NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The media often yammers in one direction then, when proven wrong, starts yammering in the complete opposite direction.
This was rarely more evident than in the case of Facebook (FB).
Before its IPO, Mark Zuckerberg (and his company) was the best thing since sliced Apple (AAPL). Now? They're the gang that can't shoot straight.The New York Times (NYT) broke news during the holiday weekend that Facebook has been poaching Apple engineers in an attempt to produce its own smartphone, perhaps for release next year. In reaction, the media needs to be unflinching and this, to be certain, is a difficult initiative. Hewlett Packard (HPQ) and Dell (DELL) have already failed. It will probably be even more of a challenge for Facebook, a social media company, to shift into hardware. In addition to competing with Apple, they'll be going against Google (GOOG). As a result, chances of success are doubtful. But -- and this is an important distinction -- a chance does exist. That metaphysical possibility, though, is lost on the media now that they've crossed over from "Facebook is All Good" to "Facebook is Evil" mode. Fortune ran a headline: "Facebook's iPhone: The most ill-fated idea since Palm Pre?" The premise of the article was that Palm once hired an engineer away from Steve Jobs' NeXT and it didn't work out, so this won't either. That was, uh, how many years ago and, besides, it's a sample of one. Should you really be absolute in your negativity based on a sample of one?
Business Insider went a similar route, with the headline: "If Facebook Really Goes Into the Mobile Hardware Business, Investors Should Run Away Screaming." Look: hell hath no fury like a disappointed media. After the Facebook offering, they simply spun on their heels and are marching in the opposite direction. Facebook has its work cut out for them, but don't dismiss them, like the media, as a revenge reflex.
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