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Matt Levine

Shareholder Value Could Be Worse

Also Bitmain, active management and Folli Follie.

Shareholder value ideology.

There has been a blow-up this week on the internet about Facebook’s apps. The co-founders of Instagram, which Facebook Inc. bought in 2012, quit on Monday out of frustration with Facebook’s efforts to make Instagram (which is good) more like Facebook (which is bad). And then yesterday Forbes published an interview with Brian Acton, a co-founder of WhatsApp, which Facebook bought in 2014, in which he groused about Facebook’s efforts to make WhatsApp (which is fine) more like Facebook (which is bad). And my reaction was basically, well, sure, but on the other hand Facebook gave you billions of dollars, and if you didn’t want your products to become Facebook then maybe you shouldn’t have sold them to Facebook. Like, whatever, these founders are right, but they are also fine; the real victim here is me, in that I use Instagram and Mark Zuckerberg didn’t give me hundreds of millions of dollars so he could ruin it.