Facebook (FB - Get Report) IPO and Zynga (ZNGA)
No, Facebook isn't exactly setting the financial world on fire. No, its stock isn't living up to even the most modest of expectations. No, investors didn't think it was going to have this much trouble monetizing a service everybody seemed to use.
But how do you prop up all that promise with a foundation of social media games that now only somewhat entertain their players while annoying the living hell out of "friends" whose status updates are flooded with FarmVille detritus? More importantly, how does the company making that game shoulder so much of the blame for Facebook's shortcomings that it gets called out in the earnings call and is forced to scrap games and lay off workers?
The value of Facebook's shares have dropped more than 42% since their initial public offering in May. Zynga's shares have dropped more than 68% over the same span. It's hard to tell who's leading this dance of death, but increasingly silent status updates and fallow FarmVille fields suggest it's going to end badly for both.
Best Buy (BBY)
Remember all those vacant big box stores with the giant red dots on the front that Circuit City left behind after it went out of business in 2009? Best Buy apparently thinks it's still competing with them.
Tech in the courtroom
Listen, we understand the importance of intellectual property rights in a sector as competitive and complex as tech, but come on. Google was snarling at Microsoft (MSFT) and Nokia (NOK) this year while locking horns with Oracle (ORCL), Yahoo! (YHOO) sued Facebook and, at one point, Apple was suing Motorola, Samsung and HTC at the same time, with the other three countersuing in return. Patent infringement is no small matter and there are billions of dollars at stake, but the frequency and ubiquity of these lawsuits just makes an already cynical public wonder how many suits are rooted in corporate espionage and malfeasance and how many are being fought in the courtroom just so they won't have play out in stores. -- Written by Jason Notte in Boston. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Jason Notte. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/notteham. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.