook is a fad. Yes, a FAD!!! You couldn't give a single legitimate argument to prove otherwise (and don't try to feed me that crap line about social networking being around long enough to no longer be a fad… Facebook, a single company, doesn't equate to 'social networking'). People who waste their time chasing fads (especially in marketing) always get burned, wasting more time than they can justify in the long run."  —SocialRealist.com, 2007

4. Saying Facebook Has Bland Ambition, and Lackluster Growth Numbers

"Facebook can't afford to screw up. Facebook's U.S. user base grew 56 percent to 22.5 million in April from 14.4 million during the year-ago period, according to Nielsen Online. That was down from a blistering 98 percent growth a year earlier." —Forbes, 2008

5. Predicting Facebook Wouldn't Even Be Worth $2 Billion

"Ross Levinsohn, president of Fox Interactive Media, told an investors conference in New York yesterday, 'It's a great site and I know the guys there well. We're certainly not paying $2 billion for Facebook.'" —MarketWatch, 2006


May 17, 2012