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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Facebook(FB - Get Report) CEO Mark Zuckerberg did exactly what he needed to do Tuesday afternoon at TechCrunch'sDisrupt conference.
He admitted a mistake.
Zuckerberg didn't talk his way around it or b.s. his way out of it. He didn't sound like a typical CEO.
Zuckerberg told the crowd that Facebook's biggest error was blowing two years not focused on mobile. In other words, the migration from the desktop to mobile snuck up on the company. Facebook was busy building a killer Web site when it should have been getting ahead of the curve in mobile.
It's really never been more complicated than that.
Folks who jumped on the media-navigated bearish Facebook bandwagon not only misunderstood Facebook's mobile strategy, as Zuckerberg said, they don't get mobile in general.
At this stage, Facebook has everything it needs to command a significant chunk of the mobile pie. It has the user base, which continues to shift to smartphones and tablets. And it has a team capable of shifting gears and erecting mobile applications that are every bit as good as Facebook's Web platform.
If Facebook was in the early stages of building an audience, I would be concerned. But it's not. Frankly, if one of the biggest mistakes Zuckerberg makes in his career is ramping up mobile a couple years too late, it's all good. And that's coming from a shareholder.
eMarketer's recent data shows the mobile ad revenue market growing from $2.61 billion this year to $6.61 billion by 2014 and nearly $12 billion by 2016.
Google(GOOG - Get Report) leads and will continue to lead. Beyond that, the hierarchy will change over the next few years.
There's a reason why
Pandora(P - Get Report) will finish 2012 in second place. Not only does it have a large and established audience, Pandora anticipated the mobile transformation long before Facebook did. It would have been tough for Pandora not to get a head start.
Apple(AAPL - Get Report) introduced iPhone, Pandora's audience went through the roof. Its platform went from one that, by and large, was tied to a fixed location to one users could take with them just about anywhere.