Meta-Reverse: Zuck Loses $71 Billion as Metaverse Struggles Continue
The company has wiped out nearly all of its pandemic gains
Less than two years ago, Mark Zuckerberg stood amongst an elite group of ultra-wealthy individuals, with only Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates in front of him in the queue. His wealth — well, not paper wealth of course — had ballooned to $142 billion. At that point, in September 2021, Facebook’s shares had hit a high of $382.
What comes next is either the start of something truly innovative or the beginning of an epic rise and fall story.
In an attempt to start afresh (and run from the many PR disasters engulfing Facebook), he announced that the company was to rebrand to Meta. Alongside the shiny new logo was a pivot into uncharted territory — the Metaverse — which he heralded as “the next chapter for the way that the internet evolves after the mobile internet.” Or in other words, Zuckerberg feared the end was in distant sight for Facebook, and rather than wait to go down with the ship, it was time to jump ship to a bigger, better, cooler vessel — one that he would be first to build. Then we saw his vision (read: dystopian nightmare) in a highly-polished demo that featured everything from Zuckerberg roaming around a luxury home to interacting with aliens and friends on a spaceship. Sure, it looked fun… for a minute. But a glaring problem became immediately clear. He could claim this was the future, he could demo use cases that showed us jumping into the Metaverse for work, play, and more, but it wouldn’t change the fundamental fact — when I’d take my headset off, I’d be immediately confronted with the reality that none of it is reality.
The stock price is almost as low as January 2019, when Facebook was dealing with the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica crisis.
There was also the troublesome irony behind the purpose of the technology. Zuckerberg continually describes the Metaverse as a tool to connect with people. While there will be some interesting uses for the technologies, the bottom line is that this is another step away from physical interaction with people. A Metaverse world is potentially dangerous to society, breeding…